If you are visiting Melbourne, or just taking a holiday around town, visiting one or all of the Victoria Zoos make for a great time. You can learn about the animals, get up and personal with them, and get educated about conservation and preservation. There are 3 zoos that make up the Victoria Zoos: The Melbourne Zoo, The Werribee Zoo, and the Healesville Sanctuary. Each one has different things to see and do. Visit all three, or choose a favourite.
Sumatran Orang-utan Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Melbourne
Hiring a Car in Melbourne
As you can see, there are many car hire locations in Melbourne, making it convenient to rent a vehicle whether you are already in the city or coming in through the airport. The car rental locations in Melbourne are separated into north, east, south, and west regions. You can hire a car in Melbourne City, or as one of the 3 airports: Melbourne Airport car hire centre, Melbourne Airport West, or the Avalon Airport just to name a few of the convenient car hire locations in Melbourne. When you rent a car with Budget, be sure to consult with our specialists and ask about travel tips about Melbourne, share maps with you and educate you as to any driving or safety restrictions.
Things to do at the Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Zoo Map Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Melbourne
The Melbourne zoo is located just 4 km north of Melbourne’s city centre; it is a short car ride and also accessible via tram routes or on bicycle. Children of all ages can appreciate the fun and wonder of the animals at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, more commonly known as the Melbourne Zoo. It is the oldest zoo in Australia, it opened way back in 1862. The focus of the zoo is on education and fighting extinction. You can visit their website to plan out your day in advance. There are close to 30 different animals to see and learn about there. Read on to see all of the different things you can do during a day (or night) at the Melbourne Zoo in addition to seeing all of the regular animal exhibits.
Behind the Scenes Tours
Endangered Sumatran Tiger Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Melbourne
You can gain exclusive access to behind the scenes tours. The zoo keepers will explain how you can help animals like the Sumatran Tiger and the Sumatran Orang-utans that are in danger of extinction.
Close up Encounters at the Melbourne Zoo
Feeding Giraffes Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Melbourne
There are several different close-up encounters that you can make a special reservation for. You can choose from giraffes, meerkats, coati, kangaroo, squirrel monkeys, or seals.
Special Events at the Zoo
If you have a special event coming up, you could consider holding it at the Melbourne Zoo; they have facilities for weddings, parties, and other events.
Melbourne Zoo Roar & Snore
Melbourne Zoo’s Roar and Snore Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Melbourne
If you are really up for a zoo adventure, check out the Melbourne Zoo’s Road & Snore overnight camping packages. The old elephant exhibit that was built in the 1940’s has been renovated and transformed into a unique campground where guests can explore the mysteries of the Melbourne Zoo after dark.
Things to do at the Healesville Sanctuary
Healesville Sanctuary Map Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Healesville
The Healesville Sanctuary is about an hour’s drive east of Melbourne. It is in a rural area near the Yarra Valley and provides a natural bushland environment for the native Australian wildlife in the sanctuary; in fact, it is 30 hectares of natural settings for the animals. The primary focus of the sanctuary is protecting animals from extinction. Read on to see some of the highlights to plan for when visiting the sanctuary. The Sanctuary’s Australian Wildlife Health Centre treats over 2,000 sick and injured native Australian animals each year.
Kangaroo Encounter Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Healesville
Magic Moments is one of the extra adventures you can add on to your admission ticket. There are a variety of 10 minute Magic Moments options that you can choose from to experience an up close and personal wildlife experience with the kangaroos, a python, echidnas, koalas, or dingoes.
Wade with the Platypus
Platypus Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Healesville
Wade with the Platypus is a unique, hands on experience where you get to see and care for a Platypus up close. This is a once in a lifetime experience because these mammals are very illusive and rare to see in the wild.
Spirits of the Sky
Spirits of the Sky Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Healesville
The Spirits of the Sky bird show is included with your admission to the sanctuary. Learning about the majestic birds during this show is one of the highlights of your day at Healesville Sanctuary.
Wombat Pat and Play
Wombat Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Healesville
During this personal encounter, you will learn fun facts. For example, these stocky little guys can run faster than 100 metres in 10 seconds.
Things to do at the Werribee Zoo
Werribee Zoo Map Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Werribee
The Werribee Zoo is only about a 30 minute drive southwest of Melbourne. It is an open range zoo that features many of the magnificent animals of the African Savannah. It is like taking an African safari but in Australia.
Safari Tour Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Werribee
The Safari Tour is a 40 minute safari-like bus tour through the zoo that takes you past the grassland animals in the zoo. The tour is part of your admissions price and gives you a rare look at these African animals in what is close to their wild habitat unrestrained by an enclosure.
Mini Zoo Keepers
Mini Zoo Keepers Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Werribee
This safari tour is geared towards little zoo keepers aged 5 and under. During the adventure they will come face-to-face with meerkats, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, and rhinos.
Gorilla Behind the Scenes
The special add-on is offered to those who want to get up close and personal with the gorillas; our closest living relatives. During this encounter you might be able to participate in a training session, an enrichment activity, activity feed, or hear a discussion about gorilla behaviours and characteristics.
Slumber Safari Photo Credit: Zoo.org.au/Werribee
Having a sleepover at the zoo is an incredible and memorable experience for everyone. This is a fully hosted experience that includes close-up animal encounters, drinks and dips at sunset, a delicious dinner, some amazing night-time activities that include a night walk, toasting marshmallows around the campfire, and then a super supper of scones, jam, and cream. In the morning, you can wake up with the animals on the African savannah and dine on a buffet breakfast with a view in the Safari Dining Hut.