Awards highlight sanctuary’s commitment to conservation


Moonlit Sanctuary has established itself as a major cornerstone of the Mornington Peninsula after receiving two gold awards at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards on November 22. The sanctuary was awarded top honours for best Tourist Attraction and for Ecotourism.

Moonlit Sanctuary is a magical wildlife attraction set in bushland in Pearcedale at the beginning of the Mornington Peninsula. Home to more than 400 native animals — 30 per cent of which are classified as threatened with extinction — Moonlit Sanctuary gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy close encounters with Australian wildlife while educating the community through its active work in conservation, research and sustainability.

The Victorian Tourism Awards is the tourism and events industry’s night of nights, celebrating winners across 30 categories for their outstanding contributions to the industry. Sanctuary founder and director Michael Johnson said he and the staff were thrilled with their win.

“I think it’s a fantastic recognition of all the hard work we’ve been putting in and the significance of Moonlit in the local community now as a tourism attraction,” he said. “Particularly, we’re pleased with the Tourist Attraction award because that’s a very hard-fought one with incredibly tough competition from attractions throughout Victoria.”

Mr Johnson attributed the sanctuary’s success to the quality of its presentation. “Commitment to conservation is very important and the fact that we work hard to make sure our standards are at the highest level possible to make a great experience for our visitors.” He added that a “big part on the conservation front” was the sanctuary’s Orange-Bellied Parrot Breeding for Recovery program. “For the first time we’ve had an increase in numbers of birds in Melaleuca in Tasmania for the breeding season.”

Moonlit Sanctuary is the ideal place to learn more about our fascinating native animals, with keeper presentations and shows every 30 minutes. And when you visit, don’t forget to stop at the Koala Encounters to snap a photo with one of these very cute and cuddly little guys. At night, Moonlit Sanctuary comes alive with its world-famous lantern-lit tours. Night birds are active, tiny feathertail gliders and giant yellow-bellied gliders swoop around, and endangered quolls, pademelons and bettongs forage for food. 

Moonlit Sanctuary is an ark for endangered creatures and a showcase of their unique beauty. It is a living classroom that encourages children and adults alike to unlock the mystery of Australian mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, insects and amphibians in a natural bush setting.


A: 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd, Pearcedale

T: 5978 7935


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