On our first trip to Australia five years ago it took us more than seven months to see a koala in the wild. This time we were two months on the road and we’ve seen many of them already. You wonder where do koalas live? Check out Raymond Island. That’s where koalas live. Koala sightings almost guaranteed.
You may think where the hell is Raymond Island? Raymond Island is about 200 kilometres east of Melbourne on the south coast.
Where do Koalas live? How to visit the koalas on Raymond Island
After we visited the trendy city Melbourne we drove about 280 km east to Bairnsdale. From there we took the road in southern direction to Paynesville which is a 20-minute drive. We parked our car at the harbour in Paynesville and hopped onto the ferry. For pedestrians the ferry is for free and it is operating daily from early morning till midnight every 20 minutes. The mainland is 200 metres from the island and therefore the ferry ride just takes a few minutes. If you want to go by car you can. There is a 10 dollar fee for cars and trailers. We recommend leaving the car on the mainland. There is plenty of parking near the ferry. The island is small and it is easy to walk and even more enjoyable if you do the Koala Trail.
How to spot koalas
As koalas sleep at least 18 hours a day you can’t miss seeing them sleeping in the trees. When you arrive on Raymond Island it is easy. Follow the koala head signs that are painted on the pavement and start walking. They will lead you to the start of the Koala Trail in the park near the ferry. Check out the Tourist Information Board for an overview and information about the Koala Trail. It is an easy 1.2 km walk which takes about 20 minutes. It took us more than an hour because we took a lot of photos. Within the first five minutes we have already seen the first of these cute little creatures.
After we have spotted the first koala, it was even easier to find many more. So, just look up into the trees, keep your eyes peeled for a bundle of fur and keep your camera ready.
The day we walked along the streets to find koalas a local joined us. His name was Peter and he told us a lot about the history of Raymond Island and the wildlife on the island. It was very interesting to learn more about this place and to hear stories from a person who grew up on this small island with a population of about 500.
There is plenty of wildlife on Raymond Island. With about 500 kangaroos, echidnas, many bird species and of course the koalas, there is always something to see. We read that in a recent count more than 130 koalas were registered. The first 32 koalas were released on Raymond Island in 1953 and since then koalas have their home here.
We think Raymond Island is probably the best place to see Koalas in the wild. We have also seen koalas on Cape Otway but on Raymond Island it was much easier to spot the koalas and we have been much closer to these cute little creatures.
Do you know another place for close encounters with koalas? Comments very welcome.