Melbourne Zoo is an amazing animal attraction located just minutes from the centre of Melbourne city. Experience and encounter 320 different animal species inside this historic zoo, famous for being Australia’s oldest zoo, as well as a non-profit attraction with a strong conservation focus. This unique and affordable attraction is an absolute must-see for any Melbourne visitors, no matter their age or interests.

Highlights

  • The Butterfly House – One of Melbourne Zoo’s most amazing experiences is the Butterfly House, where you can experience the world of Australia’s tropical and subtropical butterflies. Inside the heated glasshouse, anyone can surround themselves with the zoo’s many friendly butterflies, that happily land all over visitors, thinking them nothing more than trees.

  • Meet The Keeper – Learn as much as you can about the animals of Melbourne Zoo from the people who are closest to them: their keepers. There are a regular meet the keeper talks throughout the day, as per the schedule below. This might be subject to change, but announcements at the zoo will let visitors know of any changes.
Giant Tortoises 10:30am
Koalas 10:30am
Elephants 11:00am, 3:00pm
Seals 11:30am
Orang-utans 12:00pm
Gorillas 12:30pm
Meerkats 1:00pm
Tigers 2:00pm
Penguins 3:30pm
  • Melbourne Zoo With Kids – Melbourne Zoo is the perfect place for kids to come and play thanks to the Growing Wild exhibit. This child-friendly (3-8 years) space is an exciting and interactive exhibit, filled with animals, sculptures, tunnels, sound and various fun equipment. There are three zones – ground, trees and water – and lots of animals to encounter including meerkats, giant tortoises, brush turkeys and much more. There’s also the Keeper Kids play space, where kids can role-play being a zookeeper and vet with the help of toys and costumes.
  • Wild Encounters – Melbourne Zoo offers a variety of different close-up animal encounters for those zoo visitors wanting to get even closer to the action. Along with expert zoo staff, visitors can be guided through their favourite animal exhibits, and meet the animals that call the zoo home. Animals available for close encounters include giraffes, kangaroos, coatis, meerkats, squirrel monkeys and seals. Photographs are available for purchase after the experience.
  • Animals Behind The Scenes – The Melbourne Zoo also offers four distinct behind the scenes animal experiences for visitors wanting to get close to some of the most famous animals at the zoo. These include the tigers, elephants, orang-utans and gorillas. These behind the scenes tours involve participating with the keeper in the care and entertainment needs of the animal.

  • Roar and Snore – A camping trip like no other Roar ‘n’ Snore gives visitors an opportunity to experience the nocturnal life of Melbourne Zoo. The zoo provides food and tents, which are set up inside the historic exhibit of the 1940s. As well as sleeping in the zoo and experiencing a night-time tour, visitors will be able to learn from the keepers, and see how life works behind the scenes at the zoo.

Prices

General Admission Price
Adult $30.80
Child (4-15, Monday to Friday) $13.60
Concession $23.60
Senior $27.70
Child (4-15, weekends/public & school holidays) FREE
Child (0-3) FREE
Family Package Deals Price
2 Adults, 1 Child $74.60
2 Adults, 2 Children $74.60
2 Adults, 3 Children $81.60
2 Adults, 4 Children $88.40
2 Adults, 5 Children $95.20
Other Activities and Encounters (zoo members can receive 10% discount) Adult Child
Close Encounters (in addition to admission, choice of animals, specifics available here) $25 $25
Animal Behind The Scenes (including admission, choice of animals) $73 $60
Animal Behind the Scenes (excluding admission, choice of animals) $50 $50

Tips

  • Age Limitations – Some of the animal encounters and close up experiences have age limits, which prevent some of Melbourne Zoo’s younger guests from enjoying the action while keeping them as safe as possible. If you’re interested in having your child participate in such an activity, make sure that the one you have in mind is suitable for their age group.
  • Events and Parties – Melbourne Zoo has a number of function spaces available for the use of individuals and businesses wanting to host their next event at the zoo. This can be anything from a children’s birthday party to the corporate event, and everything that is needed can be organised on site with the help of the expert zoo staff.
  • Other Attractions – Although it’s certainly possible to spend an entire day enjoying the wild surrounds of Melbourne Zoo, its proximity to the city means that there are a number of other attractions nearby that could also be visited in one day, like the Queen Victoria Markets and the Melbourne Museum.

Transport

  • Tram – Tram 55 runs from William Street to the front of Melbourne Zoo regularly throughout the day.
  • Train – Take a train on the Upfield line, from Flinders Street Station, stopping at Royal Park Station, the zoo’s dedicated train station.
  • Bus – Take bus 505 from Moonee Ponds to Melbourne University, and alight just outside of Melbourne Zoo.
  • Car – Drive just minutes from the city centre, and from Tullamarine Airport, and pay $2 for 5 hours parking.

History

Melbourne Zoo is Australia’s oldest zoo, opening on the 6th of October 1862. It was constructed, based on London Zoo, on a 55-acre parcel of land donated by Melbourne City. Prior to the zoo opening, a number of animals were kept at Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens.

From 1870 more exotic animals began to be added to the zoos collection for display, and by the early 1900s, zoo visitors could enjoy elephant rides, a bear pit and the spectacle of an orang-utan smoking a cigarette. Throughout the next century the zoo underwent a massive modernisation process, with more modern enclosures added to the growing garden and picnic spaces.

Now the zoo is dedicated to conservation and protection, involving itself heavily in the breeding of endangered species to fight extinction.

Interesting Facts

  • There are just over 5,100 animals in the Melbourne Zoo.
  • To assist in keeping them occupied, Melbourne Zoo teaches all of its elephants to paint, and sells some of their artwork in the Zoo Shop.
  • The Wild Sea habitat, which opened in 2009 cost around $20 million to build.

4 Reviews

  1. kathryntheadventurer
    kathryntheadventurer
    Australia 25 Comments
     -  05 Jan 2018

    Fantastic attraction

    A great zoo which has recently had some renovations, which in my opinion, completely enhance the experience. There is plenty to walk around and see. The best part is the free-roaming lemurs who you can get close to as they go about their antics. There’s plenty to amuse the kids. There are a bunch of ‘animal encounters’ that you can book (must be in advance). You can drive or take a tram or train to get there.

  2. Mademoiselle_MM
    Mademoiselle_MM
    Yugoslavia 17 Comments
     -  21 Aug 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    Melbourne Zoo is such cute place. I could stay there for days. So many animals who seem happy (if happy is the right word for a being who’s constantly closed), you can see people are taking good care of them. If you have kids, this is a perfect place for a family weekend. You can all come and play thanks to the Growing Wild exhibit. It’s really close to center, so you can come eather by car or by tram. Also, guides are kind and responsive. Highly recommend Melbourne Zoo for family people and animal lovers. :))

  3. kenzkuchi
    kenzkuchi 13 Comments
     -  20 Apr 2017

    Fantastic attraction

    I’m a big fan of animals(as my wife is a veterinarian) so I really enjoyed my stay here. Lot’s of animals who you can really say that are well taken care of. You can wander around since this is a pretty big Zoo.
    Guides are really helpful and informative regarding the animals.

  4. Luke 11 Comments
     -  17 Mar 2017

    It was good

    A fair zoo, though in my mind London zoo is better – it’s been years since I went there though so could be rose-tinted glasses. As with most zoos, it just seems too small. The butterfly house, though, is great. Also very funny to see people freaking out for some reason when a butterfly lands on them.

    Take the tram to get there!

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