The 5 Best Zoos in and Around Victoria

Written by Kathryn Dueck
Published: November 29, 2023
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Australia is full of fascinating wildlife, and its zoos are no exception. If you plan to be in the country shortly, you may consider taking advantage of some of its premiere animal exhibits. Victoria alone boasts many fantastic options, all sure to delight and amaze. Read on to discover the five best zoos in Victoria and where to find them!

1. Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo

The Melbourne Zoo is one of the best zoos in Victoria for close-up animal encounters.

©Kacarius/Shutterstock.com

Also called the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, Melbourne Zoo is one of the top-rated zoos in Victoria. Located in Melbourne, it’s earned its stellar reputation across Australia since its opening in 1862. Its thousands of animals live and thrive in Lion Gorge, Trail of the Elephants, Wild Sea, Gorilla Rainforest, and Australian Bush. The Main Trail through the zoo meanders past countless enclosures while the interactive play area, Growing Wild, caters to younger visitors.

Besides its wildlife, the zoo boasts several cafés and kiosks where visitors can purchase food and beverages, including the Meerkat Café and Macaw Takeaway. Many zoo keepers give informative talks about various zoo inhabitants according to a daily schedule.

The Melbourne Zoo is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. One adult ticket costs AUD 46, while children three years and under visit for free. On weekends and holidays, tickets for children between the ages of four and 15 are also free; at other times, a ticket costs AUD 23. Visit the official Melbourne Zoo website for more information and to book tickets.

2. Werribee Open Range Zoo

Zebra at Werribee Open Range Zoo Victoria Australia

The Werribee Open Range Zoo is located in a suburb of Melbourne.

©Dorothy Chiron/Shutterstock.com

The Werribee Open Range Zoo is one of Victoria’s best-known and best-loved zoos. Werribee is a suburb of Melbourne located about 32 kilometers away from its Central Business District. Its zoo features the African Trail, which takes visitors through the exhibits and enclosures at their own pace. Visitors interested in seeing the animals of the savannah up close can take advantage of the Safari Tour. In addition to this, the Australian Trail exposes visitors to the Australian outback.

For those who fancy a bite to eat during their adventure, the zoo offers several cafés and kiosks like the Cheetah Lawn BBQ and Hippo Beach Café. It also provides a parent’s room for adults with small children.

The Werribee Open Range Zoo is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. One adult ticket costs AUD 46; children three years and under are free. Children ages four to 15 don’t pay on weekends and holidays; a ticket costs AUD 23 on weekdays. Visit the official Werribee Open Range Zoo website for more information and to book tickets.

3. Healesville Sanctuary

Koala having a lazy day at Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville,Victoria, Australia

The Healesville Sanctuary is located in Healesville, about 52 kilometers from Melbourne.

©Mick Mac/Shutterstock.com

Healesville is about 52 kilometers away from Melbourne’s Central Business District. It boasts one of the best zoos in Victoria, the Healesville Sanctuary. The Main Track will take you through the central part of the zoo at your leisure; you’ll also want to take a welcome detour down the Woodlands Track and Wetlands Track. For those interested in some of Australia’s most iconic animals, the following exhibits offer exciting encounters: Dingo Country, Kangaroo Country, Koala Forest, and the World of the Platypus.

If you’re hungry, the Healesville Sanctuary offers many dining options like Sanctuary Harvest Café and Candlebark Café. Attend one of the daily keeper talks for more information about zoo inhabitants.

The Healesville Sanctuary is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Adults get in for AUD 46, while children three years and under are free. On weekends and holidays, children between the ages of four and 15 also visit for free; at any other time, a ticket costs AUD 23. Visit the official Healesville Sanctuary website for more information and to book tickets.

4. Kyabram Fauna Park

Male Koala at Kyabram Fauna Park.

The town of Kyabram contains one of Victoria’s best zoos, Kyabram Fauna Park.

©Janine Peate/Shutterstock.com

Kyabram Fauna Park is easily one of the best zoos in Victoria. Located in Kyabram, a town about 200 kilometers north of Melbourne, it boasts several unique attractions. You can stick to the Main Trail, which meanders among many of the zoo’s premiere exhibits, or peek at free-roaming kangaroos and emus. Alternatively, check in with the Reptile Habitat, the zoo’s two aviaries, or stroll down the Monotremes, Marsupials, and Monitors trail. If you’re a history buff, you could try swinging by Hazelman’s Cottage and the Transport Through Time historic precinct.

Head to the new café near the park entrance for a bite to eat. While you eat, you can watch meerkats scurry around in their enclosure nearby. If your little ones need a break, take refuge in the parent’s room by the café.

The Kyabram Fauna Park is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Adults get in for AUD 30, while children three years and under are free. On weekends and holidays, children between the ages of four and 15 also visit for free; at any other time, a ticket costs AUD 15. Visit the official Kyabram Fauna Park website for more information and to book tickets.

5. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Wallabies at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park

The Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park offers numerous up-close encounters with its wildlife.

©Clive White/Shutterstock.com

The Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is an unforgettable experience about 50 minutes from Melbourne’s Central Business District. Embark on up-close encounters with barn owls, dingoes, emu chicks, goshawks, koalas, kookaburras, pythons, and wombats. Alternatively, try walking a dingo on a leash or feeding kangaroos and wallabies. Or you can take a private tour with one of the zoo’s knowledgeable and friendly keepers, ready to answer all your burning questions.

If you’re more of a night person, sign up for an evening tour and see the zoo by moonlight. For dining options during the day, visit the Wetlands Café or pre-order one of the zoo’s Grazing Boxes to share with a friend.

The Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is open daily from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Adults pay AUD 29, while children between the ages of four and 17 pay AUD 15. Children under four are free. Visit the official Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park website for more information and to book tickets.

Summary Table of the 5 Best Zoos in Victoria

NumberZoo
1Melbourne Zoo
2Werribee Open Range Zoo
3Healesville Sanctuary
4Kyabram Fauna Park
5Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
Summary table of the five best zoos in Victoria.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Nick Fox/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kathryn Dueck is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on wildlife, dogs, and geography. Kathryn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical and Theological Studies, which she earned in 2023. In addition to volunteering at an animal shelter, Kathryn has worked for several months as a trainee dog groomer. A resident of Manitoba, Canada, Kathryn loves playing with her dog, writing fiction, and hiking.

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