Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park grew out of the childhood dreams of Chief Ranger Michael Johnson. Inspired by the British naturalist Gerald Durrell, he imagined a place where people could experience the rare and unusual animals that once roamed the Australian bush.
Moonlit Sanctuary is that place. Opened September 2001 Size 25 acres or 10 hectares Development of the Sanctuary commenced in December 1998, and entailed:
- Construction of a modern, environmentally sensitive visitors centre.
- Planting of over 10,000 native Australian trees and plants.
- Construction of a 2 acre wetland with lake and water bird habitats.
- Construction of over 30 animal enclosures and support facilities.
Moonlit Sanctuary is located 50 minutes from central Melbourne at the top of the Mornington Peninsula, and on the way to Phillip Island.
Animals are protected by a 1.2 km by 2 m electrified predator proof fence. Over 200 animals of some 30 species make the sanctuary home. These include the Aussie icons, kangaroos and koalas, as well as many other species such as owls, dingoes, reptiles, birds, wallabies and possums.
Notable breeding successes of rare and endangered species have included:
- Southern Bettongs
- Eastern Quolls
- Julia Creek Dunnarts
- Squirrell Gliders
Moonlit Sanctuary has an Education Officer, offering primary and secondary school wildlife and environmental experiences.
ECOTOURISM AND MOONLIT SANCTUARY
Ecotourism is about sustainaBle tourism in a natural environment. Its purpose is to educate the traveler; provide funds for ecological conservation; directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and foster respect for different cultures and for human rights.
Moonlit Sanctuary is accredited by Ecotourism Australia.
Ecotourism Australia's Mission is about growing, consolidating and promoting ecotourism and other committed tourism operations to become more sustainable, through approaches such as:
- developing and adopting standards for sustainable practices
- increasing the professionalism of those working within the tourism industry
- streamlining policies and processes that have in the past complicated operating in protected areas
- assisting operators to improve the quality of interpretation offered about the places they visit
- improving positioning and financial viability for operators who adopt sustainable practices
- contributing to conservation solutions and projects; involving and providing benefits to local communities
- marketing the principles of sustainability to increase awareness across the tourism industry
Moonlit Sanctuary are members of:
- Zoos Aquaria Association
- Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Foundation
- Eco-tourism Association of Australia
- Mornington Peninsula Tourism
- Frankston Tourism
Kiosk with light refreshments, and gift and souvenir shop. Disabled facilities and access. Catering available for groups of up to 60 people
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