Melbourne Zoo Overview

Commonly known as the Melbourne Zoo, the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens is the oldest zoo of Australia. Established on 6th of October 1862, this phenomenal zoo is home to a large variety of animal, bird and reptile species. Located just five minutes away from the city center, this popular zoo is inspired by the London zoo and is the perfect place to learn about animals. 

The zoo also has a large schools section and caters to many school visitors throughout the year.

The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, which is popularly known as the Melbourne Zoo is the oldest zoo in Australia. Established on 6th of October 1862, this zoo has more than 320 species of animals from Australia and around the world. This zoo is easily accessible via trams, trains and buses. In addition to being the most popular zoo in Australia, it is also a full institutional member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquarium (WAZA). In earlier days, the zoo was important for acclimatization of domestic animals recovering from their long trip to Australia. Later, after the appointment of Albert Alexander Coachrane Le Souef in 1870, more exotic animals were procured for showcasing in public, and the garden areas were developed for picnics. A large part of this zoo is inspired by the London zoo and many astounding exhibits like The Trails of Elephants, Butterfly House, Orangutan Sanctuary, Australian Outback and Predator precinct.

The Melbourne zoo is set amidst beautiful flower gardens and picnic lawns that cater to visitors belonging to all age groups. This is a perfect spot for all the wildlife enthusiasts and animal lovers.

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• Visit Australia’s oldest and most-visited zoo, the Melbourne Zoo, to meet more than 320 species of animals brought in from across Australia and the world.
• Inspired by the London Zoo, Melbourne Zoo offers fascinating exhibits to explore for visitors like the Trails of Elephants, Australian Outback, Orangutan Sanctuary, Butterfly House, and Predator Precinct.
• Book exclusive tours that let you interact with the zoo’s inhabitants like kangaroos, zebras, and giraffes, up close.
• Learn more about animals and their living and feeding habits as you interact with the keepers of Melbourne Zoo during your visit.
• Enjoy a perfect day out with your family as you participate in activities, dine at the zoo restaurants, and walk amidst animals at Melbourne Zoo.

How To Reach

The easiest and the most convenient way to reach the Melbourne Zoo is by public transport. 

By Tram: Route 58 between West Coburg and Toorak that runs via William Street in the city center every day and every 6 minutes stops right outside the Melbourne Zoo at stop 26. 

By Train: Located right across the road from Melbourne Zoo‘s entrance is Royal Park Station where trains from Flinders Street Station run on the Upfield Line every day.

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

While traveling by public transport is the most economical and eco-friendly way to reach the Melbourne Zoo, one can also travel by their own private vehicle. 

By Car: Melbourne Zoo is located just five minutes north of the city center at Royal Park and is 20 minutes from Melbourne Airport.

The car parking here is run by Melbourne City Council and charges $2 for a five-hour ticket.

If required, there are other parking options like Melbourne Sports Center Parkville, Local Street Parking, and Ikon Park near the zoo. 

Also Checkout: Water Parks In Melbourne

Best Time To Visit

The Melbourne zoo opens at 9am and it is recommended to visit the zoo as early in the morning as possible. Early mornings ensure a better chance of spotting animals as they are just starting with their day. Visiting the zoo early in the morning also gives you a chance to avoid crowds and enjoy peace

The best time of the year to visit the zoo would definitely be early summers, that is during the months of January and February since the weather is warm and sunny.

One can always try to avoid visiting the zoo on weekends and holidays if they like to explore wildlife in peace and silence. 

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Other Essential Information

Events Held In Melbourne Zoo

You can make your next visit to the zoo extremely unique by organizing an event of your choice!

Whether you want a little high tea party, a laid back lunch, cocktails or a large gala dinner, The Melbourne Zoo has an event package of your budget and taste. 

From organizing weddings parties, corporate parties, kids parties to hiring out the entire zoo, you can do it all!

