BIG NATURE TRAILby PORT FAIRY & REGION VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
Take the trail beyond Port Fairy to discover an idyllic escape to nature and even more Great Ocean Road natural wonders. Experience a rich cultural landscape formed by powerful ancestral creation forces. Eyeball native wildlife in natural habitats: kangaroos, emus, koalas, kookaburras and shorebirds. Let a magical day unfold in Aussie bushland with a waterfall backdrop. Marvel at Australia’s largest population of hooded plovers or a thousands-strong flock of shearwaters returning to their island home at dusk. Forest get-aways, secluded coves, ocean adventures, picnic perfection and everyday surprises – there’s inspiration for everyone along Moyne’s Big Nature Trail.
Tower Hill State Game Reserve
Tower Hill sits inside a dormant volcano and is the ideal place for visitors to experience the Australian bush, enjoy magnificent scenery and landscapes while getting up close to some of Australia's most iconic native birds and animals including emus, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, black swans, wedge-tail eagles, magpie geese and seasonal reptiles.
Budj Bim National Park
Budj Bim is one of several places in this area’s rich cultural landscape formed by powerful ancestral creation forces. The park is rich with birdlife, animals and plants and interesting volcanic features to discover on walks. Quiet visitors may be rewarded on walks with a range of sightings and bird sounds from parrots, honeyeaters, kookaburras, wrens, hawks and eagles.
Birdwatching on Griffiths Island
There is a large breeding colony of short-tailed shearwaters, locally known as ‘muttonbirds’, with an estimated 100,000 burrows. Best viewed in spring and summer, a viewing platform has been constructed to facilitate watching the birds as they return in a swarm to their burrows at dusk.
Belfast Coastal Reserve
Belfast Coastal Reserve Stretching from Warrnambool to Port Fairy comprises rocky reefs, sandy beaches, coastal dunes, salt marshes, estuaries and endangered animals such as the Orange-bellied Parrot. The area is also a home to Victoria's largest population of Hooded Plovers, and southern right whales and dolphins may appear in the reserve's waters.
Lake Yambuk contains an extensive wetland system formed from the meeting of the Shaw and Eumeralla Rivers. The wetlands comprise freshwater meadows and semi-permanent saline marshes, which have extensive areas of reeds and salt marsh communities fringing the edges. Lake Yambuk provides important habitat for many bird species.
Childers Cove offers wonderful seascapes in relative isolation. Easy access to these stunning coves rewards you with large sea and surf, sandstone stacks and colorful sandstone/limestone cliffs. Walking these beaches is one of those rare experiences of seclusion mixed with awe of the forces of nature.
Bay of Islands
Pounded by wild seas and fierce winds, the coast of the Bay of Islands Coastal Park has been sculpted over thousands of years to become one of the most impressive natural sites in Australia. Towering rock stacks, arches and islands have been carved out of the soft cliffs by rain, wind and ocean waves.
Ralph Illidge Sanctuary
Ralph Illidge Sanctuary, a 40 hectare property complete with native flora contains rare wildlife species including the long nosed Potoroo, the Powerful Owl, the Rufous Bristlebird and the White Goshawk. Walking tracks abound the Sanctuary managed by a voluntary Friends Group.
Hopkins Falls are Victoria's widest at an impressive 90 meters with excellent views at either the viewing platform or at the foot of the falls. Best viewed in winter or after heavy rainfall, the falls are not without their charms, for a few days each summer baby eels migrate upstream and over the falls.