Melbourne Attractions for Children

(Melbourne, Victoria - VIC, Australia)

Melbourne Attractions for ChildrenIf you are visiting Melbourne as a family with children, then there are various attractions that may be of interest. A trip to Melbourne Aquarium is likely to appear at the top of your agenda, being founded in 2000 and featuring an Antarctic / Southern Ocean theme. Interestingly, the aquarium was designed to appear as if it was a ship actually moored on the Yarra River.

Considerably older and still a real magnet for children is the Royal Melbourne Zoo. Established in the early 1860s, this is the oldest zoo in the whole of Australia, whilst also being the world's third-oldest. Another popular attraction is the Koala Conservation Centre, which resides on the outskirts of the city, on nearby Phillip Island, and offers the chance to see koalas living in natural surroundings, as well as a sizeable colony of penguins living in a wildlife sanctuary. Also worth bearing in mind are the numerous city playgrounds, the funfair rides at Luna Park, the friendly animals at the Werribee Open Range Zoo, and the go-kart track at the Pipeworks Fun Market.

Melbourne Attractions for Children

Melbourne Aquarium

Address: King Street and Queenswharf Road, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9620 0999
Melbourne Aquarium is situated on the corner of Queenswharf, next to the Yarra River and just across from the Southbank. The floor-to-ceiling coral tank is a particular delight, as is the enormous oceanarium (which contains more than two million litres of water), a mangrove swamp area, the large sandbar whaler sharks and grey nurse sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish and penguins, while there is also a simulated deep-sea ride. Other attractions include the Ocean Theatre, the Kids Play area, rock pools, a restaurant and café, and a gift shop selling a multitude of fish-themed goodies.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors, children and families

Melbourne Attractions for Children

Royal Melbourne Zoo / Zoological Gardens

Address: Elliott Avenue, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3052, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9285 9300
The Royal Melbourne Zoo is one of the city's most outstanding attractions and is particularly popular with children and families. These spacious zoological gardens cover an area of around 55 acres / 22 hectares and boast a large collection of native Australian animals, an impressive platypus aquarium, lions, tigers, seals, reptiles, gorillas, monkeys, elephants, exotic birds and butterflies. The 'Great Flight Aviary' is a particular favourite and visitors are able to walk amongst the birds, following a boardwalk through different rainforest areas. On Thursday to Sunday, between the months of January and February, the zoo stays open until around 21:30 for its exciting Twilight concerts, featuring some of the best jazz musicians in the city.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors, children and families

Melbourne Attractions for Children

Luna Park

Address: 18 Lower Esplanade, St. Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3182, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9525 5033
Luna Park resides on the Lower Esplanade, where it features a grand entrance with twin towers and has been an important symbol of St. Kilda's district since opening in 1912. This historic amusement park is full of family attractions and is extremely popular with children of all ages. Highlights include a Ferris wheel, dodgems, a ghost train and many fun rides. The heritage-listed Scenic Railway roller coaster is especially important and was created in 1911. Also of note is the Magical Carousel, which dates back to 1913 and is of great historical significance, being made by the acclaimed Philadelphia Toboggan Company.
Open hours: Friday and Saturday - 11:00 to 23:00, Sunday - 13:00 to dusk, Monday to Thursday - 11:00 to 17:00
Admission: free, charge for rides

Adventure Playgrounds

There are many playground areas located around Melbourne, featuring giant slides, swings, roundabouts, climbing frames, tree houses, cycle trails, sand pits, rope swings and outdoor toys.

Indoor Play Centres

The Melbourne area boasts numerous superb play centres for children of all ages, often with separate soft-play areas for toddlers and babies. Many of these include climbing equipment, tunnels, slides, ball pits, bouncy castles, dressing-up clothes, childminding services, cafés and party facilities.

Children's Farms

Around the city are a number of excellent farms, providing children with the opportunity to get hands-on with friendly farmyard animals, such as chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, cows, horses and donkeys. Highlights generally include feeding times, baby animals, tractor rides, pony rides, playgrounds, picnic and BBQ facilities, cafés and gift shops.

Phillip Island Wildlife Park

Address: 2115 Phillip Island Road, Cowes, Victoria (VIC), 3922, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 5952 2038
The Phillip Island Wildlife Park is located to the far south of Melbourne, being roughly two hours away and close to the township of Cowes, where it covers around 60 acres / 24 hectares. Featuring enclosures and wetlands where visitors can walk freely and see many native birds, animals and plants, the park is called home by more than 100 different species of native Australian creatures, such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats, emus, cassowaries, cockatoos, kookaburras and more.
Open hours: daily - from 09:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors, children and families

Werribee Open Range Zoo

Address: K Road, Werribee, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3030, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9731 9600
Established in the 1980s, the Werribee Open Range Zoo resides on the south-westerly outskirts of Melbourne, being well signposted from the Princes Freeway and roughly a 30-minute drive away. Covering around 200 hectares / 800 acres, the zoo has a strong African theme and comes with many animal attractions, including zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, monkeys, lions, meerkats and rhinos. The zoological gardens are divided into separate areas, such as the African Savanna, the African Walking Trail, the Asian Grassland, the Australian Grassland and the Hippo Waterhole. Guided safari bus tours are available and nearby you will find the elaborate Werribee Park Mansion, which dates back to 1874.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors, children and families

Pipeworks Fun Market

Address: 400 Mahoneys Road, Campbellfield, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3061, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9357 1155
The Pipeworks Fun Market is a place where all the family can hang out. Children will enjoy riding on the dodgems, playing on the state-of-the-art video arcades, zooming around the go-kart tracks and joining the pony rides, while for grown ups, there is bungee jumping, a café, shops and lots of market stalls.
Open hours: Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: Saturday - free, Sunday - charge