Animals like you've never seen them before

Melbourne is well known for its array of zoos and conservation centres. Some of Australia’s most-loved animals, including penguins, koalas, kangaroos and echidnas, can be seen up-close at these treasured attractions.

No age is too great to dissolve into giggles at the sight of the world’s smallest penguins waddling along the beach at sunset at the Phillip Island Nature Park. Watch them from the sand or stroll along the boardwalks around The Nobbies. As a bonus, you’re close enough to be back in Melbourne for brunch.

Fancy seeing the local Australian fur seal colony and Phillip Island’s rugged and spectacular coastline? The Eco Boat Tour on the Island will allow you to watch the antics of playful seals as they surround the boat, ducking their heads in and out of the water. On return, stop by the National Surfing Reserve at Cat Bay before heading back to Cowes jetty in time for the world-famous Penguin Parade.

Swap the Melbourne city centre for a safari on the African savannah and enjoy a unique zoo experience just 30 minutes out of town at Werribee Zoo. Tick off everybody’s bucket list with a Slumber Safari sleepover, featuring dinner and drinks, a private animal encounter, night tours, a personal guide and luxury glamping. Wake up early for a sunrise like no other.

Just five minutes from Melbourne’s laneways live over 320 species of the weirdest and wonderful animals in unrivalled natural enclosures at Melbourne Zoo. Wander past lemurs sunning themselves, venture into the Lion’s Den and be tickled by butterflies landing on the tip of your nose. You’ll feel like a kid again – with actual kids free on weekends and public holidays.

Healesville Sanctuary is known as a bush haven for Australian wildlife. Book a Magic Moment for an unforgettable close-up experience with one of Healesville's amazing animals. Come face-to-face with one of the most iconic and beautiful native marsupials, the koala.