Flora and Fauna

A small wallaby sits in between native Australian flora.


The protection of the Great Ocean Road coast and parks flora is one of our Conservation Team’s primary responsibilities. This includes protecting:

Coastal Moonah Woodlands

Coastal Moonah Woodlands provide vital food and shelter for native wildlife and are constantly threatened by weed invasion and land clearing for development.

They are made up of trees, shrubs and understory plants that help stabilise sand dunes and prevent erosion. Since European settlement, a vast majority of these woodlands have been cleared, with less than 10% of the original plant community remaining in Victoria.

Coastal Moonah Woodland is listed as a threatened community under the Flora Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

Anglesea Heathlands

One of the most biodiverse ecosystems in Victoria, the Anglesea Heathlands provide a sense of remoteness and amazement to visitors with their spectacular diversity and beauty. A quarter of Victoria’s plant species can be found in the area, with more than 80 unique types of orchids.

In Spring, the area erupts in a sea of colours, making it the ideal time to experience this breathtaking site with one of ANGAIR’s local wildflower walks.

Eucalypt Forests

Our team manages a wide variety of different environments, including the tall eucalypt forests at Queens Park in Lorne.

The unique character of this landscape includes dense forests, steep slopes and spectacular sea views. It offers one of Lorne’s most accessible and rewarding bushwalking precincts, with the cultural and social assets of the eucalypt forest attracting an array of native wildlife to the area.

While walking through the forest you might stumble upon a threatened owl species or some iconic Australian fauna like echidnas, koalas and kangaroos.

Common and Coastal Beard-Heath

The Common Beard-heath is often found in drier areas of heathland, woodland and open forest, growing in clusters of three or four. These heath shrubs are important food sources for animals and provide stunning displays of tiny, scented white flowers each spring, making them excellent garden plants.

The Coastal Beard-heath is an abundant dune and coastal shrub offering erosion protection to the areas it grows in. They produce lots of sweet berries, the ripest berries being bright white and as a result, they attract a lot of birds.

Native Grasses

Indigenous grasses grow in abundance along the Great Ocean Road, and sadly, these important ecosystems are some of Australia’s most damaged. Volunteer groups along the coast work tirelessly to restore native grassland ecology throughout the region, with a focus on protecting local species including Common Wallaby-grass, Coast Tussock-grass and Kangaroo Grass.

The Surf Coast Nature Search database (created by our local Jan Juc Coast Action group) has a full list of the indigenous Surf Coast grasses and weeds for reference. These indigenous grasses have adapted to the harsh Australian climate and can grow in areas that have been subjected to erosion or shallow soil depths.

If you are keen to undertake weed prevention in your own backyard, click the below link to watch a video produced by the Wye to Wongarra Landcare group – it contains valuable information about recognising and removing non-native plants in our region.


The protection of the Great Ocean Road coast and parks fauna is one of our Conservation Team’s primary responsibilities. This includes protecting:

Hooded Plovers

Hooded Plovers (aka ‘Hoodies’) are listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 as they have one of the lowest survival rates of any bird species in the world. Not to be confused with the common Spur-winged plover (the ones that like to nest on roundabouts and nature strips), Hoodies are beach nesting birds that live only in beach habitats, including sandy dunes, rocky headlands, islands and sandy estuaries.

Our team has been working closely with BirdLife Australia and other partners since 2006 to protect several Hoodies known breeding sites along the Great Ocean Road.

For more information on Hooded Plovers and how you can help click the button below.

Southern Brown Bandicoot

The Southern Brown Bandicoot is listed as nationally Endangered under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 and typically lives along or near coastal heathlands.

Initially thought to be nocturnal, the Southern Brown Bandicoot can be spotted in the late afternoon or even during the day, particularly where cover is abundant. Our motion sensing cameras have sighted the bandicoots in the Anglesea Heathlands and near Aireys Inlet reserves.

Major threats to bandicoots are predation, primarily by foxes but also by dogs and cats, and loss of habitat due to clearing of vegetation. This removes patches of land that they can inhabit and limits their capacity to move between the patches that remain.

Rufous Bristlebird

The Surf Coast is one of the last places in the world where you will be able to find the rare and threatened Rufous Bristlebird. We are incredibly lucky that these gorgeous little creature calls our coast home!

The Rufous Bristlebird is found only in Australia, predominantly along coastal areas in south-western Victoria. The species has previously been sighted in south-western Western Australia and south-eastern South Australia; sadly, frequent burning has led to its extinction in WA.

Found in coastal thickets near Jan Juc, Point Addis, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet and Wye River, the Rufous Bristlebird has a unique vocal call that makes it easy to distinguish from other birds.

Sugar Gliders

Sugar Gliders have begun returning to the Great Ocean Road coast thanks to intensive efforts from local volunteer groups to restore their native habitat. They commonly live where there are lots of tree hollows for shelter and abundant food.

These nocturnal animals spend their nights gliding between trees and climbing the foliage in search of their diet of tree sap, nectar, pollen and invertebrates.

The main threat to Sugar Gliders is the loss of habitat and food sources, often due to development and altered fire regimes. The predation by foxes and cats is also a major threat to the species.

Jacky Lizard

The Jacky Lizard is a reptile that lives in the Anglesea Heathlands and dunes and is also known as the ‘tree dragon’. They are often seen dashing across footpaths or disappearing into nearby vegetation.

They have powerful, well-developed limbs that they use rapidly when disturbed to get away from potential predators. Jackies lay between three and nine eggs each summer in a small burrow.