Come Visit our Bistro – June 2017
Come Visit our Homestead Bistro
Bistro lunch menu available until 2pm Daily!
Dine-In or Take Away Coffee available All Day!
Come in, enjoy some lunch along with a hot coffee, and soak in the beautiful views.
Our Homestead Bistro is available to anyone, no Animal Park ticket purchase necessary.
Mother’s Day Luncheon – April 2017
Mother's Day Luncheon
Sunday May 14
3 course meal with FREE drink and Park Entry for all mums.
Phone Maru on 5678 8548 to Book Now.
Dingo Discovery – April 2017
$40 per person (Booking Required)
Meet the Dingo pack and spend 15 minutes in their enclosure for some pats, cuddles, play time and probably a few licks! * All four dingoes off-lead in a free roaming encounter. * Includes USB with photos from throughout session. * Held at 11:30 AM daily. * Limited to 4 people per session, ages 6+.
Grantville Pirate Festival – February 2017
Grantville Pirate Festival
Saturday April 22
This year presents the ICE AGE live stage show!
Meet the Characters Sid, Diego and Scrat.
Come Visit our Brand New Crocodile – February 2017
Come Visit our Brand New Crocodile!Now at Maru, a Brand New Crocodile is now available for your visiting pleasure.
Reptile Day – February 2017
Thursday April 13Looking for some school holiday fun! We are having reptile day on the 13th of April with Black Snake Productions. Come down and meet and learn about a large variety of reptiles.
Santa is Coming to Maru – December 2016
Santa is coming to Maru
Tuesday December 20th
Come Visit our Wildlife this Summer – December 2016
Come Visit our Wildlife this SummerAt Maru, we have a large variety of Native Australian Wildlife, including Koalas, Dingoes, Kangaroos, Reptiles and Tasmanian Devil. Each and Every Day, We have Animal Talks given by our experienced and very knowledgeable Keepers, the daily timetable which is available here. In addition, We also provide a Close Encounter with a range of our friendly species, of which more details can be found here.
Dine with the Keeper – August 2016
Dine with the Keeper
Returning November 2016 $99 per person
An up close and personal encounter with the animals through the eyes and experiences of one of our animal park keepers.Be met by one of our park keepers and gain VIP entry to Maru as you start this special experience. Enjoy special animal encounters and hear direct from your keeper about their individual passion and stories about wildlife as they personally guide you around Maru. Culminating in a two course delicious meal prepared fresh by our chef as you dine with your keeper for lunch.
Your unique VIP experience includes:
- met by your Keeper out the front upon arrival with express entry into Maru.
- Your keeper will take your group to a private area and enlighten you about their own personal passion for animals and wildlife and how they became a keeper and why.
- You will then get to meet and pat of our koalas, learn about its individual personality, history at Maru, traits and husbandry and have a professional photo taken.
- A second special animal encounter will then occur with an animal of your keepers choice where you will again learn about the animal and have another unique encounter and second professional photo taken.
- Then it’s off on a fully guided tour of the animal park, with your keeper highlighting their own personal experiences and favourite animals at Maru along the way with lots of opportunity for you to take photographs.
- Then relax over a two course lunch with a beer or wine as you dine at the keepers table and get to learn more about them.
- Afterwards you have free time to continue to explore the animal park as you desire and front row seats at the 1:00pm Wildlife Show.
- Entry fee for admission to the animal park, food to feed the animals, two professional photo prints in souvenir Maru folders and lunch with drinks is all included in the price.
- Arrive a few minutes early for an 11am sharp start with lunch at noon.
- Strictly limited to a maximum of seven people who must be ambulant, able to follow directions and at least 12 years of age.
- Non-refundable pre-purchase of tickets is essential to secure your place on this special experience.
- Meet The Keeper will be offered once a month and advertised on the Maru website and social media.
- The particular keeper you receive as a guide on the day is at managements discretion but it will be an experienced keeper.
