Penguins, Phillip Island. Photo credit: Tourism Victoria.
Lela wrote this guest post about discovering Melbourne’s green side. She is a writer for HostelBookers.
Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia with Victorian architecture, museums and galleries as well as large gardens and parks. Melbourne offers its eco-friendly side from the middle of the city to the shores of Lake Eildon in the foothills of the Central Highlands.
Just 150 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, Lake Eildon is a large artificial lake that is an outdoor wonderland with Lake Eildon National Park, a protected area of forests and open woodlands. Boating and fishing, bush-walking, mountain bike riding, water skiing and wildlife watching are a few of the activities available in this wilderness area. It is a great place for a family holiday or a weekend getaway for some quiet fishing.
Zip lining at Otway Fly Tree Top Adventures. Video courtesy of Otway Fly Tree Top Adventures.
Melbourne is a green city where visitors can experience the rainforests up close. Otway Fly Treetop Adventures offers zip lining through the forest as well as treetop walks and dinosaur encounters.
For viewing and interacting with Australian wildlife, the Healesville Sanctuary is one of the best in the world. It is a Nature Tourism Eco Certified park in the heart of the Yarra Valley, just one hour northeast of Melbourne. Koalas, wombats, kangaroos, dingoes, emus, platypus and many birds of prey are in their natural habitat, which is why this is such a unique experience for visitors. The Sanctuary saves over 2,000 injured or ill animals every year.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Werribee Open Range Zoo is also a Nature Tourism Eco Certified establishment. It is 30 minutes from the centre of Melbourne and has the Pula Reserve Walking Trail where visitors get close to gorillas, monkeys, cheetahs, a pride of lions, a hippopotamus family and much more. Rhinoceros, zebras, giraffes, antelopes are grazing together on the savannah. Visitors can even book a behind-the-scenes wildlife encounter.
Koalas, Philip Island Nature Walks. Photo credit: Tourism Victoria.
For a completely different wildlife experience, visitors go to Phillip Island Nature Park. An Advanced Ecotourism Certified facility, the Penguin Parade is the top attraction. It is a 90 minute drive from Melbourne. Along with the wildlife, the park offers spectacular scenery including coastlines and wetlands. There is also a Koala Conservation Centre as well as Churchill Island Heritage Farm with its historical buildings and gardens.
Visitors can explore the rugged coastline and see the fur seal colonies and other marine life. There are facilities for children to play freely, and the site is accessible for people with special needs. All of the revenue raised from visitors is contributed to research, environmental and educational projects.
The City of Melbourne has many green attractions too. The Melbourne Aquarium is the newest and largest in Australia with over 10,000 marine animals. There is also the City Square that is a car-free zone and a great pedestrian mall.
Great Ocean Road, Australia. Photo credit: Tourism Victoria.
Flora and fauna lovers should check out the Albany Motel Melbourne, located right by the Fawkner Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens. You might also want to check out the HostelBookers website for eco-friendly hotels in Melbourne.
The Great Ocean Road offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world. Beginning in Melbourne, visitors can take a tour where they drive along the cliffs and see whales, dolphins, kangaroos, birds and much more.