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Top tips for spotting koalas in the wild at Ecopia

Date: March 19, 2023

The silver shimmering gums which blanket Ecopia provide an ideal environment for our resident koalas to thrive.

Koalas can often be spotted just beyond the villa windows, but those who take their time to truly explore the property are almost guaranteed plentiful encounters. Scan the upper reaches of towering gums, in particular the highest forks, where koalas like to doze, or cast your eyes down to the ground for the tell-tale signs of koala droppings at the base of trees and scratchings on the trunk. Did you know that Kangaroo Island is home to Australia’s only chlamydia-free population of koalas, considered crucial to the survival of the species nationwide?

Koalas are fascinating creatures and spotting one in the wild is an awesome experience!

They sleep up to 18-20 hours a day curled up high in the trees, with their grey fur camouflaging them, so noticing them can be a tricky business…

Here are some top tips for finding koalas in the wild around Ecopia:

Spot the eucalyptus trees first, then look for the koalas: Koalas feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves, so if you want to find one, look for a healthy eucalyptus forest.

Look for signs of koalas: It can be pretty tricky to spot koalas looking up a tree, so you should look for tell-tale signs of koalas, like their droppings or scratch marks on tree trunks. If you spot those, look up and start scanning the branches.

Listen for their calls: Koalas have a distinctive, low-pitched call that sounds like a grunt. Not the most attractive call, but hey, it must work    Follow this sound as you walk around Ecopia and you’re in for a treat!

Bring binoculars: Koalas can be quite high up in trees, so it's helpful to have binoculars to scan the trees more easily, and we have a set ready for you in your villa.

Go for walks around dawn and dusk: Koalas spend most of their time chillin’ out high in the trees and are much more active at night. Walking around at the right times of the day and you may even see them on the move!

Ask us: We know where the usual ‘hangouts’ are, and we often would know where the latest koala spotting was on the property, and can point you in the right direction.

Please remember to keep a safe distance from koalas in the wild, and never disturb them or their habitat. Stay as quiet as you can and move slowly, and please don't try to touch them. Koalas may appear docile, but they’re still wild animals, and can react when they feel threatened.

Happy spotting!

Ecopia wildlife spotting bucket list

  • Kangaroo Island Kangaroo
  • Koala
  • Tammar Wallaby
  • Short-beaked Echidna
  • Brush-tailed Possum
  • Rosenberg’s Goanna
  • Glossy Black Cockatoo
  • Wedge-Tailed Eagle
  • Black Swan
  • Southern Boobook
  • Kestrel
  • Superb Fairy Wren
  • Scarlet Robin
  • Crimson Rosella

When is the best time to see wildlife on Kangaroo Island?

Wildlife is abundant on Kangaroo Island year-round and each season offers unique wildlife spotting opportunities. Visit the island from August to February to see kangaroo, wallaby and koala joeys as marsupial young begin to emerge from the protection of their mother’s pouches. Come winter, keen-eyed nature lovers can spot the curious echidna mating train, and June to September also offer the best whale-watching opportunities. Those who wander at dusk and dawn when animals are generally at their most active will be rewarded with the most prolific and memorable encounters.


Ready to book your nature-based escape? Check out our availability then book your Kangaroo Island accommodation at Ecopia Retreat.

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Ecopia Retreat acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, to the Elders past, present, and emerging.