Grantville Pirate Festival – April 2016
Grantville Pirate Festival - Sat 23rd April 2016 10am-3pm
This year presenting the ADVENTURE TIME live stage show
"Arrgh me hearties, get your best pirate gear on and come join me Pirate Pete and me’s scurvy crew of roving Pirates at the annual Grantville Pirate Festival. ‘Dere be lots for young Pirates to see and do." This year featuring the live stage show by ADVENTURE TIME at 11am and 1pm and meet the characters Finn and Jake at 12noon. Enjoy a great day out at the award winning Maru Koala and Animal Park at the annual Grantville Pirate Festival. Dress in theme and win a pirate trophy in the dress-up competitions for all ages presented by Adventure Time characters Finn and Jake. Then experience the Pirate games and roving entertainers, jumping castles, face painting, pirate mini-golf and the animal park all for the one low entry fee. Go fishin' for gold, bobbin' for squid or try the wooden leg throwing competition, then lend a hand in the tug of war and try and make someone ‘walk the plank’ by hitting the bullseye and sending them into the water. Have a professional photo taken on the Princess Caribbean Pirate Ship with a real python snake! Then meet, pat and hand feed the koalas, kangaroos and other animals. Relax at 'Tortuga' and enjoy a bite to eat and drink in the licensed Homestead Bistro. One low entry fee gives you access to all areas and activities on the day.
All of the following is included with your ticket entry:
- Adventure Time live stage show, meet and greet the characters
- Unlimited games of Pirate Pete’s 18 hole mini-golf
- Entry into the animal park
- Jumping castle, giant inflatable slide, face painting
- Fishin’ for Gold, Tug of War, Bobbin’ for Squid
- Enter the ‘Best Dressed Pirate’ and ‘Wench’ competitions
- Treasure Hunt Map to collect free ‘gold bullion’ chocolate coins
Grantville Pirate Festival tickets now 10% off!Pre-purchase your tickets before the 20th April from our Maru website and get 10% off the gate entry prices on the day. Visit our Facebook page for a chance to win a FREE family pass. @https://www.facebook.com/marukoalapark When: Saturday 23rd April, 10am – 3pm Note: activities and games will end at 3pm but visitors are welcome to stay on longer to enjoy the Animal Park and Pirate Pete’s Mini-golf
Maru welcomes orphaned koala joeys – October 2015
Maru welcomes orphaned koala joeys
Maru Koala and Animal Park has become the first Victorian Commercial Wildlife Park to adopt several orphaned back young koalas. For the first time, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has allowed private Victorian licence holders to take in wild orphaned koalas from Cape Otway's overabundant populations. With extensive experience in housing and breeding koalas for over 20 years, Maru Koala and Animal Park were chosen as the first location to adopt and care for the young orphaned koalas this week with other Victorian wildlife parks to follow as part of the new program that allows approved, licensed wildlife parks to care for the orphaned baby animals. Making their transition from the wild, the young koala joeys will be carefully monitored and nurtured by Maru's expert team as they begin to settle into their new home. The first young koala girl who arrived on the 22nd of September was affectionately named 'Tilly' to celebrate Maru's founder, Ruth Heffer's (nickname Tilly) 90th birthday. The following day the remaining koala joeys arrived, with the youngest male weighing only 700grams. There are now one girl and two boys and the largest male was recently named 'Jordy' in honor of the late George Heffer (Ruth's husband) as this was his nickname. The remaining joey will be named soon. At only 6-10 months of age these young joeys need around the clock care and are being bottle fed milk formula and so are too young yet to be out on display yet. Keep an eye on our Maru facebook page and Youtube for regular updates and pictures and information about when then will come on display in the future. Media seeking more information, pictures and video please contact: Neroli Heffer firstname.lastname@example.org 03 5678 8548
Celebrate with us these school holidays! – September 2015
Celebrate with us these school holidays!
This September Maru is proud to celebrate being in business at Grantville for 30 years and also the 90th birthday of the business founder Mrs Ruth Heffer. A range of exciting activities are planned for right across the school holidays, with loads of free gifts and prizes to mark this special occasion. The main activities include a night time party, a Family Fun Carnival Day, Treasure Hunt Day, locals free days and a wildlife art exhibition. The Family Fun day on Wednesday the 23rd will include a jumping castle and children’s activities. On Saturday the 26th search for the 100 numbered koalas that will be hidden around the property to win a corresponding prize, with doors opening at 10am sharp on this day. We are giving away $2000 worth of prizes!
