Did you know that during school holidays and on public holidays your kids can visit the zoo for free?
Who's Looking at You?
If you are looking for a cheap outing and a way to drag the kids away from computers and the Xbox for a few hours then take a fresh look at Melbourne Zoo. They will also be enjoying fresh air, exercise, and learning in the best way possible, through personal experience.
You can even bring their friends or the neighbour's kids and it will only cost the price of your own entry. Pack a picnic lunch and some cold drinks as the food can be quite pricey.
Bring Your Friends
Melbourne Zoo has been creating some amazing new exhibits and unique activities to draw the crowds in. Some of the newest enclosures allow you to be immersed in the natural environment such as the butterfly house and bird aviary, or be up close to the animals such as in the new, walk through lemur exhibit.
Other wilder animals can be seen in an authentic environment from behind special glass such as the gorilla habitat or Sumatran orangutans, where you will feel like you've been transported to a tropical jungle.
For a really special treat that will provide an unforgettable experience for a child, you can now pay to go inside certain enclosures with the keeper and feed the animals. Called 'Close Up Encounters' you or your child will be guided into the enclosures of the giraffes, meerkats, squirrel monkeys, kangaroos, seals or coatis for a special meeting with their favourite animal. You can even have a photo taken by a professional as a memento. This would make an amazing birthday present for your child. Check the website for age restrictions and times.
Some parents and older readers may remember the very special occasion of the birth of Bono and Suma, the twin orang-utans back in 1978. Suma (now known as Kiani) is now a mum herself and lives with her daughter Kamil and a young male called Malu in the new orang-utan sanctuary. Kiana loves to interact with visitors and will often be seen coming right up to the glass to say hello. She even likes to mimic her keepers when she gets her hands on a broom.
In the latest 'Behind the Scene' encounters, you can enter the enclosure with the keeper and learn about Kiani and her family, help prepare their food and special animal enrichment activities.
Other wild encounters include entering the new elephant paddock and helping the keepers use food for an enormous game of hide and seek. There is now raised arena seating to grab a great vantage point to watch the elephants romp and play. See adorable baby elephant Man Jai as he tears about interacting playfully with his family. Check out the gorilla or tiger behind the scenes encounters too.
During these school holidays and throughout winter you can pick up a special clue card and play a game of detective with Barry the Eastern Barred Bandicoot in the 'Go Undercover' super sleuth adventure to help solve the mystery and fight orang-utan extinction.
Melbourne Zoo is still one of Melbourne's top tourist attractions and arguably the best zoo in the country. New exhibits and activities are being developed constantly so there will be something new every time you visit.
I love your photos, the butterfly especially stands out for me:)
We visited the zoo on Thursday and although it was the busiest day of the school holidays so far the queues moved well ( at the back entry) and the atmosphere was great. The animals were out and about enjoying the sunshine. 'Lemur Island' was fantastic and the lemur's seem to be very social little animals and unfazed by the buzz around them.
It was a most enjoyable day at the zoo and a great idea for the school holidays.