Accessing Melbourne
Chapter 12
You can get to the Zoo by train from Flinders St Station (or Tram from the city)
arriving at the Rail Gate at the north western point of the Zoo. Access from the
station is difficult as you must cross the railway and tram tracks and the road to a
paved path sloping down through the car park then up the gravel rise to the entry. A
better option is by vehicle to the front entry where there are five dedicated spaces
near the Main Entry. Crossovers to a hard packed gravel path leads to the entry. A
drop off point is provided outside the Main Entry.
The Zoo is a botanic garden set on a planned English layout featuring a statue of
Peter Pan, the Golden Elephant located in the centre garden circle and sweeping
lawns for picnics and barbecues. Free tours of the Zoo are conducted daily, special
activities and opening times and during the summer months, the Zoo hosts twilight
jazz evenings. Pushers and wheelchairs are available from the information desk
inside the main entry.
Occupying 22ha, displaying more than 374 animal species and sloping gently from
front to rear, several touch and feel statues provide visitors a concept of size and
shape of a Platypus, Monitor Lizard and Wombat.
Main paths are bitumen and lined by shallow  spoon  drains which can be
awkward to cross but other paths are hard packed gravel. Five toilets are
designated accessible but three; near the Main Entry, by the Butterfly House and
towards the Rail gate are the most accessible options. The toilets by the Bistro and
near the Central gardens are in narrow rooms. Food outlets are located near the
Butterfly House and Lakeside Bistro, you can bring a picnic or even have a barbeque.
Several exhibits are  must sees ; the Gorilla exhibit where you peer through tall
cane to see a family group of gorillas, a firm packed gravel path leads through a
Rainforest habitat, but down a steep slope to a large glass window where you can
see other members of the gorilla group. The path then leads (again down steeply)
to one of the kiddies favourites, the Pygmy Hippopotamus. There is a steep climb
up to the Mandrills and Tree top monkeys and a very steep slope back down to
the gravel path. The Butterfly House is a favourite with colourful and rare
butterflies such as the Ulysses butterfly from Far North Queensland, landing gently
on visitors heads. There is a solid gradient (10%) up to the entry doors which are
heavy to open ensuring the humid conditions are maintained inside the exhibit.
The Great Flight Aviary is one of the original exhibits but involves some steep
slopes in and out. The Lions can be viewed from above by heading up the steep

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