‘Sunset Zoo Do’ is the perfect way to celebrate a grand occasion in the most fun and unique way ever. The tickets for this event are only available from November to March. We suggest bookings for 1,000 to 3,500 guests. 


  • Exclusive hire of Melbourne Zoo from 5.30pm to 9.30pm
  • Animal viewing until 7.00pm
  • Up to three scheduled keeper talks
  • Unlimited Carousel rides 5.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Two Airbrush Tattooist 5.30pm to 8.30pm
  • Customized zoo map highlighting keeper talks and entertainment
  • Zoo catering outlets open 5.30pm - 8.00pm
  • DJ - Musical entertainment on the lawns
  • Enter wristbands for all guests
  • Security guards for event duration
  • Free parking from 5.00pm (subject to availability)


Melbourne Zoo is devoted to providing an accessible atmosphere for all the animal lovers.

This is how we take care about the same :

All the carers accompanying a disable person who is a Child Disability Allowance Health Care Card, a Disability Pension Card or a Companion Card holder is given free entry to the zoo. Along with that we have a 10% discount for WeCare card holders who are not accompanying a person with a disability.

Accessible parking and bus access - We have six accessible parking spaces near the main entrance of the zoo. Other seven accessible parking spaces are near the rail gate entrance. 

Accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers - We have a very easy-to follow path system, with access to wheelchair and stroller users. 

Hiring Wheelchairs and Strollers - We have a limited number of Baby Jogger Strollers and wheelchairs that visitors can hire with a photographic identification.

Accessible Toilets -We have a Changing Places facility with extra facilities like tracking hoist, full sized change table. Larger than standard accessible toilets and more disable- friendly spaces.

Our accessible toilets are located at :

  • Our main entrance on the way to the Gorilla rainforest
  • The Lakeside Bistro
  • Near the rail gate entrance close to the picnic pavilion 
  • Along the main drive near the Orangutans
  • Elephant Village, near the Bong Su room

Where To Eat In Melbourne Zoo?

We would love you to visit one of our cafes or kiosks at the zoo for a delicious sit down meal or some tasty take away. For the coffee lovers we have a patisserie kitchen that they can enjoy a cup of coffee at. There’s a Lakeside Cafe with a huge range of vegan and low gluten cuisine as well. The Giraffe Lookout Cafe could be the best place to eat at if you’re visiting with your kid! 

Keepers Talk

There’s no one around the zoo who knows more than The Keepers about animals!  

We bring to you an opportunity to meet these keepers and get the hang of all the details of your favorite animals.

  • Baboons Keeper Talk - 10.40am
  • Giant Tortoises Keeper Talk -10.40am
  • Gorillaz Keeper Talk - 10.45am
  • Elephants Keeper Talk - 11am
  • Koalas Keeper Talk - 11am
  • Giraffe Keeper Talk - 11.30am
  • Snow Leopard Keeper Talk - 11.45am
  • Orangutans Keeper Talk - 12pm
  • Lions Keeper Talk - 12.30pm
  • Meerkats Keeper Talk - 1.15pm
  • Elephants Keeper Talk - 2pm
  • Tigers Keeper Talk - 3.30pm
  • Penguins Keeper Talk - 3.45pm
  • Pygmy Hippo Keeper Talk - 4pm

Read More: Places To Visit In Melbourne

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Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Point of Interest for Melbourne Zoo
Animal Encounters

Animal Encounters

You can also make your time at the zoo more special and memorable by booking an exclusive tour or encounter.

Read More: Popular Things To Do In Melbourne

Close Up Encounters

Close Up Encounters

Sea Close-Up Encounter - It is a brief experience that lasts just for a couple of minutes with each visitor booked. 

Kangaroo Close-Up Encounter - In this exclusive experience of two minutes meet the kangaroos and learn about them.

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Wildlife Tour

Wildlife Tour

 Australian Wildlife Experience (early morning access)

This super exclusive tour lets you in early in the morning much before the zoo opens for all.

