No two Melbourne Zoo visits are ever the same. Sure, we've all got our favourite animals – chilled-out lions, cheeky monkeys, heart-warming elephant families – but in addition to looking after creatures great and small, the staff at Melbourne Zoo are constantly creating brand new experiences to enhance visitors' experiences. Here are four of our top picks, but for the full list of activities, visit the website and start planning your Zoo adventure.
Your Zoo adventure starts here
What’s that through the trees – a flash of orange? A red tongue? Watching the Sumatran tigers in their enclosure is one of the most surreal and breathtaking experiences at Melbourne Zoo. Now, you can get even closer to these critically endangered animals with a behind the scenes experience with a zoo keeper. You’ll learn about how zoo keepers care for the tigers, head into the exhibit (while the tiger is safely in a separate area) and set up enrichment activities. Then, you’ll watch as the tiger enjoys the treats and scents you’ve left out for them. The best part? Your experience contributes to the work of Zoos Victoria to fight extinction of these beautiful animals in the wild.
Book here. $55 per person.
The Melbourne Zoo’s big, bustling meerkat family is one of the most popular attractions with kids and adults alike – and we’re not surprised. Now, you can get even closer to these frisky little creatures with the help of a zoo keeper. Learn more about these entertaining animals, and have your camera at the ready for the ultimate meerkat selfie. For more close-up animal encounters, visit the website: you could also spend time with kangaroos, giraffes and giant tortoises.
Book here. $30 per person.
No Melbourne Zoo visit is complete without paying a visit to the Australian Fur Seals. These cheeky and playful seals enjoy a happy life at the Zoo, showing off their aquatic skills to visitors watching from the underwater viewing area and basking in the sun. Happily, these seals are increasing in numbers in the wild on the south-eastern coast of Australia, but your visit helps Melbourne Zoo to further protect these special animals from dangers, like getting entangled from nets and plastic dumped in waterways.
Book here. $30 per person.
Sleepover at the zoo with Melbourne Zoo’s ‘Roar ’n’ Snore’ experience. You’ll be sleeping in the Historic Elephant Exhibit (they’ve since moved house), which has been revitalised to become a comfortable camping ground. Wine and dine while you take in the sights, smells and sounds of the Zoo after dark, where many animals are at their most active. Later, listen to the stories of life at the Zoo from your camp hosts. Your next morning begins with bird and gibbon calls, and ends with admission to the Zoo, for another round of animal encounters.
Book here. $150-$199.