Open daily, including all public holidays, 9am - 5pm, and on selected summer evenings to 9:30pm for Zoo Twilights
Adults (16 years and over), $15.30 Children (4-15 years) $7.60
Children under 4, free Adult Students, $11.40
Family Pass, (2 Adults & up to 4 Children) $41.40
Concession (including health care cardholders) $11.40
Group Discounts available for groups of more than 20.
Added to JGarden:
The Melbourne Zoo is located only minutes from the city centre, within Royal Park, just off Flemington on Elliot Avenue. Parking is available, but the zoo is also accessible by tram or train. Tram 55 from William Street Monday-Saturday and Tram 68 from Elizabeth Street run on Sundays. Trains run from historic Flinders Street Station on the Upfield or Gowrie lines Monday through Sunday, stopping at Melbourne Zoo's own Royal Park Station.
The Japanese garden is located just past the zoo's main gate to the right. A map is available on the web site.
The garden was completed in November 1991 on the old site of the Pygmy Hippopotamus exhibit. It sets a tone of elegance for the meeting center and Lakeside Bistro. It was constructed in honor of the Sister-State relationship between Victoria and Aichi Prefecture, where an Australian garden is now open to visitors.
Nakane Shiro, the Kyoto landscape architect, designed the site and supervised the construction process. While stone forms the bones of this garden, the plant selection provides interest during all seasons, though the sequence of cherry blossoms in spring is supposed to be of particular note.
Melbourne Zoo is the oldest zoo in Australia and is among the oldest zoos in the world. Originally located on the river flats in Richmond, it was modeled after the London Zoo. In 1862 the Royal Park site was given to the zoo by the City of Melbourne. The grounds were laid out on formal lines to create a garden atmosphere. This early zoo was not one we would recognize today, however. Australia was importing large numbers of domestic animals and song birds at the time and before being sent to a station or released into the bush, they required a period of acclimitisation after their long journey from Europe. The zoo served as an animal acclimatisation park.
The real development of a Zoological collection began with the appointment of Albert Le Souef in 1870. He acquired monkeys, American Black Bears, lions, tigers and other species as well as adding picnic grounds and garden beds. Through the rest of the 19th century and early 20th century, the collection was steadily expanded and diversified. The Zoo maintained a very strong Australian collection, establishing a special section in 1934 to display platypus, koala and other native animals.
In the 1960s the Zoo began a modernisation program under chairman, Alfred Dunbavin Butcher. The Lion Park was the first major exhibit. Innovative exhibits such as the Arboreal Primate enclosure, the Great Flight Aviary and the Butterfly House followed. In the 1980s a master plan was developed, dividing the Zoo into bioclimatic zones: an African Rainforest; an Asian Rainforest; and the Australian Bush.
Today, the Zoo is actively involved with local and regional conservation and research programs, education, and international projects in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. While the Royal Park site is still the main zoo, since the mid-1970's, the Zoological Board of Victoria (now known as the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board) has been responsible for an Open Range Zoo of 116 acres at Werribee and a 175 hectare bushland santuary in Healesville.