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Animals and their habitat

Animals and their habitat

Lion Gorge - This carnivore trail lets you watch big cats roar and wild dogs howl. Experience the most majestic animals in the zoo, including Tigers, Snow Leopards, and Philippine Crocodiles. On this trail, it's an absolute treat to watch crocodiles as they are one of the most endangered species in the zoo. 

Trail of the Elephants - This lush Asian village and garden named Trail of Elephants is an award-winning section of the zoo. Here, you can learn about the endangered Asian Elephants and fight for survival. This is a free guided tour run by volunteers.

Main Trail - The Mail Trail is a fun experience that introduces you to various frogs, birds, reptiles, and mammals. 

Growing Wild. On this trail, you must see the amazing conservation work of the World of Frogs, and see giraffes, meerkats, and zebras.

Wild Sea - This is the perfect spot for all sea animal lovers as it introduces you to the amazing natural beauty of Victoria’s coast and nature. Explore the beaches and watch penguins and seals play in this family-friendly environment as you wander on the beach and watch Victoria's marine life. 

Gorilla Rainforest - This trail takes you to Africa and showcases some of the goofiest Apes like lemurs, gorillas, and monkeys. You might also get a chance to meet the Melbourne Zoo’s Pygmy Hippopotamus, the Cassowary on this trail. 

Australian Bush - If you’re interested to learn about Australian biodiversity in-depth, this is the trail you should check out. Home to Southern Koalas, Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Kangaroos, and an extravagant birdlife that includes Emus, Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, parrots, honeyeaters, and more, this is a bewildering trail to explore.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Melbourne Zoo FAQs

Can you bring your own food to Melbourne Zoo?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food to the zoo. There are plenty of picnic spots in the zoo grounds where you can lounge on a cozy blanket and enjoy your special treats while soaking in the beauty of the wildlife around you.

How long do you need at Melbourne Zoo?

To cover the entirety of the zoo and see all the wonderful wildlife it has to offer, you will need at least 4-5 hours. If that seems too long to you, you can cover all major exhibits within 2-3 hours, or take a guided tour according to your preferences.

Can you bring alcohol to Melbourne Zoo?

No, the zoo is a licensed venue. This means that you cannot bring your own alcohol here. However, if you do want to get a drink, you can do so at the zoo premises as there are plenty of food and drink vendors in the zoo grounds that sell alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks.

Is Melbourne Zoo free on weekends?

No, the zoo is not free for everyone on the weekends. Free entry on weekends, Victorian Public Holidays and Government School Holidays is only allowed for children between the ages of 4 and 15. Additionally, entry is always free for kids under the age of 3, no matter what day of the week it is. Therefore, free entry on weekends is not available for everyone, but only for kids.

Is Melbourne Zoo in the free tram zone?

Recently, under the Barton plan, Melbourne zoo has been added to the free tram zone, along with the MCG, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Shrine of Remembrance.

Are there kangaroos in Melbourne Zoo?

Yes, you can see kangaroos in Melbourne Zoo living in their natural habitat.

Can you hire prams at Melbourne Zoo?

Yes, you can hire pram at the zoo. Single strollers are available for hire for $17 for those who have the membership of the zoo, and it is available for $20 for those who do not have a membership. However, it should be noted that these strollers are available only in a limited number, so you may or may not get one, depending on when you visit.

How many animals are at the Melbourne Zoo?

Melbourne zoo is home to nearly 5,120 animals belonging to around 320 species.

Melbourne Zoo Reviews

Dakshayani Naik
Reviewed: 14 Feb 2020
Watching Kangaroos so close I could have never imagined. They were so amazing. Not to forget we also saw cutest creatures, Koalas. Having a chance to spend time with them will be cherished for all our lives.
Gautami Varman
Reviewed: 14 Feb 2020
Going to Australia and not watching Australian animals was never a choice. I quickly booked it from you guys when i found that the price is cheaper. Would like to book again from Thrillophilia

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