ramp from the bitumen path. You return the same way as there are steps at the
other end. The Seal Pool provides an excellent view of these sleek creatures
playing underwater. You can view them from below water level by heading down
the slope near the Cockatoos. You come up a ramp on the other side to look down
into the pool.
The recently opened Australian Bush Habitat Zone provides innovative viewing of
Echidnas, Monitor Lizards, Koalas and Wombats. Exhibits are behind glass
screens providing viewing from ground level up. The packed gravel path slopes
generally up to the Koalas and then steeply down to the Wombats and climbs again
back to the main path. Look for a Monitor Lizard sunning itself on a tree stump (you
may pat it) but don't get lost in the Wombat tunnels. When exiting the Wombat
exhibit the path heads up to an outside viewing area but then slopes down
dangerously to a small lake. It would be easy to lose control and wind up in the
water! A gate leads to the Kangaroo enclosure before rejoining the main path.
Visitors should allow a full day to full appreciate the zoo.
The Royal Melbourne Showgrounds
The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Ltd (9281 7444/fax 9376 2973,
www.royalshow.com.au), is based at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds and is the
venue for the annual Royal Melbourne Show. Located 4 kilometres northwest of
the city on Epsom Road, the showgrounds sit next to Flemington Racecourse
sharing the railway line. Special Show trains run direct to the Showgrounds from
Flinders Street and Spencer Street stations arriving at the Main Gate at the eastern
entry to the showgrounds.
Parking is in Leonard Crescent where dedicated parking is available adjacent to
Gate 3. During showtime cars park in the racecourse carpark, however, the
pathways are steep up to the entry making access very difficult. A better option is
to drop off a passenger by the Main Gate but there is no vehicular access to the
showgrounds during the show. Trams stop also at the Main Gate. Prices for the
2000 show were; adult $17.50, child $7, concession $12, family $45, admission for
seniors on Seniors Day is reduced to $8.
For 11 days in September, close to three quarters of a million visitors taste, touch
and experience the biggest event in Victoria. The Show offers something for
every member of the family; exciting and thrilling rides, street theatre, showbags,
animals of all shapes and sizes, horticulture, education, Main Arena entertainment
and hundreds of competitive judging classes and events, from making jam to