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.
The Sanctuary has over 200 animals of some 30 species. You can see kangaroos, dingoes and wombats, and have your photo with a koala for additional cost. The park has a bush food garden where you can sample the bush tucker.
Australian mammals you might encounter at Moonlight include Spotted-tailed Quoll, Long-nosed Potoroo, Red-bellied Pademelon, Spinifex Hopping Mouse, Fat-tailed Dunnart, Brush-tailed Bettong, Red-necked Wallaby, Feathertail Glider and Sugar Glider. Birds include the Tasmanian Masked Owl, Tawny Frogmouth, Cape Barren Goose and Bush Thicknee. You will also see reptiles such as the, Victorian Carpet Python, Blue-tongue Lizard and Gippsland Water-dragon.
Moonlight has successfully bred a number of rare and endangered species including Southern Bettong (aka Eastern Bettong), Eastern Quoll, Julia Creek Dunnart, Fluffy Glider (Yellow-bellied Glider) and Squirrel Glider. The Eastern Quoll and Southern Bettong are now extinct on the mainland and only found in the wild in Tasmania. Moonlit Sanctuary has the only Southern Bettongs on mainland Australia.
Other options to enhance your visit are guided day tours, night tours of the bushland to see nocturnal animals, private tours for small groups, Keeper for the Day experience to assist staff with feeding and caring for the animals. These tours are additional cost – see the Moonlit Sanctuary web site for details.
Moonlit takes part in education programs with an Education Officer providing wildlife and environmental experiences to primary and secondary school children. The site has a kiosk selling light refreshments, gift and souvenir shop. Groups of up to 60 people can be catered for. There is disabled access and facilities.
The park is open every day except Christmas Day from 11am to 5pm. Closed Christmas Day. Evening tours start at dusk. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is situated at 550 Tyabb Tooradin Road, Pearcedale and is 50 minutes drive from the centre of Melbourne with access via the Monash Freeway (M1) and Westernport Highway (A780).