Chinese New Year In Full Swing At Melbourne Zoo

06 February 2016

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott has today kicked off Lunar New Year celebrations at Melbourne Zoo.

2016 is the year of the monkey and the only place to see these playful creatures is at Melbourne and Werribee Open Range Zoos.

Lunar New Year has a long tradition in Melbourne, and includes fifteen days of cultural festivities, starting with Chinese New Year's Eve and culminating two weeks later with a Lantern Festival.

Mr Scott said the festival has been one of Melbourne's most celebrated, attended by a huge cross-section of the Victorian community as well as interstate and international tourists.

Visitors to Melbourne Zoo can spend time among the resident Lemurs of Lemur Island, or book in for the new Squirrel Monkey up-close encounter, as unveiled by the Minister today.

Werribee Zoo will be decorated with lanterns as well as a beautiful wishing tree where visitors can hang a decoration to wish the monkey’s prosperity for 2016.

The Zoo will also host a special Monkey Keeper Talk, have lots of monkey themed activities as well as a special ropes course for kids to swing like the resident Vervet Monkeys.

While there are no monkeys at Healesville Sanctuary, red lanterns will adorn the Sanctuary in celebration of Lunar New Year.

Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo are open every day from 9am to 5pm and children under 16 are free on the weekends. Limited edition Squirrel Monkey encounters cost $88 and bookings can be made by phone.

Visit for details on Zoos Victoria’s Lunar New Year celebrations.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott

“Visiting one of our state’s three great zoos is a great way to celebrate Lunar New Year.”

“We welcomed nearly half a million visitors from China to Victoria last year and we know that one of the most appealing things about visiting us is Australia’s natural beauty.”

“Our zoos are a safe, family environment where you can spend time with family and friends and encounter some of the world’s most incredible wildlife.”

Quote attributable to Director of Melbourne Zoo Kevin Tanner

“We would like to welcome the community to come and celebrate Lunar New Year with us, and our monkey families.”

“Across our three zoos we will have celebrations and events for all of your family and friends, so come along and be part of the monkey fun.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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