Kennett River, Victoria

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Kennett River
Kennett River Koala Cove Cafe.JPG
Koala Cove Cafe
Kennett River is located in Colac Otway Shire
Kennett River
Kennett River
Coordinates38°40′0″S 143°51′0″E / 38.66667°S 143.85000°E / -38.66667; 143.85000Coordinates: 38°40′0″S 143°51′0″E / 38.66667°S 143.85000°E / -38.66667; 143.85000
Population41 (2016 census)[1]
LGA(s)Colac Otway Shire
State electorate(s)Polwarth
Federal Division(s)Corangamite
Localities around Kennett River:
Barramunga Wye River Wye River
Barramunga Kennett River Bass Strait
Mount Sabine Wongarra Grey River

Kennett River is a small seaside town in Victoria, Australia.

Situated 174 kilometres (108 mi) west of Melbourne, on the Otway Coast portion of the scenic Great Ocean Road, Kennett River is a popular tourist destination 27 kilometres (17 mi) from the resort town of Lorne, Victoria.


The river running through the town was named by surveyor George Smythe after the River Kennet in Berkshire, England.[2]

In 1882, Alex MacLennan and his cousins, the MacReas, were looking for an area suited to farming and fishing. MacLennan chose this site, which he named The Kennet. His cousins settled on the other side of the creek at a site named Wye River.[3]

Kennett River Post Office opened on 15 December 1938 and closed in about 1984.[4]


The area is known for scenic coastal views, whale watching, the Great Otway National Park, and surfing.[5] Although koala populations have declined across the country,[6] Kennett River is still considered one of the best places in Australia to see them in the wild.[7][8][9] The Victoria State Government has implemented plans in the Cape Otway area to manage the koala population and improve their health,[10] though some of the actions taken have been controversial.[11]

The area is also home to a variety of birds, including cockatoos, parrots, rosellas, owls, and kookaburras,[12] and to glow-worms.[13]

Kennett River has a Surf Lifesaving Club (SLSC) that was established in 1963.[14]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Kennett River (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 17 November 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Bird, Eric (12 October 2006). "Place Names on the Coast of Victoria" (PDF). The Australian National Placename Survey (ANPS). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Koala Spotting and Surfing at Kennett River". Melbourne Tours. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  4. ^ Phoenix Auctions History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Kennett River". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  6. ^ Adams-Hosking, Christine. "A report claims koalas are 'functionally extinct' – but what does that mean?". The Conversation. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Kennett River koalas, Attraction, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia". Visit Victoria. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Wildlife of the Otway Coast Hamlets Great Ocean Road Australia". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  9. ^ "7 of the best places... to see koalas". Radio Times. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  10. ^ Wildlife (8 May 2019). "Koalas at Cape Otway". Wildlife. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  11. ^ Milman, Oliver (28 September 2015). "Victoria's Otway koalas: 'If we don't intervene, they will die a painful death'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Wildlife of the Otway Coast Hamlets Great Ocean Road Australia". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Kennett River travel | Victoria, Australia". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  14. ^ Best, Alleyn (2002). 50 years and more: A history of Surf Life Saving Victoria. St. Kilda, Victoria: Surf Life Saving Victoria A.C.N. p. 127.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kennett River, Victoria at Wikimedia Commons