Australia's oldest zoo is also its boldest... how can 320 species and live entertainment be wrong?
Opened in 1862, Royal Melbourne Zoo is the oldest zoo in Australia and the third oldest in the world. Yet despite its age, this sprawling zoo has remained a firm favourite in the hearts and imaginations of Melburnians young and old because it never stops evolving - the Monkey Island built in 1938 recently became home to a thriving colony of Australian Fur Seals and Little Penguins and, on November 15 2010, the Zoo took delivery of a bouncing baby elephant, Ongard (on view daily 11am-3pm alongside mama Kulab and "aunty" Num-Oi). A trip to Melbourne Zoo done right is a full-day odyssey across 320 species and various animal ampitheatres - landscaped gardens full of birds, tropical hothouses fluttering with butterflies, natural bush settings bouncing with native animals, aquariums bubbling over with platypus, seals, penguins and fish and wild open plains where giraffe, lions and other marvels of the natural world roam. In summer the joint hosts the spectacular live shows Twilights at the Zoo, and there are amazing Roar 'n' Snore experiences allowing rare-access camp-outs in Zoo grounds.
Children aged up to 15 years can now enter free of charge on public holidays, weekends, and Victorian state school holidays.