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Travel, Things To Do

A Day at the Melbourne Zoo

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Melbourne Zoo is a world class zoo and offers diversity and hours of fun engagement for locals and tourists alike.

As a global city there is an imperative for Melbourne to offer a world class zoo for its population and the many visitors to this city. Even if you've been to many a zoo, the Melbourne Zoo is well worth a visit. Open 9:00am to 5:00pm every day of the year.

Check admission prices here.

Over the last few years Melbourne Zoo has stepped up and is a compelling destination not to be missed. Melbourne Zoo is accessible with cheap parking and convenient public transport, reasonably priced (children free on weekends and holidays), and there is a good selection of animals and creative spaces. Also an important factor - the catering here is surprisingly good.

At Melbourne Zoo, you can meet over 300 different species from around the world, only minutes from the city centre! 
See majestic Asian Elephants, sleek Sumatran Tigers and Orang-utans swinging through the trees. Visit the Gorilla Rainforest, or see koalas and kangaroos in our Australian bush setting. And discover exciting new interactive exhibits designed especially for kids.You will get the chance to learn all about our animals, our fight to save wildlife from extinction and what you can do to help.

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We've journeyed to Melbourne Zoo several times in recent years with the kids for a day of adventure. What I love to do is grab a map on entry, but then hand it to the kids. Give them the responsibility of leading us along! On hot days we have to make sure the kids have sunscreen applied and a hat.

All over the zoo are free water fountains for the public to drink cool water - a wonderful thing during the hot weather. The advent of green lawn spaces is also a great thing.

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On certain days Melbourne Zoo can get busy, notably weekends and public holidays. You need to keep an eye on your kids with thousands wandering the park. Notwithstanding there's a sense of adventure, with surprises all over. 

You don't get the impression of animals caged up into small enclosures, but it seems by world standards the enclosures are largish...

Here's some attractions - 

Melbourne Zoo’s Growing Wild exhibit is an exciting interactive area designed especially for children aged 3 to 8 years. Kids can patrol for danger alongside the Meerkats, burrow through tunnels and climb inside Giant Tortoise shells.
In the Keeper Kids playspace, kids can experience what it’s like to work at a zoo. A fun range of activities is designed to stimulate the imagination and nurture a connection with the natural world.
The Butterfly House offers one of the zoo’s most loved – and magical – experiences. Immerse yourself in the lush vegetation that is home to hundreds of spectacularly coloured native butterflies. Butterflies were landing on our hats, even on our hands! You need to keep still. Who would have thought our kids favourite section was the butterflies!
The award-winning trail of the elephants invites visitors into an Asian village and garden setting which is home to five Asian Elephants.
Get up close to the irresistible Ring-tailed Lemurs in our new Lemur Island exhibit!

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Melbourne Zoo is also excellent when it comes to catering. While some may wish to bring their own food, there are a number of options when it comes to food and drink.

Catering includes - 

Lakeside Bistro (upmarket indoors)

Zoo Bakery (popular, sit outside in courtyard to enjoy gourmet pies, sandwiches, baguettes, freshly baked bread)

Plaza Take Away (ready to go meals - where we go if in a hurry)

Meerkat Manor Cafe (treats from the Zoo Bakery and coffee)

Village Kiosk (next to Elephant Barn)

Giraffe's BBQ Kiosk (popular operating in peak periods to serve sausages and kransky's - the aromas draw you in)

Wild Dog's Cafe - Mexican stacks during peak periods


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We make sure we pace ourselves and try to take in everything. You need to budget several hours to do the Melbourne Zoo.

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Every zoo has it's lion enclosure...

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The indoor Wild Sea development is a high quality facility where you can check out cute penguins. Melbourne Zoo is a successful breeder of Australian Little Penguins, sending some to other zoos, interstate and overseas, to support breeding programs for these fascinating flightless birds. Meeting the penguins at Melbourne Zoo is an important way to connect with the animals of Australia, and to learn about the Zoo’s conservation programs, especially those aimed at conserving threatened native species. The money you spend helps to support the Zoo’s conservation programs.

You can arrange to Meet the Keepers and there are Twilight Sessions with concerts from leading performers.