Nature and Wildlife

Other Marsupials, Monotremes & Macropods of the 12 Apostles Coast

Discover our marsupials, monotremes & macropods of the Port Campbell National Park and the 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland. You don’t need to get too close to our wildlife! Call in to the Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre and collect a pair of binoculars. Free to hire!
To report injured wildlife call  03 8400 7300.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Where & When: 

The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is common in both Port Campbell National Park and the Bay of Islands Coastal Park. Kangaroos are crepuscular feeders this means that they are more likely to be active and feeding at dusk and dawn.

The Gellibrand River Estuary is a great spot for viewing kangaroos. Call in at Princetown and look over the river from the viewing platform in town to view their antics.

Kangaroos and even wallabies are frequent visitors to the sandy shores of the Gellibrand River Estuary. You can often spot evidence of their pre-dawn drinks in the footprints they leave in the sand near the river mouth.

Facts: 

  • The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is the second largest and heaviest living marsupial and native land mammal in Australia.
  • An adult male will commonly weigh around 50 to 66 kg whereas females commonly weigh around 17 to 40 kg.
  • The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is predominantly a grazer, eating a wide variety of grasses and prefers open grassland with areas of bush for daytime shelter.
  • Its habitat includes coastal areas, woodlands, sub-tropical forests, mountain forests, and inland scrubs.
  • Kangaroos can reach speeds of 60kmh and jump up to 3m high
  • The female kangaroo has a ring of muscle around the entrance to the pouch that allows them to swim without water entering their pouch.
  • Kangaroos cannot move their legs independently on land but when in the water swim by moving their legs independently.

To report injured wildlife call  03 8400 7300.

Platypus

Did you know that when they first discovered the Platypus they believed that the animal was a fake? With the bill of a duck, the tail of a beaver and the foot of an otter!

Habitat:

The platypus mostly lives in freshwater lakes, rivers, lagoons, farm dams, and streams that will have earth banks to allow the mammals to construct their burrow. They can be found at Lake Elizabeth area near Forrest however we do recommend taking a tour as they are very shy and extremely difficult to see in the wild.

Facts:

  • Platypus are mammals known as Monotremes, just like the echidna, as they lay eggs and don’t birth their young.
  • Platypuses can consume their entire body weight in food within just a 24 hour period.
  • The platypus featured on the reverse of its 20-cent coin.
  • The male platypus is venomous, they carry enough venom to kill an animal the size of a dog but not a human, however it would cause immense pain.
  • They locate their prey in part by detecting electric fields generated by muscular contractions, this is called electroreception.
  • There is no official name for a baby platypus, some like to call them platypups!

Ringtail Possum

Habitat:

Ringtail Possums live in tree hollows or build a nest in rainforests, eucalypt forests and areas that have dense foliage near a water source. They can be heard and frond all along the 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland, even in your own backyard or ceiling!

Facts:

  • A female possum is called a “Jill,” a male one is called a “Jack,” while young ones are called “Joeys”. A group of these creatures is called a passel.
  • The Ringtail Possum is the size of a small cat.
  • They live up to 8 years.
  • They get their name from their prehensile tail. When they’re not using it to hang on to things they keep it curled up like  a ring.

Potoroo

Did you know that the Potoroo is the size of a rabbit and it hops like a kangaroo?

Habitat:

They live in areas of dense understory, eucalypt forest and dense coastal heaths where they can forage for fungi, roots, fruit, flowers, seeds and insects that they feast on. Their main requirement is thick groundcover, which provides protection and nesting material.

Facts:

  • They are marsupials, Macropods.
  • In the wild, Long-nosed Potoroo’s are mainly solitary.
  • Potoroo’s are classified as vulnerable due to decreasing numbers caused by habitat loss and predators.
  • Their main predators are Foxes and Cats.
  • The females carry nesting material in their tail which is semi-prehensile.
  • The have a life expectancy of up to 6 years in the wild and weigh less  than 2kg.

 

Common Brushtail Possum

The Common Brushtail possums are the most abundant, widely distributed and frequently encountered of all Australian marsupials. It has a bushy tail and pointy ears.

Habitat:

Common Brushtail Possums live in tree hollows or build a nest in rainforests, eucalypt forests and areas that have dense foliage near a water source. They can be heard and frond all along the 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland, even in your own backyard or ceiling!

Facts:

  • Their tail is prehensile.
  • The Common Brushtail Possum has a naked patch on the underside of its tail that helps it grip branches.
  • The Common Brushtail Possum hisses.
  • They have an average life span between 6-7 years.
  • Common predators include cars and dogs in urban areas, and dingoes, snakes and foxes.

Swamp Antechinus

Habitat:

Swamp Antechinus live in areas of woodland, wet heath and coastal grassland areas. They are small carnivorous marsupials and eat spiders, cockroaches and other insects.

Facts:

  • They are known to build their nests inside armchairs, handbags, clothes drawers and old box-like television sets.
  • Males live for exactly eleven-and-a-half months before dying.
  • All males die roughly 2 weeks after mating due to stress induced immune system breakdown.
  • The female develops a shallow, pouch-like fold in the mammary area during the breading season.
  • They measure up to 25cm, from its nose to the tip of its tail.

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, past present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.