Next time you are thinking of visiting one of the big zoos, why not consider checking out your local wildlife sanctuary? Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conversation Park in Pearcedale has over 70 species that are waiting to meet you.
You can explore the bushland while feeding kangaroos and wallabies, patting friendly koalas and enjoying encounters with wombats, koalas and dingoes and seeing many other animals including endangered species.
Moonlit Sanctuary is the ideal place to learn more about the fascinating animals that call Australia home. There are keeper presentations and shows in the purpose-built arena daily. And don’t forget to stop at the Koala Encounters area to snap a photo with one of the irresistibly cuddly koalas or book an encounter to pat a super cute wombat named Mary.
Moonlit Sanctuary grew out of the childhood dreams of founder and director Michael Johnson. Michael imagined a place where people could experience the rare and unusual animals that roam the Australian bush. Moonlit Sanctuary is that place.
“We thank every visitor who comes through our doors and experiences Moonlit Sanctuary, especially those who connect with wildlife they have never seen or heard of before,’ said Michael. ‘It is our hope that each connection creates awareness of the animal’s plight, and that together we can help halt their extinction, so that our children’s children will also experience the joy of their company.”
The Sanctuary has become an ark for endangered creatures, and a showcase of their unique beauty. It is a living classroom which encourages children and adults alike to unlock the mystery of Australian mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, insects and amphibians in a natural bush setting.
Mr Johnson said, “Moonlit Sanctuary’s activities range from breeding and releasing endangered species to critical habitat restoration and encouraging our visitors to become wildlife champions.”
Having re-opened to visitors in late October, the Sanctuary is enjoying seeing locals return. Mr Johnson explains, “Our visitors provide a fantastic real-life enrichment for the animals, and some of our social animals were very aware that things had changed but, of course, couldn’t understand why.”
“We believe meeting each other is just as engaging for many of our species as it is for the visitors,” he added.
Open every day, except Christmas Day, Moonlit Sanctuary offers a great family day out but it doesn’t stop there. As the sun sets, Moonlit Sanctuary comes alive again with unique lantern-lit guided tours. Night birds are active, kangaroos come out to play, tiny gliders swoop around, and endangered quolls, pademelons and bettongs forage for food.
Groups for Night Tours are kept small and take 1½ to 2 hours to complete. Tours begin between 7pm and 8:30pm depending on the time of sunset and must be booked in advance.
It is an amazing way to get close up to Australia’s fascinating wildlife, offering opportunities to meet a wide variety of animals in their natural nocturnal environment where they are really active, busily interacting with each other and their visitors.
The Night Tour guides are passionate and knowledgeable about the animals and their conservation and will answer all your wildlife questions during this unforgettable wildlife safari. For a truly special experience you can book a private night tour; perfect for that date night you’ve been planning or as a holiday treat for the family.
Bookings are essential as the Park has implemented new procedures to ensure social distancing with staggered arrival times.
Bookings can be made online at moonlitsanctuary.com.au
Night Tour Tickets
Adults: $55 Children: $33
Concession: $50 Family: $165
Private Night Tours
$290 for 1-2 people $72 for additional people
Day Admission Tickets
Adults: $26 Children: $13
Concession: $23 Family Pass: $70
Located at 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd, Pearcedale
Open from 10:00am-5:00pm weekdays and 9:30am to 5:00pm weekends.
Peninsula Essence, Stay & Play Feature – January 2021