Wildlife Encounters in Melbourne

July 5, 2012 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Top Attractions

Feeding time on Phillip Island

Feeding time on Phillip Island

There are many opportunities for visitors to Melbourne to enjoy the native Australian wildlife. Below we’ve listed several areas where you can encounter some of these critters in Melbourne.

Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville

Healesville Sanctuary is the best place in Melbourne to see native Australian animals. Get up close to dingoes, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, platypuses and more! Don’t miss the fabulous bird show held daily at 12pm and 2.30pm. Healesville is about 75 minutes from Melbourne by road.

Melbourne Zoo, Parkville

Melbourne Zoo also houses indigenous animals including a small colony of Australian Fur Seals, Australian Pelicans and Little Blue Penguins. Other non-native wildlife includes elephants, big cats, gorillas, giraffes and bears. The Zoo is in Parkville, just a short tram ride from Melbourne’s central business district.

Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne CBD

Meet King and Gentoo Penguins at the aquarium and walk through several Australian ecosystems including a reef, billabong, rock pools and a mangrove swamp. The aquarium is an easy walking distance from Flinders Street Station in central Melbourne.

Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee

Werribee Zoo offers the chance to go on safari and see a range of exotic animals up close. Explore the indigenous animals walking trail to see emus, kookaburras and kangaroos and then jump on the bus to visit lions, rhinos, hippos and gorillas! Werribee is only 30 minutes by road from Melbourne.

Phillip Island

Phillip Island offers wild encounters with Australian fur seals, pelicans and those cute little waddlers: the fairy penguins. As well as seeing all of the former going about their business in the wild you can also visit sanctuaries to see koalas, cassowaries and other indigenous animals up close.  Philip Island is nearly 2 hours by road from Melbourne.

Wilsons Promontory

Gorgeous Wilsons Prom offers the best chance of encountering Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. You’re virtually guaranteed a wombat sighting after dark (particularly if you’re camping and leave food outside!). You may also stumble across snakes (be warned – many of them are deadly!), koalas, kangaroos and emus.

- Emma McMahon

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Melbourne tours and things to do, Melbourne attractions, and Melbourne travel recommendations, or book a private tour guide in Melbourne for a customized tour!

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