We’re finally in the big city! We’ve been in Melbourne for a few days, but today is our first chance to enjoy some free time and explore downtown. I decided to check out the Victoria Market, a huge open air market in the heart of the city. I hadn’t bought many souvenirs yet during the trip, so the cash I had left was burning a hole in my pocket. The market had a little bit of everything, from tourist tee shirts to hand made boomerangs and a plethora of locally grown produce. We enjoyed some freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh fruit smoothies to alleviate the 97 degree weather as we shopped for an hour or two before heading to a cafe to grab a bite to eat.
After lunch, we hit the road to see one of the most anticipated stops yet. The Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary promised one on one interactions with koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and more. We met our tour guide in the lobby and he took us through the exhibits, rattling off information on the history of each animal. We got to go behind the scenes and see how each animal’s diet is uniquely prepared. We also got to visit the animals recovering in the infirmary and see the massive pythons and boas they use for shows. Our guide took us inside a few of the cages to get a closer look at the animals, and we were even allowed to pause for a photo opp while holding a koala! Next, we were given ‘Roo food’ to hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies. Wallabies look like much smaller kangaroos and are more timid, so you had to be really slow and patient to get one to eventually trust you enough to eat out of your hand. Once I gained their trust, they gripped my hand with their tiny paws and ate one little bit of kibble at a time. Eventually, they even allowed me to pet them and get a few cool photos!