Nature & Wildlife Areas • Zoos
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What travellers are saying
- Review of Myuna Farm, 182 Kidds Road, Doveton.
Time has that tiresome habit of shifting when you least expect it. This was our second visit to Myuna Farm this year, but we had first visited the farm five years ago. Five years! Blame it partly on Covid-19, but that doesn’t detract from this thing about time … the enemy. We’d the same couple of kids in tow as earlier, but not the little-ones that they had once been. Imagine … this time they were 7 & 10 and well capable of racing ahead, seeing things differently from earlier and, importantly, enjoying the novelty of the place all over again. Fewer issues when offering a hand heaped in grass/chaff to an overfed cow, alpaca, emu, etc. and particularly the single camel who has ENORMOUS lips that front some really large yellow teeth.
We did too – enjoyed the 3-4 km walkabout that took in the buildings and the small animals inside – rabbits, goats, sheep, guinea pigs, chickens and more - around the entrance to the farm, the paddocks and grazing animals alongside the track and, at the furthest point from the entrance, the ponds where there were flying foxes hanging upside down in the trees. There are signs that tell you not to disturb them – particularly as they may have been nursing young – two bats hanging one-with-the-other (with the small one beneath the wing of the mother) – but we’d followed a group of >50 school kids into the bat colony and half the animals seemed to be flying around and re-settling. It was our gain, however, to see these large indigenous animals like images from a prehistoric past - enormous brown wings with skin stretched tight across the frame of the bones beneath. Flying much too fast to catch them on camera. Sitting over our coffee at the end of the visit – four hours or so later – we figured that the bats had been the highlight of the trip. It had been our first time to cross the bridges at the end of the ponds.
The farm is managed by the City of Casey, and they’ve clearly upgraded it in recent times with some investment funding. It was considerable smarter, there were new fences, more paint, new stock shelters and extensive earthworks in hand (for what?) along the trail through the paddocks. The buildings, playground and tuition class-rooms – café, toilets too – adjacent to the entrance looked as if they’d also been renovated. The small animal petting shed was no longer available pending work underway and is currently replaced by a dinky little alternative with just a handful of small animals in the compound where the kids can pet, feed and stroke them – but not pick them up (of course). Poor animals - surrounded by pillars of legs (until their original home is revamped).
There was a new film/demonstration theatre too – well, new to us. A series of ledges banked up in front of the screen enabled >60 people to sit and watch either the movies or the woman demonstrating her skills when spinning wool (and other fibres) on a pedal-powered wheel. The hands-on spinning was more popular than the video films. Three definite advantages – the human element of the teacher with her practical skills, her comfortable rapport with the audience and, importantly, her invitation to the kids to come and try it for themselves. It was considerably more difficult than you imagine coordinating the foot treadle with the need to feed the raw yarn by hand into the bobbin without the yarn breaking. Six kids in a queue were about as many as could be handled after the formal demonstration.
The movies were on a time loop and followed one after the other. The images were grained and unclear at times, but the real issue was the technical level of the movies/information – like a first year B.Eng in Industrial Processing – way over the heads of the majority kids (and most adults) at the farm that day. We saw few senior school-age kids there. I found grain harvesting/processing of interest, but the complexity of modern industrial yarn manufacture was difficult to follow. What options some alternative films with more kid-friendly levels/subjects? Time to promote those modern stories about climate mitigation, global warming, renewable fuels, environmental care, circular economies and similar to the decision-makers of tomorrow – in junior school language.
The farm provides this incredible ‘meet the animals’ focus. Then … why scatter the paddocks, walkways, buildings and other odd corners with broken, discarded and derelict farm equipment. It may represent ‘agricultural history’ (as it says in the brochure), but we didn’t see anyone examining the horse-drawn cultivators that great-grandad may once have used – particularly given their abandoned condition (and that lack of descriptive text attached). There is probably a local agricultural heritage centre somewhere hereabouts that would welcome this equipment. Make a choice – renovate the equipment and present it well (and safely – where the kids can’t climb on it) and/or shift it off the farm.
