Seeing animals in the wild is one of the great things in life, and certainly at Phillip Island you can see the fairy penguins and seals, and outside of Melbourne you will no doubt come across farm animals such as sheep and cows and also most likely wallabies and kangaroos.
There are also wildlife parks and zoos where you can see animals up close – and these are some of the places to go –
Melbourne Zoo – Elliot Ave Parkville, close to the City. Here you will find tigers, lions, elephants and also lots of birds, and Australian animals too. There is also an after dark experience and lots more.
Melbourne Aquarium – Cnr King and Flinders Sts in the City. Here you can see many species of sea horses, King Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, and all sorts of other marine creatures.
Australian Shark and Ray Centre – 41 Princes H’wy, Dandenong South. This is a really unique experience feeding rays and sharks who come right up to you, creating a very memorable experience for you, no matter what age you are.
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park – 550 Tyabb Rd, Pearcedale (About 30 to 45 minutes from the City). Here you can get up close to wallabies, Koalas and kangaroos, and see all sorts of birds including Owls, Parrots, Honeyeaters, and even a ‘Bush Thick Knee’ bird, one of the 50 species of birds in the Park.
Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary – Badger Creek Rd, Healesville (in the Yarra Valley) See Australian wildlife, parrots and eagles too at this very special part of the world. See a Tasmanian Devil and learn more about the conservation efforts to save them from extinction.
Werribee Open Range Zoo at K. Road, Werribee (about 30 to 45 minutes west of the City). Here you will find an open range zoo with Asian, Australian and African animals including Cheetahs, Rhinos, Zebras, Giraffes and monkeys at the Zoo which is part of the Werribee Park Tourism Precinct, where there is the Werribee Park Mansion built in 1870, and the Victoria State Rose Garden, and the National Equestrian Centre. Just south of Werribee is also the RAAF Museum.
Halls Gap Zoo – (3 hours north-west from Melbourne). 4061 Ararat-Halls Road, Halls Gap – in the Grampians. Victoria’s biggest Regional Zoo, with a large variety of Australian animals and birds including many rare and endangered species.
Ballarat Wildlife Zoo – (3 hours from Melbourne) Cnr York and Russell Sts, East Ballarat – (03) 5333 5933. Lots of Australian animals, reptiles, crocodiles and close up encounters with the animals, with feeding times and other activities.
FARM EXPERIENCES –
Collingwood Children’s Farm – St Heliers St, Abbotsford (5km East of the city) has a number of farm animals and is ideally located on a seven hectare farm property next to the Yarra River. See cows, calves, goats, pigs, sheep and sometimes lambs. There is also a market here in the 2nd Saturday of each month.
Chesterfield Farm – 1221 Ferndale Gully Rd, Scoresby, east of the City. This is a real working farm on a larger property of 110 Hectares and you will be able to see lots of farm animals.
Animal Land Children’s Farm – 190 Duncans Lane, Diggers Rest , off the Calder Highway, north west of the City (only slightly further than the airport). Here you will also find lots of farm animals and learn about their lives, and farming.
ALSO look for Farm Stays in the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley and other areas outside of Melbourne – to gain a feel for rural life in Australia.
DOG SHOWS – see www.dogsvictoria.org.au
The main (but not the only )dog show venue is KCC Park on the Western Port Highway (near corner of Wedge Rd) in the suburb of Skye. Here you will find dog shows on most weekends throughout the year, but check online to find the time and day to travel to see dogs being shown and meet breeders.
We hope you have a good time in Melbourne.
The Royal Melbourne Show is held each year for 10 days from around the 20th of September. This is also a great time to see Melbourne too.