Phillip Island is famous for its wildlife, but Maru Koala and Animal Park allows you to kickstart the animal adventures before even arriving on the island. Located on the Victorian mainland just a 15-minute drive from Phillip Island, the park is home to Tasmanian Devils, koalas, dingos, and kangaroos, while also offering sheep shearing, a dinosaur playroom, and mini golf on a pirate ship (from $9).
Hear how the park helps raise orphaned animals for release back into the wild, and learn tidbits about Australian wildlife during the hourly talks with park keepers. Although not offered by Viator, add-on encounters with koalas, dingoes, snakes, and lizards can be purchased onsite for an additional fee (from $20). Once you’ve finished visiting with the animals, relax at the on-site Homestead Bistro or play a round of mini golf before continuing on to Phillip Island and the wildlife experiences beyond.
Maru Koala and Animal Park is a convenient stop en route to Phillip Island, as it's 1.5 hours by car from Melbourne and 15 minutes from the bridge to Phillip Island. Visitors can bring their own cameras, and the park is both wheelchair- and stroller-accessible. Weekends can be crowded with local families, so try to visit on a weekday.