Fauna of the Otway Rainforest

In our last couple of blog posts, we have looked at the amazing Indigenous Culture of the Otway Ranges, as well as some of the unique flora to the area.

For this blog post, we are going to have a look at some of the more remarkable fauna that call the Otway Rainforest home. The Otway Rainforest has some of Australia’s usual adorable suspects, including Koalas and Wallabies. However, the deeper you go into the Rainforest, the more peculiar and fascinating animals start to emerge.

Here are a few examples.


If I had to describe the Platypus in one word, I think it would be: bizarre. The Platypus is seemingly made up of different parts from various other animals: it has the bill face and webbed feet of a Duck, the tail of a Beaver, and the fur and body of an Otter. This odd combination is coupled with the Platypus’ unique reproductive system. The Platypus is one of the world’s two Monotremes – an egg-laying mammal. The only other monotreme in the world is an Echidna!

It can be difficult to spot a Platypus in the wild as they are very shy creatures. They like to hide in muddy waters, or under any fallen trees or branches in the water. Some spots in the Otways to find the Platypus include Lake Elizabeth and Melba Gully.



When you talk about all the amazing animals that live in Australia, you wouldn’t necessarily jump out of your skin with excitement when someone mentions worms, right? Well, you would be wrong! Particularly in the Otways!

One particular species of worm in the Otways is pretty incredible for one very distinct reason – they glow in the dark!

Glow worms create a weave of their own silk, which look a little bit like beads from a necklace, and then illuminate their abdomens to attract prey at night time.

This results in a serene atmosphere as you travel through some of the Otways’ most phenomenal landscapes at night.



It’s hard not to go past birds when you’re writing about the amazing fauna of the Otway Rainforest. Two of the more common bird species that you are likely to see as you wind your way through the beautiful region are the King Parrot and the Crimson Rosella.

The red and green King Parrots prefer love the density of the Otway Rainforest. They fly low through the tree trunks so they are very good at ducking and weaving to avoid obstacles. Both males and females have a red belly and green back, wings and tails. What distinguishes them is the head and breast – for the males these are red and for females these are green.

Crimson Rosellas are typically easy to spot with their deep blue and red feathers. If you look closely you might spot some with a slightly different plumage – the younger birds start out with olive green feathers mixed into the red and blue, before they develop their adult feathers. The Rosella nest in hollows in the trees and eat seeds, insects and some tree blossoms.

Female King Parrot Crimson Rosella

Discovering the Fauna of the Otway Rainforest is a terrific addition to visiting the Great Ocean Road.

Visiting the Otways is a feature of all of our Great Ocean Road tours. Check out the tour options here