When was the last time you visited the Melbourne Zoo? If you have been once and and thought you have seen it all, think again. With new exhibits, events and unique activities taking place at the Zoo all year round, no wonder many are joining as members to visit the Zoos over and over again. The Melbourne Zoo located in Parkville (just a 15 minute drive from the city) is one of the three Zoos in Victoria (the others being Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary) and here’s why you should make a trip there this Summer:
1. Attend a music festival
Yes, in a Zoo! Every Friday and Saturday night from 29 Jan to 12 Mar 2016, the Zoo transforms into a concert ground after the gates have closed, and the annual Zoo Twilights take place. This is your only chance to explore the Zoo at dusks with animal exhibits open exclusively till 7.00pm, before staking out on the lawns to listen to great music under the stars! From favourite Aussie band Birds of Tokyo to international sensation Belinda Carlisle, a selection of the best musical talent will be performing to fight against wildlife extinction. Reserve your spot today by booking tickets online- click here for more information on the lineup.
2. Explore the new Lion Gorge
Heard some roars lately? That would be the African Lions calling from the newly open Lion Gorge. Brave souls are invited to this brand new experience to come face-to-face with these not-so-amiable bachelors. Join them during lunch time (daily at 1.20pm) and watch out for signs of dominance and sibling rivalry. The Lion Gorge is also a new home to an African Wild Dog pack and the critically endangered Philippines Crocodile, plus you can test yourself to see if you have what it takes to become a predator searching for prey or a protector of the crocodile hatchlings.
3. Go camping
Imagine telling your friends that you are going camping- at the Zoo! The Historic Elephant Exhibit has been converted into a unique Roar ‘n’ Snore experience where guests can now wine, dine and sleep on grounds that elephants once walked. Here’s your chance to explore the Zoo after dark and be among the nocturnal creatures while your camp hosts share interesting stories. The adventure does not end there- wake up to the calls of gibbons and birds and prepare yourself for a fun-filled day of meeting the keepers, up-close animal encounters, and life behind-the-scenes. Gather a sleeping bag, your sense of adventure and make a booking here.
4. Have breakfast with the Gorillas
Not a camping fan? Rock up to the Zoo in the morning instead before it opens to the public, and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast by the Gorilla viewing window. You also get to learn about these fascinating creatures from the passionate keepers. This is a 3-day event only (2, 9 and 16 January 2016) so book your tickets fast!
P/S How awesome would this be as a Christmas gift?
5. Leap into the new World of Frogs exhibit
There are more to frogs than your Garden Toads, Prince Charmings or Kermit! The exhibit is open daily until 18 Dec 2015, where you will get to meet precious, endangered Frogs including the tiny yellow and black Southern Corroboree Frog, the green Spotted Tree Frog and the Stuttering Frog. Don’t miss out on the Find the Corroboree Frog Hunt and see if you can spot the new giant frog sculpture within the Zoo grounds.
6. Give the kids an unforgettable summer holiday experience
Put a big smile on your kid’s face with an epic adventure to tell their friends! In the Kids Go Wild! school holiday program, children will have an action packed day where they get to visit secret areas of the Zoo, meet animals up close, chat with Zookeepers, take part in craft and games, and meet fellow animal lovers. Little ones can also experience working at a zoo with the Keeper Kids experience. From veterinarians to Zookeepers to researchers to horticulture, kids will get a chance to role play and learn the range of duties that go along with a job at the Zoo, including plumbing, carpentry and zoo design. The experience takes place daily for free- begin your summer internship here!
7. Celebrate Grandparents’ Week
Don’t forget to show your love and care for Nanna and Pop by bringing them on a fun day out! Not sure what to do? Don’t worry, the Zoo has it covered with the first ever Grandparents’ Week, and Zoo Members can bring all FOUR grandparents for free! From 21-27 Nov 2015, the Zoo will be packed with family friendly activities such as a close-up encounter with the Sumatran Tigers, Orang-Utans, African Lions, Wild Dogs and more.
8. Make a difference this summer
Have you performed your good deed for the year? How about adopting a Tiger? Or a Snow Leopard? Or a Red Panda? Many species are on the brink of extinction, and from only $15 a month, you can join the wildlife adoption community and help create a safe haven for endangered animals. Take action now before these precious animals are gone forever and the only way our next generation can see them is via photos. Learn about the many ways you can do your part in fighting wildlife extinction here.
This Summer, Zoos Victoria Members will also get to attend exclusive events such as the Halloween ‘Boovie’ Night (31 Oct), VIP Shopping Night (26 Nov) and the Zoo Member Christmas Party (11 & 12 Dec). Not a member yet? Sign up here and enjoy unlimited entry to all three Zoos, exclusive discounts, VIP invitations and much more!
All photos belong to Zoos Victoria.