Not all wildlife can be spotted freely roaming within their natural homes, despite the fact that Victoria has abundant wildlife habitats. Visit one of the state's acclaimed animal sanctuaries and see all of its wildlife delights at one location.
Located between Koo Wee Rup and Lang Lang, Caldermeade Farm is a great place to stop when making the journey between Melbourne and Phillip Island. A commercial dairy farm operates on the property, milking hundreds of cows per day, and visitors can observe the whole process taking place from an elevated viewing room. There is also an animal nursery where visitors of all ages can pat and feed a variety of baby animals including calves, lambs, goats, ducks and chickens. Take a stroll around the gardens where there is a lake, picnic shelters and playground. When you are all done, make your way to the fully licensed cafe for outstanding food, snacks or coffee.www.caldermeadefarm.com.au
The Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park is located on the Great Ocean Road at Princetown, just a short drive from the 12 Apostles. The 16 hectare property includes an animal sanctuary where native animals live in a free range setting, a petting area for visitors to interact with and hand feed friendly animals, a grazing field for herd animals, organic gardens and an orchard. Refreshments and European-style pizza available.www.wildlifepark.shop
Healesville Sanctuary is home to more than 200 species of native birds, mammals and reptiles, all within in a beautiful bushland setting. Visitors can experience close encounters with kangaroos, koalas, dingoes and echidnas. There several cafes and picnic grounds located within the zoo.
Experience the ultimate in wildlife encounters. Get up close with native animals including dingoes, koalas, emus, wombats and reptiles. Visitors are also educated on the history and conservation work being done at this centre to help preserve the biodiversity of Australia's native species.
Spot these lovable native animals by taking a stroll along the tree-top boardwalks and bush tracks. Guides are often on hand to explain the finer points of a koala's diet and lifestyle. The centre is also home to other native animals including echidnas, possums, wallabies and many species of birds.
The zoo is situated on 12 hectares of picturesque parkland and features the region's largest range of native and exotic animals together with a licensed cafe, gift shop and picnic areas. This is the type of zoo where the visitors get well and truly involved in feeding the animals.
Maru Koala & Animal Park is a great day out for kids and includes plenty of amusements and activities to keep the whole family entertained. Pat a koala, hand feed a kangaroo and see other animals including emus, dingoes, wombats and parrots.
Melbourne Zoo first opened its doors in 1862 and is now home to over 300 animal species. An exhilarating day can be had viewing native and international species of animals such as kangaroos, elephants, tigers, many different types of reptiles and cuddly koalas. Highlights include the lion gorge, orangutan sanctuary, giraffe viewing platform and the magical butterfly house. Melbourne Zoo offers great day out for the whole family.
An exotic and educational aquarium for visitors of all ages. It is dedicated to Southern Ocean and Antarctic marine life with many interactive experiences. Come face to face with huge sharks, get up and close to a colony of sub-Antarctic penguins, glide along in a glass bottom boat offering a unique window to an underwater world, and see the largest collection of seahorse and seadragons in the world.
Location: Melbourne CBDwww.visitsealife.com/melbourne
Situated between Warrnambool and Port Fairy, Tower Hill is located in an extinct volcano. Visitors are able to get up close and very personal with land-dwelling animals. It has been set up and maintained as a wildlife haven since the 1950s and is abundant with emus, echidnas and many different types of Australian water birds. The Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre is located within the reserve and offers guided interactive walks led by experienced local guides.www.parks.vic.gov.au
This zoo is a really different experience for animal lovers. Animals from the grasslands of Australia, Africa and Asia live in conditions similar to their natural habitats. Visitors can get very close to giraffes, rhinos, lions and many other animals by taking a 4WD safari tour or a guided walk through the huge zoo grounds which cover 225 hectares. It's a taste of African adventure near Melbourne.