Every Otways journey is magical – walking through the rainforest to find hidden waterfalls, discovering glow worms, marvelling at ancient forests, and wondering at the history behind mysterious shipwrecks. And there’s a very special kind of magic behind the Wildlife Wonders experience.
The journey you take at Wildlife Wonders has been crafted and created by Brian Massey – an Art Director of ‘The Hobbit’ films, and landscape designer of New Zealand’s award winning Hobbiton experience.
Every twist and turn in the path, every carefully crafted piece of wood, every cosy nook and open vista has been imagined and overseen by Brian, who has worked with a team of craftsmen led by Shayne Neal to bring this vision to life.
Brian has combined his expertise with that of conservation scientists, zoologists, botanists, wildlife veterinarians, landscapers and interpretation specialists to create a space that is wonderful for people and for wildlife. The result is a range of stunning natural landscapes where the resident animals feel at home and protected, and where our visitors have the best chance of incredible encounters with wildlife in their natural habitat.
“If I do my job well, no one will even know that I’ve been here,” said Brian during the construction phase. “It’s all about augmenting a wonderful landscape to steer the experience of land, botanics and animals.”
Designed to be hidden from view, 1.4km of fencing encloses an area of more than 30 acres, creating a safe haven for the bandicoots, potoroos, koalas and other native species who live here, protected from the feral predators – cats and foxes – which would otherwise prey upon them.
You can’t help feeling that you’ve just stepped back (or forwards) in time, into a magical version of the Otways free from introduced predators, where our native animals have the best possible chance of survival.