Getting To Know Australia’s Wildlife At Moonlit Sanctuary

Back in November, I took my whole family – mom, dad, sis, fiance and myself to Australia. I was there 6 years ago, but it was the first time for all of them. So of course, what’s the first thing, first-time visitors wanna do? Feed and pet Australia’s wildlife of course. Once we arrived at our relatives in Melbourne I made a plan of where to take my family. A short research on the internet and reading reviews got me to my decision. We decided to visit Moonlit Sanctuary! 

About Moonlit Sanctuary

We were situated in Mulgrave at our relatives’ house, but I made a super busy schedule for us, to see the most we can in 3-weeks time. Moonlit Sanctuary is situated just about 50minutes outside of Melbourne. We were heading to Phillip Island and Wilsons Prom so I decided we should stop here on the way. A very popular choice is also Healesville Sanctuary, but that is situated in the opposite side. Plus it’s more expensive.

Moonlit Sanctuary was born out of owners childhood dream. I always had the same dream. Maybe one day I will open my own sanctuary, hehe. You never know.

They started developing the sanctuary back in 1998, but it opened it’s doors in 2001. 

I really do like how this sanctuary works. They are committed to the conservation and breeding of Australian wildlife. Not like some zoos and “sanctuaries”. Their goal is not to keep them caged but to breed the endangered ones and release them in the wild. 

Moonlit Sanctuary is a member of many different associations and they received multiple awards by now. Definitely, they are making a difference in Australia’s wildlife situation. 

When we were there, multiple school groups had a field day. Employees showed them around and explained to them everything about the animals. Besides this, they also have Keeper talks, Encounters (for a small additional fee), Night tours, plus you can become a Keeper for a day! I would love to do this one time. 

Their animals

As you might know, all Australian mammals are nocturnal. So you have the best chance at seeing them active on the evening tours. At Moonlit Sanctuary you can find over 200 animals of more than 30 different species. 

Most of the first time visitors to Australia are the most excited about kangaroos and koalas. So the same was with my family. Everyone was super excited about seeing them and even more about feeding the kangaroos and wallabies. 

Once you enter the sanctuary you immediately get to koalas enclosure. Of course, they were sleeping when we got there. But thankfully just a few minutes after the Keeper talk started. So once koalas got some fresh eucalyptus leaves they started moving and chewing on them. They are truly magnificent. 

Beside koalas, we saw probably my favorite Australian animal, WOMBAT! I just think they are the cutest. They are like teddy bears. So cuddly!

Then we made our way to Kangaroo and Wallabies walk. Place where they freely walk around and you can pet and feed them if they feel like it. There is a barrier/fence so that they can move away from visitors when they feel like it. So you have to stay on the path and not bother them while they sleep. There are several species of birds there as well.

Towards the end of the Moonlit Sanctuary, there is an enclosure with dingos. There is a dingo couple and they are so beautiful. While we were there they were just running around and snuggling.

They also have Tassie devils and bunch of different species of lizards and small mammals. Some of them were, unfortunately, sleeping/hiding, but at least they have enough space to do that when they want to.

Other things you can do

As I mentioned before, you can join Keepers talk where you are going to learn things about different animals. They do these talks and training with pythons, koalas, Tasmanian devils, wombats, dingos, cockatoo, kookaburra and animal training. Just check the times on their web page.

Then there is also a possibility of encounters for an additional fee. You can pet koala, walk with dingos, hold barn owl or dingo and much more. But the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is situated has strict laws about animal handlings. So you can’t hold the koala, but you can pet it. Still pretty awesome. Some other states in Australia allow you to hold them too.

Beside Keepers talk and encounters, Moonlit Sanctuary offers the opportunity to be a Keeper for a day. You can choose between half-day or full-day experience. Here you will see how the sanctuary works, feed the animals and do other things that staff to every day. I really wanna do this one time. Unfortunately didn’t have money or time for this now!

Details

Moonlit Sanctuary

550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd

Pearcedale, Victoria 3912 Australia

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/moonlitsanctuary

Their website: http://moonlitsanctuary.com.au

Admission fee: 

Adult (18+)  24$

Concession  21$

Child  12$

Family  64$

And there is also an option for Annual pass and Night tours have a different fee.

Let me know if you ever make it down there! I definitely loved my time at Moonlit Sanctuary and would recommend it to everyone!

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Check also my post about beautiful Rabati Castle Complex in Georgia

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