Peninsula Essence January 2022

Page 44

GO WILD THESE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS! Take the kids on an animal-filled adventure with up-close encounters and night tours. Moonlit Sanctuary is Melbourne’s award-winning wildlife park and it’s right here on the Mornington Peninsula. Mix up the old school holiday routine this year and get the family out of the house with a trip to Moonlit Sanctuary. This local wildlife sanctuary is full of cute and cool Aussie animals that are bound to remove "iPad" from your family's vocabulary for a day. Get them off the screens and into the park’s wide-open animal-filled spaces, or take an extra special guided night tour that you all will remember for years to come. Moonlit Sanctuary is an adventure suitable for the whole family. Everyone will love to see the wombats, dingoes, koalas, wallabies and Tasmanian Devils and the older kids will get a kick out of seeing all the snakes, turtles and lizards the park has to offer too. There are more than 70 Australian animal species to spot including several endangered species you won't commonly find in the wild. With many close-up animal experiences available, now is your chance to hold a python, play with a dingo, cuddle up to a koala or take a super-cute wombat for a stroll. You can view all their closeup animal encounters on their website and make sure to book in advance as these sell out fast! Another highlight of visiting the park is hand-feeding the free roaming kangaroos and wallabies that are hopping around the ‘Wallaby Walk’. You will find they are very friendly and will gently nibble at the food from your hand. Containers of animal food are available for purchase at the ticket box or gift shop for just $3. There are also shows and presentations throughout the day in the purpose-built Show Area. These are a great opportunity to see wildlife close up, learn about their behaviours and discover how you can help with their conservation. • Feed a kangaroo, pet a koala or wombat, play with a dingo, hold an owl or python or take a walk with a wombat or dingo

E ssence

44 | PENINSULA

January 2022

With so many adorable animals and fun experiences, don’t forget to take some time to check out the serious side of Moonlit Sanctuary and learn about their conservation programs. Moonlit Sanctuary is dedicated to helping save Australia’s endangered wildlife from extinction and many of their animals are threatened with extinction. If you get peckish during your visit, there’s a café with views over the wetlands or you can bring your own picnic and enjoy it on one of the many tables in the park. There’s even a BBQ you can hire if you want to feed the whole crew. Tickets for day entry cost $23 for adults, $13 for children (over 18), and there are family tickets for $70. The Sanctuary closes at 4pm but re-opens at dusk for their worldfamous night tours. A guide will take you around the park after dark to check in on Moonlit Sanctuary's nocturnal population. You’ll see Tassie Devils, pythons, potoroos, tiny feathertail gliders, quolls, pademelons and more by lantern light and learn about their starlit lives and habits. Tours take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete and currently begin at 8.30pm. Bookings are essential as these tours are get to small groups to make sure you get an amazing experience. Night tour tickets are $55 per adult, $33 per child or $165 for a family. To find out more about Moonlit Sanctuary and its furry, scaly and crawly residents, go to their website.

W: moonlitsanctuary.com.au

• Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour

Café and gift shop

• Guided night tours are also available

• Ecotourism accredited