The re-developed playground, seating and tuition area adjacent to the café was a considerable improvement on earlier. The ancient maze had been cleared away opening up the space - new swings and climbing frames were just urging the kids to come aboard. The café had this great selection of fast food, coffee, cakes, ice cream and more. From a table outside the café – sheltered and in a weak sun - we watched our two girls playing with the enthusiasm of the young.
We’d paid $34 for a family entry ticket with $3/ride/each/extra for that 15 minute train journey around the farm. Coffee x2 and shared carrot cake cost $15. Prices have remained surprisingly stable since our first time here. Check out that original pre-covid-19 review from Jan18.
In summary then … Myuna Farm comes highly recommended as a happy day of memories of friendly animals, hands-on farm crafts, a tractor ride where we had previously walked and an opportunity to escape urban Melbourne for the make-believe world of imagination and fun.
.Written 14 April 2023This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- This state park is easily accessed and is a great option to cool off on a hot summer’s day. You can go for a swim in the river and there areas where you can spread a picnic blanket and spend an afternoon there. This is also a good place to go for a hike through the forest and along the riverbank to catch a glimpse of Koalas on the treetops if you’re lucky!Written 25 July 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Despite a hard winter, Trin Waaren Tam-boore pond is showing signs of life, The nearby White's Skinhk Habitat is a valuable nature reserve. This waterhole is a refuge for birds and aquatic animals. IThis wetland is easy to get to by tram from the city of Melbourne.. It has a surprising variety of wildlife.Written 14 July 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is a fantastic place to take the kids. It is located within the Botanic Gardens in the city and it has a number of different sections or gardens for the children to explore.Written 20 June 2021
- Habitat Filter is a piece of wasteland that has been resurrected by toll-way company Transurban. Transurban has helped re-establish a city oasis for small animals and indigenous plants. Habitat Filter is very interesting. It is open occasionally for public inspection. If you cross the road, take care, as the traffic moves quickly.Written 7 October 2023
- Located next to Lisbeth Avenue in Donvale, this small reserve is appealing! Well shaded by the tall precious pine trees, wheelchair friendly, it has a small playground to keep young children busy. There is even a tennis court for hire. What I find fascinating is its location where the path leads to the Mullum Mullum Creek Trail over the Hugh 'Mullum Mullum Tunnel ' Entrance marker. It also leads to bush walking tracks and beyond, through the undulating hills. Fascinating ! Hope you find it helpful!Written 22 January 2017
- The playground has been upgraded and now includes a number of separate play elements bundled together into a play area. There is a cute little cubby house with a tiny slide for the youngest kids and a bigger structure with a metal slide and a few climbing elements for the older kids. There is also a spinning rope cylinder, five swings on a frame, see-saw and rocker.
This is a nice playground that has a picnic shelter nearby with tables and a barbeque as well as shaded and unshaded seats and taps for fresh water.
Note that the lovely playground is close to a large pond so keep your eye on the kiddies. I wouldn't let the kids swim in it for health reasons.
There is a creek that weaves its way winds through a wooded area, under a bridge and into the lake. Note that there is an area for ball games across the bridge as well as a BMX jumps track nearby.
Wheelchair friendly. Kid friendly. Good parking. Bring your own food and snacks.Written 3 February 2019
- A local gem- a small wetland area with the river not too far away. There are a few bodies of water to wander around and explore. Birdlife is prolific- and seasonal. Last week i saw cormorants, spoonbills, purple moorhens, black swans and many many other bird varieties.
As it's warming up the snakes are out- wear good shoes and stay on the paths! Lots of kangaroos in park and apparently wombats too- I haven't lucked one yet! It's usually a peaceful place though during lockdown some teenagers took up residence and had noisy parties and damaged some of the habitat. The rangers have cleared that. Usually quieter on weekdays!Written 22 October 2021
Frequently Asked Questions about Melbourne
- These experiences are best for nature & wildlife areas in Melbourne:
- Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne
- Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne
- Puffing Billy And Healesville Sanctuary Scenic Tour
- Small-Group Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour from Melbourne
- Great Ocean Road Tour Plus Koalas, Forest Walk And Morning Tea.