Moonlit Sanctuary Guide

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Australian animals, they are amazing unique creatures that everyone is amazed by, even us who live here. I have always marvelled at the kangaroos bounding across our landscape, little echidnas waddling through the bush, wombats digging huge holes that seem to go on forever and those little koalas that perch themselves high above us in the treetops.

We have been to many places overseas and if we got to a zoo or wildlife park and if there are Australian animals there my girls will still seek them out…they are like a little piece of home all the way over the other side of the world. When we are watching them people will gather to see them too, amazed by these unique creatures and they are from where we come from.

The Black Cockatoo is uniquely Australian

Last time we visited Dromana we drove past the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and I thought it would be a fantastic place to visit. Unfortunately, we ran out of time so, on our next visit, I made sure it was on our itinerary.

Willow and Marley both love animals and learning more about how we can protect our native ones is very important to us. We left Dromana at about 8.30 to make sure we got there for the 10 o’clock opening.

There were already some people lining up for entry to the Moonlit Sanctuary so we filed in behind them.

Moonlit Sanctuary home to the Aussie Animals

Once we were at the ticket counter Michael came out to greet us and to tell us a little about the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. He told us what times the shows would be on and gave us a map that included all the information we would need to see as much as we could while we were at the Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary.

He then handed us all a lanyard…the girls looked at him not really understanding what they were but as soon as they saw the picture on the front they had the biggest smiles on their faces! We were going to be able to be up close and personal with a Koala! Bucket List…Check!

the girls holding there Koala pass at moonlit sanctury
Ready to explore the Pearcedale Moonlite Sanctuary

We all walked through the entry door and out into the wildlife park. Two little wallabies knew exactly where to stand! They were just the cutest little things and they were getting ALL the food from everyone walking in!

The girls made a beeline for them straight away and Marley got to feed the little one before we moved on to the Koalas. I love seeing these guys even though they are normally asleep.

One who we would later meet called Tyeepa was wandering around in his enclosure and watching him was great for us all. We had an 11 am meeting with a koala so we didn’t stray far from there.

Koala in a gum tree
Seeing a Koala is one of the top things to do on the Mornington Peninsula

Animal Encounters at Moonlit Sanctuary.

There are a few different kinds of animal encounters that are available at Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are wanting one I would purchase it immediately when you are getting your entry tickets.

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Animals available for an encounter at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park:

Koalas                                                                                               Snakes

Owls                                                                                                  Dingoes

Willow wanted an encounter with a dingo but could not make up her mind and she missed out!

Things to remember with a Moonlite Sanctaury animal encounter:

  • They are wild animals…they don’t care that you want the perfect shot!
  • The handler is in charge at all times and if the animal has had enough they will stop the encounter.
  • Get in quickly…they are hot items and limits are set on how many people can have an encounter.
  • You need to stay calm near the animal and don’t do anything that may harm or frighten it.
  • The handler CANNOT take pictures for you as they are there to support the anaiml. You can ask people waiting in line to do it for you. We found that people were more than happy to help.

Our encounter with Tyeepa was an amazing experience for us all. We had no idea that we would be able to pat him and be so close. His fur was harder than I thought it would be and he kept dropping his food which made the girls laugh.

I had goosebumps for the rest of the day every time I thought about it. The girls were so excited when we finished.

Marley patting a koala at moonlit sanctury
Willow doing the koala experience at moonlit sanctury

We spent some more time wandering around the Koala area before we headed off to find some more wallabies and kangaroos. We also came across a volunteer preparing some activities for the wombats and she told the girls what they like to eat and play with.

This was in a small building next to the cheekiest little lizards enclosure that I have ever seen. After the girls had chatted to the volunteer we entered the area where the kangaroos and wallabies like to hang out.

It wasn’t long before we were seeing plenty of them laying around and sleeping all over the place. There were a few still up and about happily eating from anyone who held out some food!

Top Tips for the Wallaby Walk at Moonlit Sanctuary

  • If you have not booked an animal encounter go through the wallaby walk soon as you get there. We found after awhile the animals just needed a rest from humans!
  • Do the walk more than once.
  • Please stick to the paths. They are nice and wide for prams.
  • DO NO LEAVE THE PATHS. The animals might need a rest and retreat further back into the trees for that. Leave them be.
feeding a wallaby

We got to the end of the wallaby walk and the dingo show was on. We stopped for a while to watch them be fed and listen to the facts the handler was sharing about the dingoes. Willow has always loved them and was happy to stay while Marley went to feed the ducks.

The handler answered questions about them too and Willow said it was really cool to see the dingoes. From there we decided to stop off at the cafeteria at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park for some lunch.

We found the prices to be very reasonable and we all enjoyed our food. We then headed to the wombats. They were so funny laying in their barrels on their backs with their little legs in the air! All the kids loved them and quite a few adults had a laugh at the sleeping positions too.

holding a snake

We also went to the bush tucker area and the bird aviary before walking the Wallaby Walk again.

