Kangaroos, koalas, wombats and emus – these four iconic Australian animals can be seen up close at Moonlit Sanctuary.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is one of the stops on our Phillip Island Day Tour. During your visit you can take a guided wildlife walk to meet and hand-feed many species of native Australian animals. You can discover some lesser-known favourites including quolls, owls, potoroos and water dragons. 

But of course, the major attractions are the iconic Australian animals. Hand-feed kangaroos and get up close to a furry friend with a koala encounter (extra cost). Wave hello to the wombats and come eye to eye with the emu. The team at Moonlit do some fantastic conservation work and are dedicated to the protection of many native Australian animals. 

You’ll no doubt have a memorable visit to these iconic animals – kangaroos, koalas, wombats and emus – at Moonlit Sanctuary.

Top Four Iconic Australian Animals


Kangaroos are perhaps the most iconic Australian animals, with many visitors to Australia hoping to catch a glimpse. If you are planning a trip to Melbourne, Moonlit Sanctuary is a great place to get up close to them. In sanctuaries kangaroos are raised in captivity or rescued from the wild.  In general, they are used to people being around. 

Kangaroos are the largest of all marsupials and they travel and feed in groups known as mobs. The mobs are composed of between five to 20 kangaroos, and are generally dominated by the largest male. This male will breed with the females and the gestation period for kangaroos is about five weeks. After this the females give birth to a single baby, known as a joey. Just a few centimetres in length, the newborn joey must crawl through its mother’s fur and into her pouch where it will continue growing for several months.

At Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park you can see kangaroos up close. On tour there is an opportunity to hand-feed the kangaroos and wallabies. Special feed can be purchased and offered to the kangaroos and wallabies along the Wallaby Walk. If they are hungry, they will come up and eat right from the palm of your hand. For many visitors to Melbourne this is a once in a lifetime experience and one that will not soon be forgotten.


Koalas are also on the must-see list for many visitors to Australia. If you are planning a visit to Melbourne and want to see these cute, cuddly-looking creatures, then you are in luck! 

At Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park you can see koalas up close, and even have a Koala Encounter. For an additional cost you can enter into the enclosure with one of the sanctuaries koalas to have your photo taken. The staff at Moonlit Sanctuary will share their knowledge and insights into the lives of these iconic animals. They will also be able to explain the work they do to breed and care for the koalas that call the wildlife sanctuary home.

However, don’t expect to much energy from the koalas. They spend the vast majority of the time sleeping or lazing about in the trees. The koalas diet doesn’t provide much energy. In addition, they don’t want to travel far from their food source. As such, they can be found hanging out on the branches of eucalyptus trees. Like other marsupials, baby koala are called joeys. After being born they continue to develop in their mother’s pouch for up to six months. After this time, they’ll ride on their mum’s back for another six months, returning to the pouch only to feed and sleep.


Many visitors to Australia desire to see the unique and quirky animals that call Down Under home. One iconic animal that fits the bill is the wombat. Wombats are a close relative of koalas in Australia. While koalas live up in the eucalyptus trees, wombats live on the ground and burrow into the earth for a safe, dry place to sleep. 

The three species of wombats are common wombats – distinguished by their fur colour which can be various shades between grey and black. Southern hairy-nosed wombats – distinguishable because their nasal bone is longer than their frontal bone. Northern hairy-nosed wombats – which have a wider muzzle than other species and are generally heavier in weight as well. 

At Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park you can see both common wombats and hairy-nosed wombats. Wombats are amongst the largest burrowing mammals in the world. They often create complex networks with tunnels and chambers that can extend up to 150m in radius. They are expert diggers with short, muscular legs and sharp claws. Considering their size and weight it’s impressive that they can run at 40kph. 


Emus are up there with kangaroos and koalas when it comes to iconic Australian animals. If you would like to get up close to an emu on your visit to Melbourne, it is possible to do this at Moonlit Sanctuary. Here they have an emu which has been raised in captivity and can be viewed in its natural surrounds. It is a great place to take a closer look at these strange looking birds. 

Australia’s famous bird, the emu, is the second-largest living bird in the world after the ostrich. Emus cannot fly, but to compensate they can run very fast. Emu’s do have small wings – relative to the size of its body. But their long, powerful legs are what allow them to run at speeds of up to 50km per hour. 

Emu pairs can stay together for up to five months, after which females lay large, green eggs. The males then incubate the eggs for about eight weeks. During this time they won’t eat, drink or leave the nest. They therefore can lose up to a third of their body weight while incubating eggs.

Visit Moonlit Sanctuary on our Phillip Island Day Tour or Puffing Billy & Penguin Parade Day Tour – both depart from Melbourne.

Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator