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“Best pirate mini-golf, our kids are begging to go back :)” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maru Koala and Animal Park

Maru Koala and Animal Park
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$23.27*
and up
Maru Koala and Animal Park General Entry Ticket
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Get in touch with wildlife at Maru where you can pat and hand feed many of the animals. Pat a koala and feed the albino kangaroos, see wombats, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, snakes and more native animals. Then set sail on an adventure at Pirate Pete’s Mini-golf as you putt your way around the Pirate Ship, encounter life-size Pirate figures, the Great White Shark and brave the gold mine under the waterfall. Enjoy something to eat and drink in the licensed Homestead Bistro with views out into the animal park. Come and enjoy the award winning friendly service and atmosphere from this family owned and operated business. Grantville Pirate Festival and other events held at Maru each year, see our website for more details. Finalist in the Victorian Tourism Awards 2011 and 2012.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best pirate mini-golf, our kids are begging to go back :)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

Yesterday was our 2nd visit to Maru, and we plan to go back again fora 3rd visit very soon!
Our boys aged 9 to 4 declare the 'pirate mini-golf' the best ever, and our daughter adores the animal side of the park!
The staff are so friendly and helpful and the kids lunch packs are wonderful (kids loved the koala as part of the pack), and the calamari and lemon herbed chips that I had were the best I have had in a long time!
We look forward to heading back there real soon and would highly recommend this venue and the kids pirate festival to anyone with young kids!
Thanks for a great morning and lunch :)

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank 842Natashak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaruKoalaPark, Manager at Maru Koala and Animal Park, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Hello 842Natashak
We are glad to hear about our customers re-visiting and I remember meeting you and your family during your visits. Maybe we will see you again at our annual Pirate Festival, this year on Sat the 23rd March. Enjoy the rest of your holidays. Neroli Heffer - Manager.
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“dissapointed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

we went here because we were visiting phillip island and the pat a koala thought was great but it did not mention that to pat the koala was extra 20 dollars on the website , so my child was excited about this we had to do it but i was a little unprepared for the cost, no concession im a single mother. there isnt much to do and staff were a bit rude , what deeply concerned me was the state of the tasmanian devil who seems to be very distressed and pacing in circles in a { gone insane}kind of way , my child was rushed out of the koala pat with the lady saying someone else was waiting but no one was then we were rushed out of the gate then she looked me up and down so rudley, dont know what her problem was but i dont recommend this place theres another loala nature park on phillip island we wish we went there. as for that tassie devil they should b ashamed of the state it is in , its obviously in a terrible way.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Kara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaruKoalaPark, Manager at Maru Koala and Animal Park, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Hello Kara
It is our aim at Maru to ensure that every visitor has a wonderful experience at Maru, so I am sad to hear that we were not able to achieve this for you during your visit. As stated on our website, there is an extra fee for close encounter experiences where you get to go in and hand feed and pat a koala. There are only a few places in Victoria that allow you to pat a koala at all, you cannot do this at the koala conservation centre on Phillip Island and the extra fee allows us to appropriately provide extra staff to supervise the encounter and ensure the safety and health of both the koala and you our guest during the experience.
I apologise that our staff were rude to you as we strive for a very high standard of customer service as you will see from other reviews here and posts and comments our facebook page, but on this rare occasion a staff member has obviously not given you due respect and I thank-you for brining this to my attention as I will raise it with all staff members.
I feel that we have quite a lot on offer at Maru with free koala talks and guided tours inside the koala enclosure every hour and free talks on other different species of animals inbetween each hour throughout the day. We offer a range of close encounter experiences with different animals and then there is also the 18 hole Pirate Pete's Mini-golf course to enjoy.
You may well have seen our Tasmanian Devils apparently 'pacing' but in the wild devils run or 'pace' between 10-14km in search of food every day, so this behaviour mimics what would occur in the wild. To enrich the environment of our captive devils and keep them stimulated we regularly move the furniture in their enclosure around and provide scatter feeds and scents that they have to hunt and search for as they would in the wild. The good health of the animals and successful environment enrichment is evident in their obvious good body weight and healthy coats.
We hope that you will come back again in the future where I would enjoy the opportunity to meet you and personally show you around Maru and our animals myself.
Neroli Heffer - Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho chi minh
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic experience for the whole family!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

We were lucky enough to have been invited to the 2012 dream night at the zoo for kids with disabilities and their families. We had a wonderful night and were completely overwhelmed with the generosity of the staff, facilities, rides and all the extras that were included to make it a fun night for all. We are so appreciative of all the sponsors and everyone involved in making the night such a huge success. We can't thank you enough for a fabulous night!

Helpful?
Thank Krispyval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Over priced and poor”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

I found the park very disappointing.It was way too expensive for what it is
I would not recommend it.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Starstruckblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaruKoalaPark, Manager at Maru Koala and Animal Park, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Hello 'Starstruckblue'
At Maru we work very hard to offer a range of animal interactions and displays at a reasonable price and are an award winning and accredited tourism business.
We read and value all comments and so in considering your feedback we took a look at the prices for other similar attractions
Maru animal park entry Ad: $17 Ch:$9 Family: $44
Ballarat Wildlife Park Ad: $25 Ch: $15 Family: $70
Kyabram Fauna Park Ad: $18 Ch: $9 Family: $45
Phillip Island Wildlife Park Ad: $16 Ch: $8 Family: $45
You can see for yourself that our prices are similar or cheaper than other wildlife parks and we fell that we offer a quality animal experience, being one of the few places in Victoria where you can actually pat a koala if you are interested in doing so.
Maru Management.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Only place I've ever been that doesn't accept concession!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

Glad to see that Maru take's care of there animals.- Which to me is number one. My Daughter had a magical experience feeding the Kangaroo's! I wish they had, had a Maru Gift shop though.

I am on a Disability Support Pension and I was very angered to see that they only accepted Seniors Card's. Just because I am not over 50 does not mean I do not struggle with money! God know's what would have happened if we had got out the Companion Card.

Maru did not even respond to my Facebook post, over looked it and commented on positive posts.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Emma B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaruKoalaPark, Manager at Maru Koala and Animal Park, responded to this review, October 13, 2012
Dear Emma.
Thank-you for visiting Maru and writing a review, we do value and take into account all comments. We are glad to see that you enjoyed the animals and can see that they are well cared for. Many tourist destinations do not accept general concession cards and this is a business decision we have also made. We are a family run business with no government funding, so we do need to raise funds to pay for the upkeep and welfare of our animals.
We do accept companiion cards and give free entry to carers of special needs visitors who hold a companion card. We also regularly host disabled groups at a discount price and offer a discount for Australian senior citizens. We also this year participated in disability awareness week and gave free entry to all visitors in a wheelchair for the entire week.
Rather than offer a discount price for all concession card holders, we choose to give back to the community by hosting our annual Dreamnight at the Zoo event. On this night each year special needs children and their entire families are invited along for free to enjoy our animal park and mini-golf, children's entertainment, dinner and receive a free showbag and photo with a koala. This event is attended by between 200-350 guests each year and is a total not-for-profit event where all Maru staff donate their time to make the night a success.
We hope you will appreciate that to keep the animals and park in the best care and to be able to continue to improve our facilities, we do need to charge a reasonable entry fee which I appreciate might be difficult for some people to find.
We have listened to your comments though and regularly run specials and discounts that are advertised on our Maru facebook page and from your feedback we will now add to that 'discount or free entry days for concession card holders' - keep an eye on our facebook page.
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