Royal Melbourne Zoo
Encounter Wildlife Right In The Heart Of The City

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Don't you find Nature amazing?

Being able to see the animals that you would never normally see, without travelling thousands of miles, is such a thrilling thing to do and to be able to do that right in the heart of the city, is incredible.

The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, Parkville, present the world's most unique species of animals from all over the world.

The Zoo does this in as stress free an environment as possible, so that you may enjoy an encounter that you will never forget and at the same time protect the animals from feeling stressed out.

  • The Melbourne Zoo is set amongst flower gardens and picnic areas.

  • It contains more than 400 animal species from Australia and around the world.

  • The City Zoo is Australia's oldest zoo.

  • It was modeled on London Zoo.

  • Built over 150 years ago, the zoo covers 22 hectares (55 acres) of botanic-style gardens.  

  • Environmental, enclosed habitat zones house the animals on display.  

  • Just 4km from the city center, the zoo is convenient and easy to get to either by public transport or by vehicle. 

  • There is parking available close the the entrance.

Melbourne Zoo Pinterest Pin to share

The Zoo Exhibits

image link to site page on zoo exhibits
image link to site page on the pygmy hippopotamus
image link to site page on zoo orangutans
image link to site page on zoo meercats
image link to site page on zoo penguins

Where are the Zoological Gardens?

The zoo is located within Royal Park on Elliot Avenue in Parkville, which is not far from the Melbourne Central Business District.

Elliott Avenue

Parkville VIC 3052

(03) 9285 9300

Getting to the Zoo Using Public Transport

By Tram

Tram 55 runs from William Street in the city centre every day, stopping directly outside Melbourne Zoo.

By Train

Trains run from Flinders Street Station on the Upfield line every day, stopping at Melbourne Zoo’s own Royal Park Station.

By Bus

Bus route 505 from Moonee Ponds to Melbourne University stops outside Melbourne Zoo.

Please visit for up-to-date tram, train and bus times. Use the Journey planner and enter your start point as 'From' and Melbourne Zoo as your 'to' point.

For all ticket price enquires go to 

Note that children (4-15 years), entry is free weekends and holidays!
Concession prices are also available. 

Check the website address and book your ticket online.

By Road

If you are traveling in by car, just click on the map above and follow the prompts. You will be given an exact route to travel from your starting point.

Parking is available for a very small fee, just follow the directions from Elliot Street.

Once you arrive at the zoo you will immediately notice that it is being maintained beautifully. The best of the old, historic architecture has been preserved.

The entrance features art deco architecture.  Wandering through the zoo precinct you will find more art deco structures that have been lovingly preserved. 

Gone are the antiquated and sterile cages that you often see in other zoos. These have been replaced with attractive, modernised and environmentally caring structures. These viewing areas are built to resemble the animals natural environment as best as possible.

The main walk and an early 20th century menagerie exhibit have been preserved so as to give you an idea of just how much this zoo has matured.

When you arrive, check at the zoo's reception as there are free tours that may be available, if the guides have not been booked out.

For visitors who may have difficulty getting around, the zoo also provides an electric guide mobile, that can carry up to 3 passengers. It travels at a slow pace so that the carer can walk beside the vehicle.

Enquire at reception or phone the zoo direct before you go, for more information - 1300 966 784

There's so much to see and do at the Zoo, with so many animals to encounter make sure that you collect a map at the zoo kiosk before you head off into the jungle or down load one here

Be sure not to miss:

  • The Asian Elephants and the Trail of the Elephants
  • The Sumatran Tigers
  • The Orangutans swinging through the trees. Walk the elevated boardwalk and watch these creatures and their antics
  • The Gorilla Rainforest
  • Koalas and Kangaroos in an authentic Australian bush setting
  • The Wild Sea, highlighting the seals and penguins that inhabit the Victorian coastline
  • The Butterfly House
  • Reptile House and World of Frogs
  • Baboon Lookout
  • Lion Gorge - lions, African wild dogs and the Phillipines Crocodile

Melbourne Zoo lowlands silver back gorillaLowlands silver back gorilla

Up Close And Personal At the Zoo

Get up close and personal with some of the animals at certain exhibits such as:

  • Lemur Island, where you can walk and play with these inquisitive animals.
  • Growing Wild, an interactive area specifically for the kids, where they can burrow through tunnels, climb inside giant tortoise shells and scurry about with the Meercats.
  • There are close up encounters with Kangaroos, Giraffes, Squirrel Monkey and Seals

Melbourne zoo meercatsRoyal Melbourne Zoological Gardens playful meercats

Get even closer and experience the zoo's trilling Wild Encounters Program.

Enjoy tiger, gorilla and orangutan 'behind the scenes' encounters, to thrill and educate you. All  these, are guided by the zoo's expert keepers.

You can even breakfast with the Koalas and Kangaroos.

Breakfast with koala at the Melbourne ZooBreakfast with koala at the Melbourne Zoo

For a totally unique experience, consider staying overnight and waking up to all the sounds of the jungle. The Roar and Snore experience is one not to miss!

Melbourne zoo lionRoyal Melbourne Zoological Gardens lion

Brief History Of The Zoo

Animals were originally displayed at the Royal Botanic Gardens and then in the Richmond Paddocks along the Yarra River.

In 1862 the animals were moved to Royal park.

The layout of the Zoo was modeled after the London Zoo with lots of formal gardens.

