Melbourne has a great deal to offer in the ways of animal sanctuaries and zoos. Each of them is worth the trip to see. These three are the main ones that everyone should know about: the Melbourne Zoo, The Werribee Open Range Zoo and the Healesville Sanctuary. If you are visiting Melbourne, you have to make sure to visit these places before you leave.
The three major zoos of Victoria are extremely committed to fighting wildlife extinction. The Zoos is trying to become one of the world’s leading zoo-based conservation organisation. They are doing this by being involved in conservation programs throughout six different countries, eight grass-roots community conservation campaigns, and more than 50 research projects. Just from this, you can see how dedicated to the cause of saving animals. They aim to inspire communities to commit to the conservation of wildlife and wild places by connecting people and wildlife. I believe that there is an inherent connection between the survival of an animal and their connection to the community. By getting the community to care about the animals around them, then their chances of survival increase. They have a Wildlife Conservation Master Plan 2019-2024 it is dedicated to the recovery of 27 threatened native species.
Address: Elliott Ave, Parkville, VIC 3052
Located within Royal Park in Parkville, approximately 4 kilometres north of the centre of Melbourne. This fact makes Melbourne Zoo is the easiest zoo to access from the city since it is so close. When you arrive there, you wouldn’t believe how close it actually is to the city.
The Melbourne Zoo is the primary zoo serving Melbourne. The zoo contains more than 320 animal species from both Australia and around the world.
The best thing about the Zoo is that you can take a stroll through the lush rainforests and meet some incredible animals along the way. You can see the tigers prowl in their habitats or watch each of the monkeys swing from tree to tree. Or why not take you time to come face to face with the gorgeous orang-utans in their special elevated home. Most certainly, you cannot miss the Trail of Elephants, where you can see each of the elephants in their enclosure from many different angles.
Or if you fancy seeing some unique Australian wildlife including koalas and kangaroos in amongst the stunning native flora then follow the native Australian wildlife track. But if you are more interested in some underwater friends. Then head into an underwater world which showcases the playful Victorian little penguins and fur seals.
On average, your day at the zoo should take you about 3-4 hours to complete, it will take longer if you experience all the different keeper talks and activities up for offer. It is recommended to book out an entire day. You wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing one of your favourite zoo animals because you had to rush around the park.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Address: K Rd, Werribee South, VIC 3030
You can get the chance of a lifetime and be able to experience an African adventure which just 30 minutes from Melbourne.
One of the main attractions that the Werribee open range zoo has to offer is the guided safari. Your trip to the zoo is not complete without jumping on one of these trucks and journeying across the unique open range savannah and spot rhinos, giraffes and zebras! Be on the lookout for all kinds of animals.
Once you have completed your safari take your time on the walking trails. Here you can come face-to-face with a pride of lions, or visit one of the world’s largest gorilla exhibits. Why not watch the cheeky monkeys play in their enclosure and have fun. You can also discover a family of hippos in their wetland home.
If you are looking for an evening experience, the new Sunset Safari offers a three-hour program which includes dinner, safari and entertainment. Or for visitors looking for unique accommodation, check out the overnight glamping experience, Slumber Safari.
Similar to the Melbourne Zoo, it would take you anywhere between 4-6 hours to complete your trek around the zoo. Each activity and keeper talk that you take part in will eat at your time. So once again, it is best to set aside a day and explore the zoo at a leisurely pace.
Address: Badger Creek Road, Healesville, VIC 3777
Why not take a wander through the tranquil tracks and here you will be able to meet over 200 species of Australian animals. You will be able to see some of the most iconic Australian animals, such as the koalas, kangaroos, platypus, dingoes, wombats and emus. The best part is that you will see them all in their natural surroundings.
Enjoy the fantastic Spirits of the Sky experience, this free show that takes place at Healesville Sanctuary daily. Please take a seat and watch the bird fly high above you and show off their amazing flying capabilities.
During your visit make sure that you do not miss the platypus show, Tales from Platypus Creek. It is here that you can come face-to-face with this iconic species in this interactive show. You can observe the platypus as they interact with keepers, play in the water and even enjoy having their tummies tickled.
Healesville Sanctuary is internationally renowned for its work saving endangered Australian species at the Australian Wildlife Center. You are even able to visit this centre. Here they treat more than 2000 sick and injured native animals every year. While visiting the centre, you can see their work in action.
Although Healesville sanctuary also feels smaller than the two previous zoos, it can still take you anywhere between 3-4 hours to complete. There is so much to see and do while visiting, and it would be a waste not to experience it all.
Animal Close Encounters
Each of the zoos provide their own close encounters. To be able to experience all the different ones up for offer you will just have to visit all the zoos.
At the Melbourne Zoo, you get the choice of a few animals to have a close encounter with. They each have a different price range, but all are insanely worth it. Some of the close encounters are but limited to, the Seal close-up, Meerkat close-up or the Giraffe close-up. My personal favourite at the Melbourne Zoo was when I was able to feed the Red Pandas. My most favourite animal in the world.
Or why not be close with animals at the Healesville Sanctuary. Here you are able to experience more of the Australian animals up close. The Koalas, Kangaroos and the Echidnas just to name a few.
And lastly, the Werribee Open Range Zoo allows you to get up close and personal with animals that are more specific to the savannah. You can have a close encounter with the Cheetahs or Lions. But also the Giraffes and Gorrilas. all would be amazing to see up close.
All of the money you spend purchasing the Close-up Encounter you are directly contributing to Zoos Victoria’s work to fight wildlife extinction. You get to have both an amazing experience and know that you are helping these animals in the process.
The tickets prices are the same for each of the Zoos.
Child (4-15 years)
Child (0-3 years)
Child Concession (4-15 years)
For those with families there are deals that can make sure that you do not have to fork out as much money. Because the zoos want everyone to be able to experience the animals.
2 Adults + 2 Children
2 Adults + 3 Children
2 Adults + 4 Children
2 Adults + 5 Children
If you happen to live in Victoria or Australia, then purchasing the Zoo membership is definitely a worthwhile thing.