The view from the Great Ocean Walk is spectacular, but it only tells a portion of the story that this part of Victoria has to offer. If you take the time to stop, look and listen, Johanna Beach and the surrounding area is the perfect place to see Australia’s wildlife at its finest. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or just want to see and learn about some indigenous creatures while you’re on holiday, the Great Ocean Walk is a great place to explore. It traverses environments that are home to an astounding variety of Australian animals. Johanna Seaside Cottages is nestled right at the halfway point of the Walk, in rolling green hills bordering the beach. Many other habitats are within walking and driving distance, making it a great starting point to set out from to see the extraordinary animals living here.
Bush and heathland animals
Our cottages sit on 600 acres of farmland and bush. Among the many types of animals you might see before you get to the beach, perhaps the most sought after are the koalas, kangaroos, and echidnas. Koalas are actually very common here, but they rest most of the day. The best time to see them is in the evening when they are the most active, eating leaves while clinging to the bark of the gum trees. This area also has abundant eastern grey kangaroos and wallabies. They can most often be seen along the roadside or trails, or in family groups in the coastal scrub eating grasses, nuts, and leaves. The echidnas live in several types of environments, in the forests or in small caves or burrows, and are actually good swimmers. Though small, their spines are easily recognisable, even when travelling through the water. There are innumerable other types of animals you may see as well, such as wombats, tiger quolls, sugar gliders, and many more. In addition to the four legged creatures, there are many birds, butterflies, and reptiles.
Creatures of the beach and sea
The border where the land meets the sea is full of both kinds of life. Even if at first glance the beach seems empty of wildlife, patience and a closer look will likely reward you with sightings of some of the many amazing coastal animals that call Johanna Beach home. Plovers and oyster catchers run on the sand below, while overhead you might see a majestic white-bellied sea eagle soaring above the cliffs. The steep cliff faces, sand dunes and sea rocks house many animals that journey in and out of the water for food. You can often see several varieties of seals dozing on the rocks in the sunshine. Surf fishing might also give you a glance of what is under the cerulean waters of the Bass Straight, including salmon, pinkie snapper and sharks. If you’re very lucky and the time of year is right, you may even see a pod of dolphins playing in the surf, or the whales that calve in these warm coastal waters. Though sightings are rare, they have been seen occasionally all the way from Apollo Bay to Portland. Seeing these creatures would be the crowning glory of a holiday full of Australian life.
Johanna Seaside Cottages are the perfect base to set out from, whether for the Great Ocean Walk, site seeing or bird watching. The setting is so secluded and serene that it is easy to view animals in their natural habitats without disturbing them. Then, when you’ve been out all day experiencing nature, your cottage is the perfect place to come home to. Our cottages are nicely appointed, well stocked, and comfortable. We offer catering options and can accommodate pets and groups up to 10. Come to Johanna Seaside Cottages for relaxation and adventure in equal measure, and experience Australia’s rare and unusual creatures. Don’t forget to bring a good camera!