In the early days the elephants were used for rides, Queenie being one of the favorite elephants, however this practice ceased in 1961 due to an unfortunate incident.

I even remember as an early child in the 50's, riding on an elephant through the zoo lawns! Now the elephants live in the modern and spacious Trail of the Elephants.

Over the years the Zoo has been remodeled and redeveloped and there are more humane enclosures always being built.

One relic of the Zoo is the restored and heritage listed 19th Century English-made-Merry-Go-Round.

The Zoo's carousel was built in 1878 in England and imported to Australia in the 1880's. The carousel traveled the show circuit until 1963, before it finally arrived and settled in Melbourne.

As you wander through the zoo exhibits, done thing that I highly recommend is to take a nostalgic ride on this historic carousel

Now beautifully restored it operates in the Carousel Park at the Zoo between the hours of 11:30 and 2:00pm during weekends, public holidays and school holidays.

Royal Melbourne Zoo CarouselRoyal Melbourne Zoo Carousel

General Melbourne Zoo Information

Opening Hours

The Zoo is open between 9:00am and 5:00pm every day of the year.

Allow a good 3 hours to see all the animals. 

Admission To The Zoo

Please check with the official Melbourne Zoo site for any price updates:

2017 Prices;

  • Adults -- $36:00,  16 and over
  • Children -- $18:00,  4 through to 15, Weekends and holidays* - FREE
  • Concession -- $27:50,  16 and over
  • Seniors Concession -- $32:50
  • Discounted Family Passes are available as well as reduced disabled admission. Carers are admitted for free.
  • Children 3 years and under receive FREE entry every day.

Purchase tickets on line here at Royal Melbourne Zoo site

Each day, the zoo offers 'Meet the Keeper' experiences. Here is where you can hear their expert keepers talk about the animals in their care, and the conservation work being done for various species. 

If you wish to Meet the Keepers, then these are the special times these talks are held ...

  • Koalas 10:30am
  • Baboons 11:00am
  • Elephants 11:00am
  • Seals 11:30am
  • Orang-utans 12:00pm
  • Gorillas 12:30pm
  • Meerkats 1:00pm
  • Giraffe 1:30pm
  • Tigers 2:00pm
  • Lions 2.30pm
  • Elephants 3:00pm
  • Penguins 3:30pm

Where To Eat

The Lakeside Cafe can be found next to the beautiful Japanese Garden and lake. You can sit down overlooking the gardens and enjoy a delicious family style menu.

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and a range of wines and beer are on offer along with a selection of cold drinks.

The cafe is open for breakfast on the weekend, serving a breakfast menu up 11:00 am.

The Zoo Bakery is right next door. Offering gourmet pies, sausage rolls, pasties, sandwiches and baguettes, perfect for a picnic. They also serve muffins, cookies and other treats to take away. Hot or cold drinks, ice creams and snacks are also available.

There are other eateries scattered throughout the zoo. You will never go hungry or thirsty.

  • Zebra Espresso. - next to Macaw Exhibit. 
  • Macaw Take-Away - opposite Lakeside Cafe.
  • Meerkat Manor Cafe - Main entrance, Elliott Avenue.
  • Elephant Village Cafe - next to the Elephant Barn (in the Trail of the Elephants).
  • Giraffe Lookout Cafe - at the main roundabout next to the Giraffes
  • Wild Dogs Cafe - Railway Entrance

Eating at the Melbourne ZooEating at the Royal Melbourne Zoo

The Zoo Shops

  • Gifts and souvenirs can be purchased at the main entrance shop and at the rail entrance'
  • The Trail of Elephants has great elephant souvenirs for sale along with Asian handcrafts
  • The Lakeside Bistro also has souvenirs and gifts for sale

Access And Conveniences

  • Wheelchairs can be hired for free; contact the Melbourne Zoo direct for more zoo information
  • Pushers can be hired at the Zoo Shop at the main entrance. There is a fee; contact the Zoo direct for extra zoo information.
  • You may also hire lockers at both entrances.

Melbourne Zoo Phone Number: (03) 9285 9300

Here is a short introduction to some of the incredible animals that you will find at the Melbourne Zoo.

Save yourself heaps of money and time. This is a great way to budget when if you want to check out more than one of Melbourne's top attractions.

Sightseeing and Attraction Pass

  • This is an attraction pass for Melbourne & Beyond with over $1000 worth of admission fees.
  • You can purchase a 2, 3,or 7 day pass for unlimited access to over 35 top attractions in Melbourne.
  • Valid for 12 months from purchase.
  • Featuring: Aquarium, Zoo, Eureka Skydeck, Penguin Parade and Visitor Center, Werribee Open Range Zoo and much more.

The Sightseeing and Attraction Pass can save you heaps if you are doing a lot of touring.

Lions are now classed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’).

Seeing these animals, is a thrilling encounter, and to see them at their feeding time makes this point fairly obvious. There is fierce sibling rivalry between the lions!

Melbourne sightseeing and attraction pass click through image

When you visit the Zoo, come back here and tell us what animal or animals you found fascinating? 

Why was that?

Click the link and tell us all about it.

Animals At The Zoo

thumbnail image link to site page on the Melbourne Zoo Orangutans
thumbnail image link to site page on the Melbourne Zoo Meercats
thumbnail image link to site page on the Melbourne Zoo Pygmy Hippopatamus

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