WHEN it wasn’t raining at the Melbourne Zoo on Saturday, we were drenched from the hot rain dripping off the trees. However, in the words of a corny cadet journalist, it didn’t dampen our spirits. See?

Melbourne Zoo poncho

How dashing do I look? Actually, don’t answer that. If I had realised there were kid ponchos, I would have snavelled one of those.

It was then followed by a Bear Grylls parenting moment, when The Bloke in The Shed had to master a dummy chain from the plastic of his fetching blue poncho to stop Li’l Holly from dropping her pacifier onto the ground – and possibly into poo. The animals. Not hers.

The monkeys were a wonderful start to our day, including this little guy who was keen on giving hubby a lip-smacking kiss.

monkey at the Melbourne Zoo

It was all fun and games until he decided to start drinking his own wee. I’ll refrain from showing you that photo.

Princess Ella was taken to the Melbourne Zoo when she was 14 months old – nearly the same age as Li’l Holly now. Of course, Ella has no memory of it, but we vividly recall how much she enjoyed it, making all the different animal noises she’d just started to master. One of the highlights from that trip was the excitement in her eyes when she saw a butterfly land on her Uncle Rick’s shoulder.

Melbourne Zoo butterfly

We tried to recreate that moment this time but, of course, it didn’t happen. I did manage this pretty photo though.

Melbourne Zoo butterfly

And a similar shot of Uncle Rick with Li’l Holly.


baby girl smiling in troller at Melbourne Zoo

My brother and Li'l Holly at the Melbourne Zoo

Speaking of déjà vu moments, this was Ella as a tot, cuddling up to her dad as they watched the elephants together.


Ella as a tot making elephant noises


This is about the same spot, watching the elephants again now a few years on.

It’s fair to say, the elephants are still a big hit for the O’Briens, especially that beautiful baby elephant who, just like Holly during a fussy Wonder Week, stuck by her mum like glue.

Melbourne Zoo baby elephantMelbourne Zoo elephant

Sadly, it was at this point the camera battery died. It was my fault for not charging it, but let’s just keep that one between ourselves. Thank goodness for iPhones with HDR though. It allowed us to get Ella’s favourite animal, the giraffe, along with the seal show (truly fabulous), the new mini aquarium area (well, new since we were last there),

Melbourne Zoo seal and giraffe

witnessing an alpha male moment between two lions (quite chilling)

lion drinking at Melbourne Zoo

and Ella’s first ride on the carousel (and about my 10th).

Melbourne Zoo carousel

Although, movement was a little challenging for the iPhone.

There were two other creatures we weren’t bargaining on. The first was this little fella:

Melbourne Zoo rat

Can you see the rat? Not sure if he is factored into the price of admission or not. And then this rather jolly creature:

Melbourne Zoo Santa Claus

As if Ella’s eyes weren’t already falling out of her head. He may well have outdone seeing a giraffe for her.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Melbourne Zoo, despite the rain. The variety of animals on show is always impressive and the ability to get so close and see how they would interact in their natural environment is quite surreal. We were also thankful for all those viewing platforms in keeping us dry. Our only feedback would be on the bistro meal, which could have been a little heartier for the price. But a minor point in the scheme of the day.

The zoo is one of those wonderful attractions that has no age barrier – from Li’l Holly at age one to the many grandparents wandering around. I highly recommend it for your next visit to Melbourne, especially if you love learning about new animals. And we’ll be back again, for sure.

Cost: Children 4-15 (Saturday, Sunday, public/school holidays) free; Children 4-15 Monday to Friday) $12.60; Children 0-3 free; Adult $25.40. See the Planning Your Visit page for concessions.

Opening hours: 9am-5pm every day of the year.

More information:  Visit Melbourne Zoo

Have you visited the Melbourne Zoo or do you have another favourite zoo? What was your highlight?

DISCLOSURE: We received complimentary passes to the Melbourne Zoo and the carousel. However, we did pay for the ponchos! All opinions expressed are my own.

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19 Responses to Monkeying around at the Melbourne Zoo (review)

  1. oh looks like you had a great day! and you look hot in that poncho~ maybe a new style trend on the way lol! (the monkey drank its own pee… *shudder*)
    mums the word recently posted..Bloggers Brunch November 2011My Profile

    • Kel says:

      LOL!! Thanks Sarah. I think maybe I’ve started something here! Can see this taking off over summer! 😉
      Actually, I have to admit, I did keep dry the entire day, so it worked! x

  2. Skyelee says:

    We went to the zoo in the last school holidays – purely because it was for Miss 3’s birthday. Forgot that it was free for kids in the hol’s. Spent 30 minutes waiting for the zoo to open up extra parking, and another 30 in the line to get in. If that is not an advertisement for taking out a FOTZ membership (gets you straight in) I don’t know what is!
    Skyelee recently posted..Winner announced – Who’s going to PROM??My Profile

    • Kel says:

      Oh, I forgot to mention about the kids are free in the holidays part, Skyelee. Thanks for reminding me.
      Due to the rain and the fact we got there early, we got a good parking spot and there was no line up! Very pleased with that. If we lived in Melbourne, I think we’d get a membership too. Such a great way to go about it! x

  3. Caz says:

    I love the melbourne zoo. We were there in March for middle pinks birthday. (when it didn’t rain thankfully!!) I loved watching the seals swimming. They look so blissfully happy!!
    Caz recently posted..BLOGGING: Making Headers and ButtonsMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      Those seals were fabulous, Caz. The new aquarium section, where you get to see the seals swimming under the water, was a real highlight for Ella. She was mesmerised. Actually, so was Li’l Holly. Then to see the seal show… I think it was too much excitement in one day for them! LOL! 🙂

  4. Louisa says:

    We love the zoo! Such a great way to spend a Melbourne day (or morning, as it most often is in our case!)
    Louisa recently posted..An Open Letter To Pregnant WomenMy Profile

    • Kel says:

      So envious that you have such easy access to it, Lou. I think we’d be regular visitors if we lived in Melbourne. There were a few things we didn’t get to see, due to time, so would love to get back again soon. 🙂

  5. We flew to Melbourne especially for the zoo just before Aidan was born last year! Sienna loved it, and we got some beautiful photos of the baby elephants!
    Kellie – Good, Bad & Unnecessary recently posted..Tell me how you really feel.My Profile

    • Kel says:

      How gorgeous are the baby elephants? We got to see the elephants come out to feed, which was a real treat. I think Ella was quite blown away by how big the elephants were. Well, they don’t look that big in her books! 😉

  6. It looks like you guys had a fabulous day. Styling in those ponchos 🙂 xx
    Sonia @ Life Love and Hiccups recently posted..Tag You’re it – My Christmas Wish ListMy Profile

  7. The Melbourne Zoo is a particular favourite for us. We have a friends of the Zoo membership which is great. If we just want to go for a couple of hours we can. The CrashKids love the carousel and almost have as much fun in the playground as the rest of the zoo!
    Laney @ Crash Test Mummy recently posted..{Community} What next for Crash Test Mummy?My Profile

    • Kel says:

      Oh, how lucky are you, Laney. I’d love that. The carousel was a huge hit with Ella. I think she would have stayed on there if she could! It was a pretty impressive playground too. x

  8. Lisa Wood says:

    Hi Kel,

    Gosh I love the sound of the Melbourne Zoo – cant wait to show our boys when we head down there early next year!

    Thanks for sharing all of your great photos – I always forget to charge my camera up!! Lucky you had other means to take photos with!

    Lisa Wood recently posted..Living The Simple Lifestyle But Still Would Love One ThingMy Profile

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