If you’re looking for a destination filled with stunning scenery and koalas, Raymond Island could be perfect for you. Raymond Island is a small atoll in the Gippsland Lakes in eastern Victoria, Australia, about 300 km from Melbourne. The island is approximately 6 km long by 2 km wide, and is just 200m off the coast, across from the lakeside town of Paynesville.
In 1953, there were growing concerns about koala numbers in Victoria, so a decision was made to transport 32 koalas from Philip Island to Raymond Island. The island has become a significant place to enjoy many species of plants and animals. The koalas have fully thrived in this environment with over 200 koalas in residence.
Raymond Island is a unique place, managed jointly by Parks Victoria and traditional owners the Gunaikurnai people. It’s a fantastic place for nature lovers and is one of the best koala-spotting locations within a natural environment. Besides koalas there are also kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, many migratory bird species, and rare native orchids to be seen.
There is some limited accommodation available on the island, so you can immerse yourself in the forest-clad paradise for a few days. You can also find more accommodation options at Paynesville and simply take the ferry across.
The ferry trip takes less than five minutes, it’s free for pedestrians and departs every half hour. You can take your car across on the ferry for a relatively small fee. Dogs can go on the ferry and on the koala walk, but they must be kept on a leash, and they are not permitted at some other locations on Raymond Island. Remember to take sunscreen, drinking water and food with you, as most facilities are back in Paynesville.
Once on the island, the Koala walk is a short 2-3km loop which takes you past the island’s charming homes and eucalypt trees. You are guaranteed to see koalas and can take some great pictures of these amazing and beautiful, sleepy creatures up in the forks of the trees.