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Wildlife Wonders is on track to open mid-2020!

News > Our Patron and Board

We are delighted to share that Wildlife Wonders is on track for opening mid-2020!

This ecotourism project is an exciting opportunity for our environment, our community and the many visitors to our region. Thank you for your part in this journey.

Once open, Wildlife Wonders will welcome visitors to explore a spectacular bushland environment overlooking the ocean. Accompanied by a conservation guide, visitors will encounter the unique wildlife of the Otways living freely within the protected habitat area and learn about their ecology and conservation at a themed Field Research Base. A visitor centre will provide a café, shop and visitor facilities.

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes, but now that the opening date is in sight, we’d love to keep you up to date with progress as we work towards welcoming our first visitors. This e-newsletter is designed to do just that! Please share it with anyone else who you think might be interested.

Kind regards,
Lizzie Corke
CEO, Conservation Ecology Centre

So, what has been happening?

Although we had a pretty spectacular site to start with, we’ve also undertaken significant habitat restoration at Wildlife Wonders to restore the forests and grasslands to their natural state.

We’ve removed vast thickets of blackberry and planted thousands of local indigenous trees, ferns, grasses and shrubs. An old dam has been restored and a creek will provide a natural water source for the resident wildlife.

We’ve removed vast thickets of blackberry and planted thousands of local indigenous trees, ferns, grasses and shrubs. An old dam has been restored and a creek will provide a natural water source for the resident wildlife.

We’ve designed and constructed world class walking paths to ensure people of all abilities can explore this magical place and it’s really starting to come together.

Fence construction has now commenced to create a safe environment for wildlife, protecting them from introduced predators, such as foxes and cats. Once the fence has been completed, wildlife including threatened species such as the Long-nosed Potoroo (pictured) will be introduced to the site. Visitors will see these beautiful animals living naturally as they explore Wildlife Wonders with a conservation guide. 

Fence construction has now commenced to create a safe environment for wildlife, protecting them from introduced predators, such as foxes and cats. Once the fence has been completed, wildlife including threatened species such as the Long-nosed Potoroo (pictured) will be introduced to the site. Visitors will see these beautiful animals living naturally as they explore Wildlife Wonders with a conservation guide. 

The Wildlife Wonders visitor experience is designed by Brian Massey – Greensmaster of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and Art Director of ‘The Hobbit’ films and Landscape Designer of the successful NZ tourism attraction ‘Hobbiton’.

When he first started working with us, Brian remarked on how much incredible wildlife there already was on this site, including koalas and kangaroos, abundant birdlife, and southern right whales migrating off the coast in the distance. The koalas even drop in to supervise his work!

When he first started working with us, Brian remarked on how much incredible wildlife there already was on this site, including koalas and kangaroos, abundant birdlife, and southern right whales migrating off the coast in the distance. The koalas even drop in to supervise his work!

Wildlife Wonders creates extraordinary opportunities and benefits for our region. It will generate much-needed employment opportunities for our community and benefit the Otways’ unique biodiversity by generating the vital funds needed to support the ongoing work of the Conservation Ecology Centre. The project has been generously supported with a $2 million grant from the Australian Government under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages and $1.5 million grant from the Victorian Government.

We look forward to keeping you up to date as we progress through the final stages to bring this wonderful project to reality.

We look forward to keeping you up to date as we progress through the final stages to bring this wonderful project to reality.

Want to know more?

The Conservation Ecology Centre combines innovative research with practical land management to develop and deliver solutions to the most urgent conservation challenges in the Otway region – we have a local focus and our work has broad application.

We partner with public and private land managers, NGOs, traditional owners, research institutions and community to bring about real change in flora and fauna conservation, through generating knowledge to nurture the landscape and through on-ground action.

The Conservation Ecology Centre’s first ecotourism social enterprise, The Great Ocean Ecolodge, recently celebrated its 15th year of operation.

Upon opening, Wildlife Wonders will allow us to introduce many more people to the magic of the Great Ocean Road and its precious wildlife, while helping to support our community and environment in the long term.

The Conservation Ecology Centre and Wildlife Wonders are both independent charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. We welcome support from private individuals, businesses and philanthropic organisations, as well as commercial partnerships, to continue growing our capacity to protect our local flora and fauna and create sustainable jobs. To learn more please contact lizzie@conservationecologycentre.org

You’re already on our list for Wildlife Wonders updates, but if anyone else you know would like to receive these updates they can subscribe here.  Alternatively, please also let us know if you’d prefer not to receive these updates.

To keep up to date with the conservation and research work at the Conservation Ecology Centre please subscribe to the CEC newsletter.

To support flora and fauna of the Otways please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Conservation Ecology Centre.