By Michael Ghali

Melbourne Zoo is quite amazing and is worth visiting on your own, with kids or with extended family and friends. The zoo was first opened in 1862 and today contains more than 320 species from Australia and around the world. The venue is centrally located on Elliott Avenue, Parkville and can easily be accessed via Royal Park Station on the Upfield Railway line as well as on tram routes 55 and 19. Besides its central location, the zoo has much to offer.

Visitors can enjoy daily animal presentations as animal shows are provided every thirty minutes between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm. The seals are normally on show at 11:30 and the presentation the staff put on is one not to be missed. The clever thing to do here would be to arrive at the zoo prior to 10:30 so that proper time is allocated to enjoying the various zoo presentations. The other great thing to note is that free guided tours are offered by Zoos Victoria volunteers including tours for mobility and visually impaired visitors.

A pamphlet with a map of the Zoo is also provided to help visitors navigate their way around Melbourne Zoo. There is no doubt that children will love coming in close contact with Lemurs, zebras, giraffes and many more of their other favourite animals. Informative planks are also located all around the zoo to help better educate visitors about the animals at Melbourne Zoo, but more importantly keep the kids engaged as they continue exploring.

Kids will not complain of boredom as a number of activities are organised for them to undertake at the Zoo. Children can take part in the ‘Growing Wild’ activity, or dress up and become a keeper with the ‘Keeper Kids’ activity. They may on the other hand want to take on the ‘Gorilla Phone’ challenge and see how many phones they can find as they walk around the Zoo with parents. Regardless of which activity children choose to undertake, it is clear that they are well catered for.

Speaking of catering, visitors can purchase food and drinks from a number of kiosks located in and around the Zoo. Visitors can grab a bite at the Meerkat Manoor Cafe’ or have delicious scones and coffee at the Lakeside Bistro. Better yet, have a picnic with friends and family at the Melbourne Zoos Japanese Garden. Make a day of it and get out there because spending the day at the Zoo may just be the thing for you.

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