Best Wildlife Parks in Melbourne & Regional Victoria
Melbourne is spoilt with wildlife parks, and you will have no problems finding native Australian animals close by. There are some great places to spot kangaroos, koalas, native birds and more. Here is a list of our favourite wildlife parks in Melbourne to see native Australian animals.
Where are the Best Wildlife Parks in Melbourne?
From zoo’s, farms, sanctuaries and nature parks, here is a list of the best wildlife parks in Melbourne where you can get up to iconic animals. Click on the links for more information on each wildlife park.
1. Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville
One of the most popular wildlife parks in Melbourne is Healesville Sanctuary, managed by Zoo’s Victoria. Healesville Sanctuary is filled with native Australian animals and has a variety of wildlife encounters around the park.
There are a variety of shows you can see throughout the park, in particular the bird show is fantastic. There are also close up encounters with kangaroos and koalas. You may even see rangers walking around with snakes for you to hold.
2. Reptile Encounters, Melbourne
One of the closest wildlife experiences in Melbourne is at Reptile Encounters. At their headquarters in Burwood, they have an open day each term where they present a wildlife show with opportunities to get up close to and hold a range of reptiles and wildlife including lizards, snakes, and even a baby crocodile.
Reptile Encounters is also a mobile zoo, and venture all over Victoria for birthday parties, events, and school excursions. They also have special school holiday activities each term.
3. Moonlit Sanctuary, Tyaab
Just under an hour from the city in the south eastern suburbs, the Moonlit Sanctuary is one of the closest wildlife parks in Melbourne. Unlike the larger wildlife parks in Melbourne, the Moonlit Sanctuary is quite small and intimate. There are more than 70 Australian species to view and get up close to, and you can feed the kangaroos and wallabies, pet the friendly koalas, and enjoy encounters with a range of reptiles, dingoes, and other endangered species.
4. Ballarat Wildlife Park
Around minutes out of the city the Ballarat Wildlife Park is one of the best wildlife parks near Melbourne to get up close to kangaroos. From the moment you walk into the park you are surrounded by these iconic animals and if you want you are allowed to feed them. While one of the smaller Melbourne wildlife parks, it is all quite open and you are free to roam around with the other animals too.
5. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
If you are heading to the Great Ocean Road, then a visit to Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a must. Sitting inside an extinct volcano, more than 30,000 years old, it is one of the most popular places to visit from Warrnambool. Kangaroos, emus, and other wildlife roam freely through the reserve. Look up and you can view koalas in the treetops.
6. Werribee Open Range Zoo
Another one managed by Victoria Zoo’s is the open range zoo at Werribee, where you can take a safari bus around the park. Definitely one of the most unique wildlife parks in Melbourne because you don’t feel like you are in Melbourne, rather that you are out in the savannah.
You can see a whole range of animals at the Werribee Zoo including your usual zoo animals as well as Australian native animals. Here you will also find a number of wildlife encounters where you can get up close with the animals such as feeding the giraffes or go behind the scenes with the hippos, gorillas, and more. They also have special experiences such as the slumber safari where you can camp out at the zoo!
7. Wildlife trail, Gumbuya Park
Gumbuya Park is one of Victoria’s largest theme parks, but it also has a fantastic wildlife park for kids. The Wildlife trail has more than 50 species of animals. You can buy some food on the way in and feed some of them too. You can book special encounters, or even catch a free ranger talk.
8. Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park
Just 15 minutes from the iconic Twelve Apostles, on the outskirts of the stunning Otway Ranges, you can find the family run Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park. Here you can learn about Australian wildlife, recycling and self-sustainability, and the value of nature.
Visitors are welcome to wander the grounds, hand feed the kangaroos, emus, and wallabies and observe a range of other Australian wildlife. There is also a Dingo Awareness centre where you can learn about and interact with the dingoes with a hands-on dingo experience.
9. Maru Koala & Animal Park
Another wildlife park in melbourne’s south east is the Maru Koala & Animal Park close to Phillip Island. You can view and get close up to a range of Australia’s iconic animals including koalas, wombats, kangaroos, crocodiles, dingoes, emus and more. Many of them you are welcome to handfeed and interact with too.
There are regular talks and presentations throughout the day including their feature Wildlife Show on weekends and holidays. And of course, the Koala Encounter where you have the opportunity to meet and take a photo with one of their friendly koalas.
10. Koala Conservation Reserve, Phillip Island
One of the best wildlife parks in Melbourne to view koalas is the Koala Conservation Reserve on Phillip Island. Here you are immersed in the koalas’ natural habitat as you stroll along the treetop boardwalks. You may even get a face to face encounter if you are lucky.
If you are looking to see more than koalas, just take a walk through the woodlands where you can view an abundance of birdlife, reptiles, wallabies, echidnas and more.
Animal Encounters in Melbourne
Hopefully this list of Melbourne wildlife parks has inspired you to get out and explore Australia’s iconic animals. Want more animal encounters?
- Animal Farms Melbourne
- Zoos in Melbourne
- Where to see kangaroos in Melbourne
- Where to see koalas in Melbourne