Melbourne Zoo#11 in Best Things To Do in Melbourne
The Melbourne Zoo opened in 1862 and holds the distinction of being Australia's oldest zoo. The property is home to more than 300 animal species, most of which are free to roam in areas that mimic their own natural habitats. Aussie natives include kangaroos, wallabies, platypuses, koalas and wombats. And don't miss the Australian fur seals or the Australian little penguins: They're too cute to forget.
Past visitors said the Melbourne Zoo offers plenty for families to see and do. Plan on spending a half or full day here if you want to see the bulk of the zoo's animals. And if you have time, check out one of the "Meet the Keeper" talks, which give you a chance to see and learn more about animals like giraffes, elephants, seals and orangutans. Meet the Keeper talks are offered every 30 minutes between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The Melbourne Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you'll find it about 2 miles north of downtown Melbourne in the Parkville suburb. To get to the zoo, visitors can drive, take public transportation or ride on a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus. Limited car parking is available for AU$2 (about $1.50), and all parking tickets are valid for five hours. Public transportation that drops and picks up within walking distance of the attraction include the No. 55 tram, the No. 505 bus and several trains. The closest train station is Royal Park Station.
On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, children ages 4 to 15 get into the zoo for free. (Kids 3 and younger always get in for free.) During the week, an entrance fee of AU$16.30 (less than $13) applies for children. And no matter which day you visit, adults will be charged AU$32.50 (around $25) per person. Once inside, you'll have access to all of the animal exhibits and Meet the Keeper talks, plus restrooms, cafes and gift shops. Find out more about the Melbourne Zoo by visiting the property's website.
More Best Things To Do in Melbourne
#1 Shrine of Remembrance
To commemorate the 19,000 Victorians killed during World War I, the city of Melbourne built the Shrine of Remembrance in 1924. The monument, which was inspired by famous Greek sights like the Parthenon and the Acropolis, features several memorials, including the bronze Gallipoli Memorial, The Forecourt (a World War II memorial that houses the Eternal Flame) and the Remembrance Garden (where fallen soldiers from post-World War II conflicts are honored). Several military-themed exhibits are also available inside the shrine.
According to many recent travelers, the Shrine of Remembrance is one of Melbourne's best attractions. Though a sobering experience, you'll walk away with a greater understanding and appreciation of Australia's participation in major conflicts. Past visitors recommended joining one of the free property tours, which are offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and last about an hour. And for incredible views of the grounds and the Melbourne skyline, check out the second-floor balcony.
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