Moonlit Sanctuary

http://www.moonlitsanctuary.com.au/

550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd
Pearcedale Victoria 3912

If you live in Melbourne and haven’t been to Moonlit sanctuary before, you’re missing out! The sanctuary hosts over 200 animals from 30 different species that include all the Aussie favourites, but there’s so much more to it when you walk around. I was pleasantly surprised.

I visited with my Missy Moo who is almost a “big girl” (she’s turning 2 in a few days – where has that time gone?!), my friend and her little miss E.

 

Firstly… there were a few big wins.

Fenced.
You want to win over a toddler mum? Give her secure fencing. I loved that once we walked through the doors she was locked in (mu ha ha ha), and although I was still keeping a diligent eye, it was great to know that we were away from cars, roads etc. There is, however, a big lake in the facility that she was drawn to….luckily “guarded” by lots of birds and ducks.

Animals.
The animals were really easy to see for a short toddler (and for me). I didn’t spend the whole time lifting her up and down to look into enclosures. There were lots of clever glass panels, and just generally low enclosures…she really had the freedom to move from place to place and take a lot in quite independently. In addition to that there were keepers walking animals around (we met a snake) and then there’s the “Wallaby walk” which deserves its own mention.

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Wallaby walk
This dirt track is pram and walking toddler friendly, whilst filled with various breeds of wallabies and kangaroos to engage with. What was really impressive to all of us was how friendly these animals were. Bags of animal food were sold in the gift shop for a couple of $, and 1 bag was plenty to entertain 2 children for the entire walk (took us about 30 minutes including 1 toddler meltdown about sunglasses). They were able to pat, cuddle and hand feed all the animals as we went along, and we never felt crowded or rushed despite visiting during school holidays. I was nervous as hell watching my baby hand feed a kangaroo, but I could see it was very tame, and overall a lovely and safe experience. She was so proud of herself! It was completely the highlight of our visit.

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Parking. Free and plentiful!

A few places for improvement.

Toilets
With a relatively recently toilet trained child, toilet accessibility is often on my mind. As soon as we arrived I checked out the loo locations. There were 2 different sets of toilets near the entrance, but nothing within the main bit of the park. I knew as soon as we got to the furthest point in the park away from the toilets, someone would pipe up about needing a wee…and I was right. Perhaps another toilet block within the park somewhere would be really handy.

Café
Not bad, but not lots of choice either. There is indoor and outdoor seating and plenty of ikea high chairs. Coffee was good! Food was relatively fast.

Day Price Per Person     Member
(annual fee – multiple entry valid for one year from purchase date)
Adult
(16+)             
$20.00 $60.00
Concession
(Seniors, Students & Healthcare Card Holders)
$18.00 $54.00
Pensioner
(Australian Pension Card Holder)
$16.00 $48.00
Child
(*4-15)
$10.00 $30.00
Family
(2A, 2Ch – extra child $7 each)
$53.00 $159.00

(Taken from Moonlit Sanctuary website, correct at time of publishing)

Want to get it cheaper?
Entertainment book offers:
“one complimentary DAY ADMISSION when another DAY ADMISSION of equal or greater value is purchased Or for those who prefer valid for any FAMILY DAY ADMISSION at 25% off THE REGULAR PRICE”
http://www.entertainmentbook.com.au

Small ideas offers:
“10% off Entry at Moonlit Sanctuary”
https://smallideas.com.au/

Membership
An adult membership costs $60 a year for unlimited visits

Discounts also have been found on Groupon from time to time.

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By the way, you may have wondered about the title “Moonlit”, well they also do night visits and tours most nights of the year. I haven’t done this yet so I can’t pass comment, but will be sure to let you know when I do.

Overall I’d give the Moonlit Sanctuary a solid 8/10 and plan to visit again soon.

 

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