Melbourne Zoo - Easter Weekend
I hate crowds.... so when the suggestion to visit the Melbourne Zoo was raised for a picture perfect 24 degree Saturday, during the Easter Holidays, in the middle of School Holidays, you can picture the first thing to come into my mind - no way!
I called my sister on Saturday morning to confirm a play date with the kids, which I had previously intended to confirm, but naturally forgot.... It turned out they were busy. So we racked our brains for better options than the Zoo and the crowds but nothing came to light. So we took a punt.
Upon arrival at around 10:30am we were guided to the overflow car-park - a sure sign of things to come I thought. We packed up the pram with everything we could find and headed off to the main gate.
We were greeted not by a que of hundreds, but a smiling attendant who pointed us towards the toll booths. We waited maybe 3 minutes to pay and I was pleasantly surprised to find both our children (under four) were free.
So far so good....
The day continued on this note. I had not been to the zoo for years but I cannot speak more highly of the enclosures which I should really now refer to as 'attractions' for they truly were experiences within their own right. The Zoo has blended the relevant animals into sections so when you complete the 'Elephant Walk' not only do you feel like you are in some country in South East Asia, but you also meet other animals along the way from the same region.
The Zoo staff had organised talks at many of the enclosures through out the day and I was really pleased how helpful and passionate about the animals the staff were. When we visited the Orang-utans the Keeper walked amongst the crowd, explaining what was happened and engaging people - like ourselves - who didn't manage a front row seat.
What was perhaps most pleasing about the day was how much our children enjoyed themselves. We easily spent 4 hours at the Zoo and I was surprised when later that night, my daughter (aged 3) named nearly all the exhibits and animals she had seen for the day. The Zoo captivated her and she carried the map for the next two days, showing anyone who would listen all the animals she had seen.
Well done Melbourne Zoo - this is easily one of Melbourne's best attractions.