You spot a flick of a tail, a flash of wing or a dart of something fluffy and furry across your path. Your senses sharpen.

The silence settles, and the creature in front of you pauses – whiskers a-twitch. Sniffing the air curiously, it turns and looks at you, seemingly nodding a country hello. It continues on its way. Welcome to a place where the wildlife roams, and birds serenade you by day, and by night.

Day-time jaunts for day-time critters

Look up as the wedgetail eagles soar and dip across the bright blue skies. Look about as echidnas shuffle. Look afar as swamp wallabies, and eastern grey kangaroos startle and bound across your path. Discover them in these stunning, lesser-known locales:

Skippy spotting

Large mobs of eastern grey kangaroos, wallabies and the sulphur-crested cockatoos all like to hang out and graze in the open paddocks between Hanging Rock Racecourse and Woodend. At sunset and sunrise, they enjoy a mass-bounding commute across paddocks and plains.

Hopping great fact: The male eastern grey kangaroos can weigh up to 70kg.

Koalas

You will be able to find colonies of chilled-out koalas along the Goldfields Track between Creswick and Daylesford or Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, in the forests and bushland between Woodend and Romsey, and at Hanging Rock Reserve and Camels Hump, Mt Macedon. Koalas can also be seen feasting meditatively in the branches of eucalypts in Conglomerate Valley in Riddells Creek.

Daylesford Wildlife 2 uai

Birds abound

Bird watchers twitter in excitement (sorry) about Jackson’s lookout, a 2.5km loop walk from Hepburn Reserve, part of the iconic Goldfields Track. You may be able to see a wedgetail eagle riding the thermals, a falcon, or catch a glimpse of a rare striated pardalote. On the walk there you may also see rosellas and chirruping cockatiels. A dashing firetail finch may make an appearance if you’re lucky. The black cockatoos with flashes of yellow adore the radiata pine forests along Black Forest Road on the way into Woodend.

Night critters

Our marsupial wildlife only comes out to play at night. In the warmer months, go for a ranger-guided night-walk at Hanging Rock or a twilight saunter with a torch in hand along the Five Mile Creek Track in Woodend. You’ll encounter brushtail possums, sugar gliders and ringtail possums. Keep a peeper peeled for a rare carnivorous little critter called the brush-tailed phascogale. The best time to see them is from September to June.

Wombats can be found ambling and snuffling between sunset and daybreak through the aptly named Wombat Forest on Daylesford-Trentham Road. Pull over and look up in the trees. You may grab a glimpse of the rare greater gliders. Greater gliders are perhaps the cutest, fluffiest little creatures you’ll find. They also like to hang out at Hanging Rock Reserve.

Great fact: Greater gliders can live up to 15 years! 

The powerful owl (the best name for a species of owl, ever) is nocturnal and can be found foraging on the ground in parliaments (best collective noun, ever) of eight to twelve. They are a top-order predator and partial to those aforementioned ringtail possums and greater gliders.

Powerful fact: The powerful owl has a wing-span of up to 1.4 m

Water critters

A platypus is a rare and wonderful sight. Take a sunset to wander along Deep Creek and around the Campaspe Catchment area. Creswick Regional Park is another rumoured spot. They are notoriously shy, so you’ll need to adopt the silent stealth and patience of a ninja.

Billable Fact: Platypus don’t have stomachs

Wherever you venture, we hope wildlife say hello to you without censure.

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