Home to around 400 different animal species, the family-run Ballarat Wildlife Park makes a popular day out from Melbourne and there’s plenty for animal lovers to get excited about. Since opening its doors in 1985, the 15-hectare park has become a refuge for hundreds of native Australian animals from kangaroos and koalas, to wombats, echidnas and crocodiles.
Visitors can hand-feed the free-roaming population of kangaroos and emus; learn about some of the world’s most venomous snakes in the Reptile House and see baby koalas, quokkas and giant tortoises. As well as interacting with the animals, there are daily ‘meet the keeper’ experiences and animal shows, including the chance to watch the crocodile and Tasmanian Devils feeding, see eagles in full flight and have your photo taken with a koala.
Ballarat Wildlife Park is located in Ballarat, 110km northwest of Melbourne, and is open daily from 9am to 5.30pm. Admission is AU$31 for adults, AU$17.50 for children and free tours are held daily at 11am.