Melbourne Zoo

This is Australia’s oldest zoo, and the single iron-barred enclosure that remains is a testimony to the days when animals were kept in minuscule cages. Today things are rather different – take the Trail of the Elephants, for instance, where elephants live in a re-creation of an Asian rainforest, complete with an elephant sized plunge pool (and Asian hawker stalls for visitors). Another perennial favourite here is the Butterfly House, where butterflies are quite happy to land on you as you pass through. From mid-January to mid-March the zoo runs a popular program of open-air, evening jazz sessions called Zoo Twilights. Elliott Ave, Parkville; (03) 9285 9300; open 9am–5pm daily, to 9.30pm for Zoo Twilights.

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