Hang with orangutans and 3 other things your kids will love about Melbourne Zoo.

Melbourne Zoo
Thanks to our brand partner, Melbourne Zoo

There’s a board book we used to own, Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

It was our son’s favourite book. He would have us read it to him over and over and over again. In the book, if you’re not familiar with it (and if you’re not, why not? What’s wrong with you?) the plot is thus; a small boy writes to the zoo to send him a pet. But the zoo keeps sending him animals that don’t quite fit the bill, they’re too big or too scary or too tall.

Eventually, the zoo sends a puppy which is the perfect pet and everyone, we assume, lives happily ever after.

William loved Dear Zoo so much he tried to eat it. And then he tried to hug it to death, and then he tried to claw it to pieces. Sadly, Dear Zoo eventually succumbed the dribbly over powering love of a one-year-old. We were all very sad.

But, Dear Zoo created a huge interest in animals and when William discovered some time later, that you could literally go to an actual zoo, he was thrilled.

Our family is lucky enough to live in Melbourne, it’s Australia’s greatest city (hush, now Sydney friends). We have the best coffee in the country, a thriving arts and music culture and one of the finest zoos in the world.

Here’s why we love Melbourne Zoo.

The Butterfly House.


Our favourite place in the whole zoo is the butterfly house. You literally step into the enclosure, an enormous glasshouse full of tropical plants. The greenhouse is full of bright, colourful native butterflies. As you walk through the glasshouse, the butterflies flit around you and through the flora. If you’re lucky, and there’s a good chance you will be, a butterfly will land on you. It’s a very special experience.

The glasshouse has recently been restored to reduce the environmental impact.

Wild encounters.

Melbourne Zoo offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with some of their residents.

Ever wanted to hang with an orangutan? Chill with a gorilla? Laugh with a lemur? Make a deal with a seal? Eat breakfast at the zoo with a kangaroo? At Melbourne Zoo you can do all of these things. (And at their sister zoo in Werribee, you can even camp out overnight safari style.)

Shop at the Zoopermarket.

Any excuse for shopping, right? Er, this is shopping of a slightly different kind.

Melbourne Zoo is committed to making every possible difference they can to help protect animals at home and overseas.

Palm oil is a product that’s used in the manufacturing of a huge number of everyday products you and I are buying regularly, from chocolate to hair conditioner. Palm oil production is hugely unsustainable, and to harvest it, we are losing thousands and thousands of hectares of forest every year. Those forests are habitat to creatures who rely on the natural environment to survive. Without it, many species are becoming extinct.


At the Zoopermarket, you can choose items you commonly buy and take action, calling on manufacturers to use only sustainably sourced palm oil and to clearly label their products so people know what they’re buying. You can also thank manufacturers for doing the right thing.

Budding zoologist in your house? Give the kids a taste of what it’s like to work at the zoo.

Most kids love animals – heck, mine sure do – and they want to learn more about them. Melbourne Zoo’s Keeper Kids program is a great way to give kids an opportunity to get to know what it’s really like to work at the zoo and look after the animals.

With the help of some cute dress-ups, they can have a go at being a vet, or a researcher or a horticulturalist.

They’ll learn about the animals, what they eat, what it takes to care for them, and what we need to do to help conserve endangered species and wildlife.

Why do you and your kids love the zoo?