Top Tips for Moonlit Sanctuary: 

  • Wear good shoes. It is not a strenuous walk but the little stones kept getting in my thongs!
  • There is some Aerogard at the front entrance just as you get through the door.
  • Buy an extra ‘food’ at the counter as you get your entry. Marley got so excited every time she saw a new animal she would always drop some! This is also the ONLY food you are able to feed the animals in Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
  • You can take food with you BUT you are to eat it in the designated areas.
an emu wandering moonlit sanctuary

We had an amazing time at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and I would highly recommend it for Aussie’s and visitors alike. We spent around 3.5 hours all up at Moonlit Sanctuary and we honestly could have spent more time there.

Moonlit is one of the best wildlife parks in the Melbourne area. We hope you found this Moonlite Sanctuary Guide helpful.

Moonlit Sanctuary Prices for Entry

(Seniors, Students & Healthcare Card Holders)
(Australian Pension Card Holder)
(2A, 2Ch – extra child $8 each)

*children under 4 are free

Getting to Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne

Moonlit Sanctuary is approximately one hour from the centre of Melbourne.

Getting to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park by car
  • A drive from the Melbourne CBD takes the Monash Freeway (M1) and the Westernport Highway (M780).
  • Drive from the Eastern Suburbs on the East-link and Peninsula Link.
  • Phillip Island is one hour away on the South Gippsland Highway.
  • Even make a day trip from the Bellarine Peninsula and Great Ocean Road via Searoad Ferries. to Sorrento then along the Mornington Peninsula Freeway.
  • Remember: enter our street address into your GPS sat nav: 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd Pearcedale.
Remember, if you can’t afford to buy travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel!
Getting to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park by public transport

Passenger trains operate from Melbourne CBD stations to both Frankston and Cranbourne stations. From Frankston or Cranbourne you will need to catch a bus to Pearcedale.

Train travel time is around 70 minutes on both lines, depending on the train taken. The fare from the City to Pearcedale and return including train and bus will be approximately $8.20. To use any public transport in the state of Victoria you are required to have a Myki card. You can get information on the Myki Card here.

From Cranbourne: The number 792 bus from the Cranbourne station to Pearcedale. This bus runs 10 times a day weekdays, 9 times a day Saturday, and 8 times a day Sunday. Travel time is about 30 minutes. You will need to check and make sure that the service you take does stop in Pearcedale.

From Frankston: The number 776 bus from the Frankston station to Pearcedale. This bus runs 7 times a day weekdays and 3 times a day on Saturday. There is no Sunday service. Travel time is about 30 minutes.

Moonlit Sanctuary is a 2.5km, 30-minute walk from Pearcedale. There are no taxis at Pearcedale.

Taxis: may be hailed at the Frankston Railway Station taxi rank, and the trip to Moonlit Sanctuary takes about 20 minutes while the fare should be about $33. There is no taxi rank at Cranbourne Railway Station.

The staff are happy to phone for a taxi for you to return to the bus stations from Moonlit Sanctuary.

Moonlit Sanctuary Guide

7 thoughts on “Moonlit Sanctuary Guide”

  1. I would love to visit the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. It certainly looks like your family enjoyed it!

  2. These are experiences your children will always remember — and you, too! I’d love to have an encounter with koalas; they don’t do anything like that at our local zoo (San Diego), but they do have a koala enclosure, and you can stand relatively close to them on a raised deck. Makes it a little easier to see them.

  3. What an amazing spot! It looks like your family had a great time and it was nice that you got to see all the animals up close and learn more bout them. Definitely wish I had known about this spot while I was in Australia! Although, I did see many of these animals in the wild at some point, just not quite as close!

  4. Wow I want to see this Wildlife Conservation Park. And so cool about the close encounters, I would love to check the koala off my bucket list too!

  5. We visited Healesville Sanctuary, also outside of Melbourne. Your photos bring back those memories! Got my best photos of Aussie animals there which won in the Photo Show I entered.

  6. What a disappointing article. I hate to be negative, but as you are a respected blogger and publishing this to the world I really expected you to be aware of the issues of unethical animal tourism. Feeding, touching and patting animals is unethical and irresponsible anywhere in the world and Australia is no exception. Koalas in particular are highly stressed by these encounters and live shorter lives as a result. I know that Moonlit Sanctuary do some important conservation work with some species and I was hoping your article would focus on that.

    • Hi Janine,
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      I completely understand and respect your views on this topic. For me, I visited Moonlit knowing the boundaries of where I was, what was there and what I was allowed to do. On patting the koala I spoke to management and the keeper to find out what impact this had on the Koala. I felt that his best interests were extremely important to the sanctuary and to his keeper.
      I know it is a hotly debated subject but I prefer to do this kind of ‘animal tourism’ rather than trying to seek them out in their natural habitat. Here money is going back into the welfare, care and gaining knowledge of these gorgeous animals to protect them better for the future rather than having humans yet again invading their natural space or accidentally destroying precious flora aiming to get the best insta shot while unaware of what they are doing.
      Again, thank you so much for your comment.
      Have a brilliant day.


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