My partner and I did the roar and snore experience at Melbourne Zoo on Friday the 17th of January 2020. Something we have wanted to do for years so we were very excited.
The night started great with a complimentary glass of wine and some sushi to pick at. (We did have to supply our own alcohol other than that 1 glass). Upon unpacking our bags I was in a bit of shock to see that our beds were 2 very thin mattresses that had a plastic cover and no sheet on top. With only our doona and pillows packed I wasn’t keen to go to bed that night. There was also a pole in the middle of the tent so we had to configure the 2 mattresses in order to both be able to sleep under our doona. This meant my partner was sleeping up against the back of the tent which hung inwards - not what we were expecting at all.
The night walk was great, really cool to see the animals at night time. We got an amazing close up experience with the lions which I’ll never forget. One of our guides actually took at least 2 phone calls during the tour which did feel a bit unprofessional, when as guests we were sort of waiting to move on or our other guide would have to step in and continue on with what Stella was saying.
Our dinner was underwhelming. Dry bread rolls, sausages, burgers (which weren’t hot) some corn and salads. All served ourselves (buffet style) too.
The experience with dinner at Werribee on the sunset safari was by far more of an experience than this was. Also our supper consisted of scones that were cold and hard - straight out of the fridge.
We both had shocking sleeps and I even had sore hips in the morning from the beds but we were keen to have a continental breakfast and see more of the zoo.
I couldn’t believe that for breakfast we had to wait about 15 minutes for someone to bring some milk for us and that I had to line up with about 15 other people to cook my own toast. My partner just had a bowl of cereal. That is not a continental breakfast. There was croissants which were beautiful BUT there was nothing to put on them, no ham or cheese or anything. Felt very effortlessly thrown together.
Our morning tour which from memory is listed as ‘behind the scenes’ was lining up and being called up in pairs to pat some kangaroos. I was honestly expecting to see the lions get fed their breakfast or the elephants doing some enrichment.
A number of times zoo staff were complaining about being understaffed which i understand must be hard during this time in Australia, but I don’t believe as paying customers we should suffer for that. Our guide had some food to feed the birds but told us “everyone is too busy” so we didn’t do that. We were then dismissed with free entry to the zoo for the day which we only spent about 30 minutes in to see the animals we missed over the last 16 hours or so as we we're tired and un happy.
For close to $500 for my partner and I to do this experience I feel ripped off and it’s a lot of money for us.
It’s the first zoo experience I haven’t come home boasting about and recommending to all my friends.
I don’t know if this is a normal response from this experience or if we just happened to get dealt a lousy day/night.
If you want an experience at the Zoo, do the sunset safari at Werribee! That is an experience!