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A Guide to Melbourne Zoo: Australia’s Premier Wildlife Park

This has got to be up there with one of the best zoos in Australia, so if you’re looking to experience the best of Australian wildlife, Melbourne Zoo is a must-visit destination. As one of the oldest and most renowned zoos in Australia, it offers an exceptional glimpse into the world of animals, conservation, and education. Situated just a short distance from the heart of Melbourne, this zoo is a haven for animal lovers and families alike.

History and Overview

A Rich History

Melbourne zoo, officially known as the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, was established in 1862, making it the oldest zoo in Australia. Over the years, it has evolved significantly, transforming from a simple collection of exotic animals to a modern, world-class wildlife sanctuary dedicated to conservation and education.

Location and Accessibility

Conveniently located just 4 kilometers north of Melbourne’s city center, Melbourne Zoo is easily accessible by public transport, car, and even bike. This central location makes it an ideal day trip for both locals and tourists.

Wildlife Exhibits

Australian Bush

One of the highlights of Melbourne Zoo is the Australian Bush section, where visitors can encounter iconic native animals such as kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and emus. This immersive exhibit replicates the natural habitat of these animals, providing a glimpse into the unique wildlife of Australia.

African Rainforest

Step into the lush African Rainforest and meet some of the most fascinating creatures from the African continent. From the majestic lions and cheeky monkeys to the colorful birds and reptiles, this exhibit offers a captivating experience for all ages.

Trail of the Elephants

The Trail of the Elephants is another must-see exhibit at Melbourne Zoo. This beautifully designed habitat simulates an Asian village setting, where you can observe the elephants up close and learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts to protect these magnificent creatures.

Wild Sea

For those interested in marine life, the Wild Sea exhibit is a treat. It features penguins, seals, and other sea creatures in a setting that mimics their natural ocean habitats. This exhibit emphasizes the importance of marine conservation and the threats facing our oceans.

Visitor Experiences

Animal Encounters

Melbourne Zoo offers a variety of animal encounters that allow visitors to get closer to their favorite animals. Whether it’s feeding a giraffe, meeting a meerkat, or going behind the scenes with the zookeepers, these experiences provide unforgettable memories.

Keeper Talks and Presentations

Throughout the day, visitors can attend keeper talks and presentations that offer insights into the animals’ behaviors, diets, and conservation statuses. These educational sessions are a great way to learn more about the incredible wildlife at the zoo.

Playgrounds and Picnic Areas

Families with children will appreciate the playgrounds and picnic areas scattered throughout the zoo. These spots provide a perfect place to relax and let the kids burn off some energy between exploring the exhibits.

Conservation and Education

Commitment to Conservation

Melbourne Zoo is deeply committed to conservation efforts both locally and globally. The zoo participates in various breeding programs for endangered species and works with international organizations to protect wildlife and their habitats.

Educational Programs

The zoo offers a range of educational programs for schools and the general public. These programs aim to raise awareness about wildlife conservation and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

Plan Your Visit

Opening Hours and Tickets

Melbourne Zoo is open every day of the year from 9 am to 5 pm. It’s advisable to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid queues and ensure entry, especially during peak times.

Getting There

The zoo is easily accessible by train, tram, and bus. If you’re driving, there is ample parking available. Cycling enthusiasts can also take advantage of the bike racks provided at the entrance.

Food and Beverage Options

Several cafes and kiosks within the zoo offer a variety of food and drink options. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a sit-down meal, there’s something to suit every taste.


Melbourne Zoo is more than just a place to see animals; it’s a hub of education, conservation, and family fun. Its diverse exhibits and dedication to wildlife protection make it one of Australia’s premier wildlife parks. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to Melbourne Zoo is sure to be an enriching and memorable experience.

For a detailed comparison of Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Zoo, visit our website at

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