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Students can become Wild Explorers for the day, investigating the wonders of wildlife through the rich, multi-sensory environment at Melbourne Zoo. The sights, sounds, smells and immersive environment of the Zoo will enhance and awaken a sense of awe and curiosity towards animals as children learn to unlock ‘animal secrets’. 

Wild Explorers encourages students to emotionally connect with, develop empathy and respect for animals and nature. The students’ challenge for the day is to discover "what makes animals special?" through play-based and exploratory learning, educator-led experiences and inquiry-based activities. 

During educator-led experiences, students are encouraged to look up, look down, look all around, becoming aware of wildlife whilst exploring our purpose built Early Childhood precinct, Growing Wild. In the wider Zoo, inquiry-based activities are located in key precincts which have been specially designed to extend students' learning throughout their day and support teachers, carers and parent helpers to facilitate the students’ experience.

Wild Explorers offers students the following opportunities throughout the day:

  • Storytime with our educators; primes the students’ for their day at the Zoo as Wild Explorers.
  • Educator-led experience; students will participant in guided discussions to promote curiosity and empathy for other living things through a close encounter with a special animal.
  • Play-based learning; students are provided time in a natural setting to independently explore and gather information about animal habitats, lifecycles, features.
  • Inquiry-based activities and resources; students can test their skills as a Wild Explorer as they search for Wild Explores boxes located in key precincts around the Zoo. The activities and resources invite the students to pause and reflect at key locations, respond to and pose questions, and provide support for teachers and adult carers to facilitate the students’ learning

Learning Outcomes:

Wild Explorers supports Victorian Curriculum levels F-2 content descriptors in the following Learning Areas and Capabilities:

  • Science
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Humanities - Geography
  • Personal and Social Capability

Program Themes

The program includes the following themes:

Animal features

Survival needs

Empathy for animals


Lifecycles and animal families

Respect for nature

Inquiry & play-based learning

Sensory exploration

Conservation & sustainability

Zoos Victoria Education for Conservation aligns with best practice teaching and learning strategies for Early Childhood and Early Years and has a strong focus on real life, self-directed and authentic learning.

Teacher Resource Booklet & Curriculum Links

Wild Explorers Teacher Resource Booklet

Wild Explorers Curriculum Links

Related Information

  • Fighting Extinction Schools

    Whether you are a student, class or whole school, you can help fight wildlife extinction!

  • Plan Your School Visit

    All you need to plan your school visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary.

Program details

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Year level 
Foundation – Year 2
$16.30 per student
Session times available between 10am and 2pm
Student ratio 
1 adult for every 5 students (Recommended)
Monday to Friday (during the school term)
What to bring 
Melbourne Zoo is an outdoor venue. Wild Explorers is an all-weather program; please bring appropriate clothing for weather conditions.

Book your excursion by calling (03) 9340 2788.

A confirmation will be emailed following your booking. A purchase order will be required on the day and an invoice will be issued to the school following your excursion for payment.

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