Located in the bushlands of Mornington Peninsula, Moonlit Sanctuary is a wildlife conservation park that is home to native Australian wildlife, including koalas, wallabies, kookaburras, and dingos. The sanctuary is most famous for its night tours, which allow visitors to see nocturnal pythons, feathertail gliders, quolls, and more.
Moonlit Sanctuary is a popular day trip from Melbourne. Book one of the night tours, or visit during the day to get up close and personal with a variety of animals: Visitors can pet a wombat or a koala, take a dingo for a walk, hold a barn owl or python, or spend a day helping staff feed and care for the animals.
Many tours stop at Moonlit Sanctuary along with spots like Brighton Beach, which is famous for its brightly-colored bathing boxes, and Phillip Island, where you can observe thousands of penguins heading to their burrows at dusk. Multi-day tours of Mornington Peninsula also tend to visit Moonlit Sanctuary.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The park’s popular evening tours, which begin at dusk, must be pre-booked.
- Experiences like petting wombats or holding a python require pre-booking and an additional fee; the park also offers packages that allow you to have a number of different animal experiences for one flat fee.
- Moonlit Sanctuary is fully accessible for visitors in wheelchairs.
- The park offers a casual restaurant and a food kiosk as well as multiple accessible restrooms.
How to Get There
Moonlit Sanctuary is a 1-hour drive from Melbourne via the Eastlink freeway or the Monash Freeway (M1) and Western Port Highway (A780). To reach the park via public transportation, take the train from Melbourne to the Frankston station, then take the 776 bus, which will drop you outside the park.
When to Get There
Moonlit Sanctuary is open daily from mid-morning until early evening all year round except for Christmas Day. Evening tours begin after dusk; the exact time varies. The park is particularly busy during the Australian summer holidays (in December and January), so book tickets in advance if you’re visiting during that time.
The Best of the Mornington Peninsula
In addition to Moonlit Sanctuary, Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula offers a number of natural, historical, and cultural attractions. Highlights include the Peninsula Hot Springs, home to natural pools that are said to have therapeutic properties; the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, where you can enjoy the fragrant scent of lavender while exploring one of the country’s largest hedge mazes; and Mornington Peninsula National Park, where you can surf, hike, and swim.