Archive for the ‘Victoria’ Category

French Island, Victoria

Sixty kilometers south of Melbourne, you’ll find French Island and its more famous counterpart, Phillip Island. They are located in Western Port, Victoria, Australia.

French Island is a relatively uninhabited and undeveloped island that is 18km by 12km, with 144km of coastline. The resident population hovers somewhere between 60 and 90 people.

This island is a breath of fresh air with a dollop of peace and quiet, as it has avoided the worst of development over the past few decades. Two thirds of the island was declared a state park, and then a national park in 1997 – the French Island National Park. The waters north of the island are also a protected Marine National Park.

Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee

Werribee Open Range Zoo is about 30 minutes drive of Melbourne on the way to the Great Ocean Road. Along with Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, the Werribee Open Range Zoo is one Victoria’s top three zoos. It used to be known as Victoria’s Open Range Zoo at Werribee and Werribee Zoo. The Zoo opened to the public in 1983. It is a major attraction on the Great Southern Touring Route and the Bay Tour. The Zoo is home to African animals living in a open savannah. You can see lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, monkeys and cheetahs. The most recent attraction is the family of hippos in the Kubu River Hippo exhibit.

Koala Conservation Centre, Philip Island

The best known nature attraction on Phillip Island is the famous Penguin Parade, but there are other wildlife attractions on the island to occupy visitors to the island. The Koala Conservation Centre is dedicated to koala research and conservation.

At the Koala Conservation Centre you can walk through bushland and see koalas in their natural habitat and get up close to them on treetop boardwalks. You can stroll along bush tracks through eucalypt woodland, perhaps meet wallabies or an echidna and see many species of birds. In the Visitor Centre, you can learn about koalas and buy gifts and souvenirs in the Koala Shop.

Nobbies Centre, Philip Island

The best known Phillip Island attraction is the world famous Penguin Parade, but it is not the only nature attraction the island has to offer. The area features spectacular coastal scenery with an offshore seal colony at Seal Rocks and colonies of nesting seabirds in spring and summer. Seal Rocks is an important breeding area for 10,000 – 12,000 Australian Fur Seals. The Nobbies Centre is a marine attraction where you can find out about the southern marine environment via interactive displays and observe a seal colony through telescopes and cameras.

Penguin Parade, Phillip Island

Phillip Island is located just off the Victorian coast south of the Mornington Peninsula. It is now connected to the mainland by a bridge across Western Port Bay. The Penguin Parade at Phillip Island is one of the best known wildlife attractions in Australia, and is managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks, a non profit organisation dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable ecotourism.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Mornington Peninsula

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is located on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria on the way from Melbourne to Phillip Island.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park was the childhood dream of Chief Ranger Michael Johnson, inspired by famous British naturalist Gerald Durrell. Moonlit Sanctuary opened in 2001 on 10 hectares of land with a modern, visitors centre. The site has been landscaped with over 10,000 native Australian plants, hectare of wetland with lake and water bird habitats and over 30 animal enclosures.

Melbourne Zoo, Royal Park

Melbourne Zoo is located in Royal Park about 4km north of the city centre. The Zoo has over 300 species of animals from all over the world in lush landscaped grounds.

Melbourne Zoo opened in 1862 on the Royal Park site, and is Australia’s oldest zoo. Melbourne Zoo was modeled on London Zoo, with formal Victorian gardens. In the early days the animals were housed in old circus cages. Picnic grounds and enhanced landscaping were added as the Zoo increased in popularity. In 1934, the Zoo introduced a collection Australian wildlife featuring kangaroos, platypus, koalas, and other native animals. The Zoo has changed dramatically over the last hundred years with exhibits renovated and new developments added such as the Trail of the Elephants, the Orangutan Sanctuary and the exhibit for Australian Fur Seals, Fairy Penguins and other marine life added recently.

Melbourne Aquarium

Melbourne Aquarium is situated in the heart of Melbourne on the Yarra River, opposite the Crown Entertainment Complex.

The Melbourne Aquarium is divided into four themed “worlds”: Antarctica, Weird & Wonderful, River to Reef and Sharks Alive. Each of these worlds presents different habitats and creatures.

  • Antarctica: One of the highlights is watching the King Penguins and Gentoo Penguins in the pool and slide across the ice. There are interactive displays about the habitat and exploration of Antarctica. You can walk through a replica of the Nella Dan, a famous Antarctic ice breaker, and watch the penguins in an underwater viewing area. Make sure you catch the daily penguin feeds.

Mansfield Zoo, Mansfield

Mansfield Zoo is located in North Eastern Victoria, about 10 minutes drive from Mansfield and 40 minutes from Mt Buller. The Zoo lies in the Delatite Valley, with views out to the Alpine Ranges including Mt Timbertop, Mt Buller and Mt Stirling.

Mansfield Zoo opened in 2000 as a wildlife park with deer and some Australian native animals. The Zoo has grown and now has over 100 native and exotic animals on 30 acres of parkland. Most of the animals can be hand-fed by visitors, including kangaroos, deer and monkeys. A Zoo Keeper takes visitors on guided tours around the zoo, a golf cart is available to take those with limited mobility around (or to give the kids a fun ride). The Zoo Keeper guided tours are held on weekends, Public Holiday and during the Victorian school holidays.

Kyabram Fauna Park, Goulburn Valley

Kyabram Fauna Park is located near the town of Kyabram in the Goulburn Valley of northern Victoria. The Park covers about 55 hectares of woodland, wetlands and lakes.

The Park was created to rejuvenate an area of degraded farmland and public land that had fallen into disrepair. The Park opened in 1976 and is now a sanctuary with over four hundred species of animals including free-roaming Kangaroos, Wallabies and Emus.