I'm a Melbourne based freelance writer. I love getting out and exploring the city and beyond. If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe and you won't miss my future reviews!
Published June 26th 2017
Miss these 5 and you'll be zooper sorry
As zoo members, my son and I visit Melbourne Zoo regularly. We are often asked by friends and family, particularly those visiting from interstate or overseas, what the 'must see' attractions at Melbourne Zoo are. So, I've compiled this list:
1. The Butterfly House This has been my son's favourite part of the zoo ever since we started going 4 years ago. I've not encountered a better butterfly exhibit anywhere else. There is an amazing array of butterflies here, including the largest butterfly species in Australia – the Cairns Birdwing. If you are really still, you may even be lucky enough to have a butterfly land on your hat or bag, just be careful you don't carry it out of the enclosure with you. It is also a lovely place to pause on a cold day as it is always heated.
The lemur exhibition is really wonderful. Entering through an airlock you are greeted with a wonderfully landscaped area where the lemurs are free to roam across the paths and bridges meaning you can get really close to these cute creatures. There are a large number of lemurs here and they are entertaining to watch regardless of if they are eating, hanging out in their little huts or moving around the enclosure. Just remember that eating food is not allowed inside Lemur Island.
3. Elephants The Trail of the Elephants is a great area of the zoo, made to look like a village in Asia. There are two main paddocks to view the elephants and there are daily presentations at 11am & 3pm. You are able to watch the keepers interact with the elephants at close range. There is also a cafe area here and toilet facilities.
Another must see is the 11.30am Seal Presentation. The Wild Sea section of the zoo houses penguins, seals, sea horses, fish and other sea creatures. The seal viewing is terrific as you are able to look under the water at the seals swimming around as well as see them jumping out of the water and performing during the presentation. The seal show also has a serious side, serving to educate about the seals and ocean conservation. This is a very popular event for school groups so make sure you get there early to grab a seat.
5. The Tree Top Apes and Monkeys Who can resist seeing monkeys swinging from rope to rope or tree to tree? This area is very naturalistic. Access is via a raised boardwalk which allows visitors to look up and down at the high enclosures. Children seem to really enjoy watching the monkeys as they always seem so active and playful.
Honourable Mention – the Great Flight Aviary For overseas visitors the Australian Bush section of the zoo is a must see. Especially if time is short and a trip out to Healesville Sanctuary cannot be made. Here you can see all the iconic Australian animals and birds, such as koalas, kangaroos and emus. For my money, the best part is the Great Flight Aviary – a huge walk through aviary housing a vast array of birds, from wading birds and parrots to cassowaries.
To really do Melbourne Zoo justice it is best to allow a full day and really take your time as there are so many fantastic things to see.
In addition, there is always something new happening. In late 2017 a new part of the zoo will be opened, entitled "Leopard Ridge". I can't wait to see what the team at the zoo will come up with here.