How To Enjoy the Kennett River Koala Walk

Great Otway National Park and the Great Ocean Road are great places to see a koala. There are three species of Eucalyptus trees found in the area that koalas love to eat, and the small town of Kennett River is the koala spotting epicentre of the region.

Even though we are lucky enough to get koalas in our backyard at home in the Adelaide Hills, we couldn’t resist visiting Kennett River to see if we could spot a few cute, grey fur balls here – and we weren’t disappointed!

Here is what we saw on the Kennett River Koala walk and a few tips so you can have the same fun experience.

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Kennett River Koala Walk
Kennett River Koala Walk

Where is Kennett River?

Kennett River is on the Great Ocean Road about halfway between Apollo Bay and Lorne. From both towns, you can be in Kennett River in just under 30 minutes.

Where is the Koala Walk in Kennett River?

If you have never been to Kennett River, here is what to expect. This small coastal town has a lovely caravan park, the Kafe Koala and General Store (with plenty of koala souvenirs) and facility-wise, that is about it. There are also half a dozen residential streets plus the beach and river reserve.

The Kennett River Koala Walk is along one of the town’s streets – Grey River Road.

Grey River Road is directly opposite the Kafe Koala and runs behind the caravan park. It is easy to find. If worse comes to worse, look for the road with lots of people on it, all looking up.

Kafe Koala
Kafe Koala

Parking at the Koala Walk

This is a popular stop along the Great Ocean Road. There is parking for around 25 cars at the Kafe Koala. From there it is a walk of less than 50m to the start of the Koala Walk on Grey River Road.

If the car park outside the Kafe Koala is full, there is still plenty of parking on the road that leads to the Kennett River Nature Walk (which we will mention more a bit further down). From here, you might have a walk of 100-150m to Grey River Road.

There is also parking across the road at the beach which will leave you a walk of about 200m to the official koala watching area.

Kennett River Koala

Where can you see a Koala on the Koala Walk?

In all likelihood, you will have a similar experience to us. The Koala Walk was not crowded when we visited, but there were still several groups of people walking around – and they will lead you straight to the koalas if there are any to be seen.

We literally crossed the road from the Kafe Koala and there was a koala busily munching on some leaves right outside the entrance to the caravan park.

When it comes to koalas being active, short of seeing them walking to or climbing a tree, watching them eat is about as dynamic as they get. We stayed here for a few minutes and watched this big male demolish mouthfuls of leaves.

We then went to the start of Grey River Road where there was another group of people looking up at koala wedged in the fork of a tree, sound asleep, looking adorable – standard operating procedure for a koala.

As we walked further up the road, groups walking back pointed out trees where more koalas were sleeping. We saw two more high up in the swaying branches sound asleep.

All up, we saw four koalas in about 20 minutes of koalas spotting.

Kennett River Koala

How long is the Kennett River Koala Walk?

Grey River Road winds its way for kilometres into the forest so how far should you go to see a koala? The first stretch of the Koala Walk is about 300m long and goes gently uphill before the first sharp turn in the road.

After we had walked the length of this first section, we got in our car and drove slowly for 3 – 4 kilometres further along Grey River Road – and saw nothing. There seemed to be quite a few dead trees along this stretch of the road. The ones that were not dead were so tall we struggled to see the tops where the koalas would have been perched.

Now, this doesn’t mean there are not more koalas along the road – there are bound to be, but if you don’t mind sharing your koala spotting experience with a few other people, the first part of Grey River Road provides a good koala spotting return.

Kennett River Koala

A few more tips for the Koala Walk…

If you are having trouble finding koalas look at the forks of trees and look carefully – the koalas blend in well with the trees.

Also look right up to the top of tall trees. It might seem scarily high to us, but koalas are happy to sit right at the top of the canopy.

  • Even though you are looking up a lot, keep an eye out for cars using the road
  • If you drive further up the road, keep an eye out for koala spotters
  • Stay out of the caravan park unless you are a guest there
  • Never touch or try to feed the koalas or birdlife
Kennett River Nature Walk
Kennett River Nature Walk
King Parrot
King Parrot
Red Shouldered Wallaby
Red Shouldered Wallaby

What else can you do at Kennett River

  • Birdlife – while you are staring at the trees keep an eye out for the colourful red and green king parrots that live in the area. They are quite cheeky and will get close to you.
  • Kennett River Nature Walk – If you want to escape the crowds come here for a peaceful walk along the river. At dawn and dusk keep an eye for the local red shouldered wallabies, we saw one here with a mouthful of grass. It is also a lovely fishing spot. The road to the Nature Walk runs in front of Kafe Koala.
  • Kennett River Coastal Reserve – explore the river mouth or just relax at the lovely beach.
Great Ocean Road Koala

Where else can you see Koalas along the Great Ocean Road?

Koalas can pop up anywhere in the region. We spotted one walking along the Great Ocean Road just before Skenes Creek.

Another koala hotspot is the road to the Cape Otway Light Station. If passengers keep their eyes on the forks of the trees on this lovely drive, you are a good chance of seeing a koala. We saw one amble across the road as we left the Light Station precinct.

We also spotted 3 or 4 koalas on our guided tour of the Wildlife Wonders Nature Park which is just a few minutes from Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road.

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Apollo Bay Waterfalls | Glow Worms at Melba Gully | The Redwoods Forest

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Kennett River Koala Walk
Kennett River Koala Walk
Kennett River Koala Walk
Kennett River Koala Walk
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