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Raymond Island Koala Walk – All You Need To Know!

Raymond Island is a small island located in Victoria, Australia – known for its population of koalas and the famous Koala Walk!

A trip to Raymond Island to see the koalas in the wild should be high on anyone’s bucket list when they travel to Victoria – in fact it is one of the best places to see wild koalas in the whole of Australia!

Seeing koalas in their natural environment as opposed to in a Koala Sanctuary or Zoo is far better and is a really great way to learn more about them and appreciate how unique this iconic Australian animal is!

This article contains all you need to know about the Koala Walk on Raymond Island!

koala otway National park  

What Is The Koala Walk On Raymond Island?

Most people come to Raymond Island purely to do the Koala Walk, which is a self-guided walking tour that takes you along the island’s streets and you can see koalas up in the trees.

It is an easy and flat walk and is suitable for all – young and old. It’s the perfect way to see koalas for someone who wants to see them in their natural habitat and not in one of the many koala sanctuaries around Australia.

The Koala Walk follows the residential streets, and what’s great is that you don’t have to follow the trail exactly, you can walk along whichever road you prefer, or go back at any point.

It is a great way to spend an hour or two getting up close and personal with Australia’s cute koalas. Of course remember please never try to touch or cuddle a koala if one is within reach.

These are wild animals and have very sharp claws! If you want to cuddle a koala then you should visit one of the many Koala Sanctuaries across Australia.

koala Kennett river Victoria

Where Is Raymond Island?

Raymond Island is an island that sits 300km east of Melbourne (about a 3.5 hour drive), in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria.

The nearest town on the mainland is Paynesville, which can be reached in 5 minutes on the ferry.

Where Can You See Koalas On Raymond Island?

Koalas sit in the gum trees (Eucalyptus trees) eating leaves, so if you look up in the trees you’ll be able to see them!

There aren’t specific trees on the island the koalas stay in – they move between the trees, so you’ll just need to keep your eyes peeled! Sometimes the koalas are very high up in the trees, curled up into a ball.

Other times they are much lower and closer to you eating the leaves so you can get a really good look at them!

Remember they are wild animals so you can never predict how many of them you will see.

I was on Raymond Island for about two hours and saw several koalas – some high up in the trees, but a couple just a few metres higher than us eating leaves so we were able to get some really good photos! 

In addition to the koalas, you can also find a great variety of wildlife such as kangaroos, echidnas, brightly coloured birds and even wombats! We even saw a family of baby ducklings which was incredibly cute!

How Many Koalas Are On Raymond Island?

It’s estimated there are 250 koalas on Raymond Island! The more you look up – the more you will see! When you really look up in the trees amongst the leaves you will realise that the koalas are actually everywhere!

Unfortunately koalas are now an endangered species, in danger of going extinct.

80% of koala habitat has been cleared due to human developments, as well as bushfires, drought, tree diseases and more, which is incredibly sad.

Therefore to have an island where you can find so many of these amazing creatures together is incredible.

Raymond Island koala walk Victoria Gippsland  

Can You Drive To Raymond Island?

You can drive to Paynesville and then take the ferry across to Raymond Island.

The Raymond Island Ferry is the only way to reach the island but the great thing is that the ferry is free for pedestrians – plus it only takes 5 minutes!

You can even see in the picture below how close Raymond Island is to Paynesville!

Raymond Island koala walk Victoria Gippsland

How To Get To Raymond Island From Paynesville

Raymond Island is accessible by a vehicular and pedestrian ferry from Paynesville.

However, definitely leave your car in Paynesville and hop on the ferry as it’s free for pedestrians, bicycles and mobility scooters (but not for vehicles).

The ferries come very frequently – every 20 minutes throughout the day, and every 10 minutes during peak hours. Ferries start as early as 6.40am and continue past 11pm.

If you bring your car across it costs $13 for a return fare and you pay when boarding the ferry.

But honesty there’s no point as the Koala Walk is best done walking as you’ll be looking up in the trees the whole time! 

Ferry Timetable From Paynesville to Raymond Island

In Paynesville the Raymond Island Ferry leaves from The Esplanade, near to the intersection of Victoria Street.

You should be able to easily spot the big white ferry, with Raymond Island Ferry written on the side.

It drops you off on the northern end of Fourth Avenue on Raymond Island, and this is the same spot where you get the ferry back from.

Click here for the Raymond Island ferry timetables here:

Raymond Island Departures

Paynesville Departures

You’ll also find the ferry timetables at both the ferry stops on Raymond Island and Paynesville.

How Long Is The Koala Trail On Raymond Island?

The whole koala walk is 1.2km long. Once you get off the ferry you’ll see signs pointing the way, but in fact the closest koala we saw wasn’t even on the trail, so don’t worry if you wander off it a little!

The trail leads you through a residential area at first, and even in the residential area you’ll see many koalas in the trees. If you follow the signs you’ll reach a wooded park, which is where you’ll find more koalas.

When Is The Best Time To Do The Koala Walk On Raymond Island?

It is best to do the Koala Walk later in the day, as if you come around lunchtime or early afternoon you might find that most of the koalas are sleeping high in the trees amongst the leaves – trying to escape from the sun!

Koalas are much more active in the late afternoon and early evening just before and around sunset – especially if it’s been a hot day. So if you can time your trip with then please do, as the koalas will be more active later on.

The last ferry back is after 11pm so you absolutely don’t need to worry about missing the last ferry back!

I would advise to come 1 or 2 hours before sunset to be able to see the koalas at their most active. Of course if you can’t time your trip with then – don’t worry. You will still see koalas, the majority will just probably be sleeping!

We visited Raymond Island one cloudy afternoon in spring, and it definitely helped being not as hot and sunny as more koalas were around.

Koalas sleep for around 22 hours a day, so whatever time of day you come to Raymond Island you’re bound to see some koalas sleeping!

Do You Need A Car To Get Around Raymond Island?

Raymond Island is less than 2km wide and 6.5km long and being mostly residential, if you come to Raymond Island for the Koala Walk you won’t need a car to get around – it is really not necessary.

Just park your car in Paynesville (check the signs for any parking or time restrictions), ride the ferry for free, and the ferry drops you off at the start of the Koala Trail!

The Koala Trail only takes you around a small part of the island, and you can walk back at any time you like. We probably only walked a kilometre and we saw more than enough!

Raymond Island koala walk Victoria Gippsland

What Is There To Do On Raymond Island Besides The Koala Walk?

Honestly – not too much as it is a residential area! I do advise you to eat in Paynesville before or after you come across, as there aren’t cafes or restaurants on Raymond Island.

You will however, find several on The Esplanade in Paynesville, right opposite the ferry.

With that being said, remember to pack some water and snacks as there aren’t any shops on Raymond Island! Also remember to bring some bug spray – you’ll need it if you’re here later on in the day!

As mentioned, Raymond Island is a residential area (home to around 550 people) so be respectful when you are walking around the neighbourhood and stay off people’s property.

All in all, a trip to Raymond Island is an incredible experience.

Australia is the only country in the world where you can see wild koalas, and being able to spot wild koalas on Raymond Island is pretty much guaranteed! I hope you have an amazing trip!


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