Kennett River is a small seaside town on the Great Ocean Road. You should stop at Kennett River. Look for the Koala Cove Cafe, park, and walk down Grey River Road (the road behind the caravan, i.e., RV, park.)
It just so happens that Kennett River is one of the best places to see koalas in the wild. After only seeing koalas in wildlife centres, it was bizarre to hop out of a van, walk a few metres, and then realize there were koalas everywhere. In fact, if you stay in the caravan park they will actually be above your vehicle.
I took a stroll around the caravan park gawking at the mostly sleeping koalas, when I stumbled upon one that was awake. Excited, I whipped out my camera and began taking photos. Just as I turned my head to walk away I heard “woosh”, turned back around, and was confronted by a koala peeing.
“Surely,” I thought, “I must be witnessing a special event.” Koalas rarely drink water. Instead, they rely on the eucalyptus leaves they eat for hydration. I reasoned then that a peeing koala must be an unusual occurrence.
A Google search of “koala peeing” reveals that what I witnessed may not be as uncommon as I first thought. Every search result I could click through was about one thing: One Direction. Apparently, during its 2012 tour of Australia the band One Direction visited a zoo where members Liam Payne and Harry Stiles were peed on by a koala. This created an internet frenzy as there is some rare but real chance that a human can contract chlamydia from from koala pee. By some estimates 80% of the koala population carries a form of chlamydia. The disease is actually threatening the animal with extinction. Don’t believe me? See for yourself here and here.
In addition to koalas, the area is plays host to a variety of unusually tame birds. Although our tour did not participate in the activity, a number of other people were hand feeding the parrots. Swarms of the birds were climbing over peoples’ arms and heads.
Australian Wood Duck
Finally, I noted a sign indicating that glow worms can be seen at Kennett River. Like all day tours of the Great Ocean leaving from Melbourne, if you are even lucky enough to get a stop at Kennett River it will assuredly be during the day. As such, glow worms were not our on the schedule. However, according to the sign, you can take Grey River Road (the road immediately behind the Kennett River Caravan Park) six (6) kilometres into the Great Otway National Park and park your car at Grey River Picnic Spot. From there, a short walk back across the bridge and you will see glow worms on the embankments on either side. I hope to do a day trip to see them soon.