Lace Monitors on Display at Maru – June 2014
Lace Monitors on Display at MaruMaru Koala and Animal Park is excited to announce the opening of a new Lace Monitor exhibit. The pair of lace monitors, Scratch and Vera, are now on display in their spacious, eucalypt forest themed, enclosure which is the first of Maru's new planned reptile exhibits. Scratch was rescued by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries from a captive environment where he was living in a bathtub and has been rehoused at Maru in a much more suitable and natural environment. The Lace Monitor is the second largest lizard in Australia. They are usually coloured dark grey with a mixture of pale yellow stripes and spots and cream underside. Another colour form occurs in some areas of Queensland which features broad bands of thick dark grey and yellow all along the body. This colour morph is known as Bell's phase. "Scratch has the Bell's phase colouring while Vera has the common patterns so our new exhibit is a great opportunity to see the two colour forms. The Bell's phase lacey's are rare and only found in some areas but when it comes to beauty, Vera's colours and pattern win over Scratch's – sorry Scratch." said Senior Park Keeper Ben Kearton. Other future planned reptile exhibits include a snake display for 2014 and in 2015 a display for the return of their Fresh Water Crocodile 'Snapper'.
The Lace MonitorsVera our female lacey (above) and our boy Scratch (below)
Pat a koala these school holidays – December 2011
Pat a koala these school holidays
Pat a koala, hand feed an albino kangaroo, walk with the dingoes, talk to the parrots and get all wrapped up in the three meter python snake, it’s all possible at Maru Koala and Animal Park these school holidays. Winner of five awards in 2011, come see wombats, Tasmanian Devils, the miniature donkey, pony, emus and more. Then go a challenging adventure as you putt your way around the Princess Caribbean Pirate Ship and play 18 holes at Pirate Pete’s mini-golf. Designed with the budget conscious family in mind, you can enjoy both attractions for low discount price all day long. There are talks in the animal park between 11am and 3pm and guided entry inside the koala enclosure at the start of every hour from 10am to 5pm daily. Bring your camera to take advantage of the ample photo opportunities, or purchase a professional photo of you with one of the animals as a special souvenirMaru Koala Park to take home.
‘Close Encounters’ are unique experiences that allow you a more personal interaction with the animal and are available with a koala, dingo, golden possum or snake. Encounters are available throughout the day between 10am and 5pm. Bring your own food to enjoy in the alfresco area or purchase from our licensed café and dining area. A family owned and operated business, bring your family to meets ours at our multi-award winning attraction, including winner of the Gippsland Tourism Award and Victorian Tourism Award Finalist in 2011. Visit our website or Facebook page for more details, including ‘Keeper for a Day’ programs and ‘Twilight Tour’ bookings. Open every day from 9:30am until at least 5:30pm, last animal talks and encounters are at 5pm.
Acclaim for Phillip Island at the 2011 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards – December 2011
Acclaim for Phillip Island at the 2011 RACV Victorian Tourism AwardsPhillip Island has been recognized among the state’s leading tourism destinations, winning two awards and named a finalist in five categories at the 2011 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, announced in Melbourne on Monday.
At the gala awards ceremony, held at Crown Palladium in Melbourne, the region’s Tourism Manager, Mr. Ken Hore was presented the Qantas Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual, while Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker Farm received the Herald Sun Award for best Tourist Attraction. Ken Hore was acknowledged for his leadership skills, passion and commitment to developing strategic partnerships during his tourism career which commenced in the early 90’s when he became CEO of Country Victoria Tourism Council. He moved to the position of Tourism Manager of the Bass Coast Shire in 2000.
Tourism Attraction award recipient, Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker Farm received the Silver Merit Award in the same category last year, the farm’s owner and operator, Paul Mannix was thrilled with the success this year. Phillip Island businesses named as finalists at Monday’s awards were first time entrant The Island Accommodation in the Metlink Award category for Backpacker Accommodations; Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and Maru Koala and Animal Park in the Herald Sun Award category for Tourist Attractions; Phillip Island & Bass Coast Information Centre in the City of Melbourne Award for Visitor Information and Services; and Silverwater Resort in the Deluxe Accommodation category. To achieve finalist is a great achievement, many entries do not obtain this status.
The RACV Victorian Tourism Awards has fostered a culture of excellence and innovation for 28 years by providing a means of recognition amongst peers and encouraging consistent business development. Each year the awards bring together more than 1,000 stakeholders including key industry associations, operators, suppliers and state government stakeholders. Mr. Ken Hore and Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker Farm will now go on to compete in the 2011 Qantas Australia Tourism Awards which be held in Cairns in March 2012.
Maru wins Gippsland Business Awards – August 2011
Maru wins Gippsland Business Awards
On Friday the 26th of August 2011, a Gala night was held at the Monash University Gippsland Campus in Churchill, to announce the winners of the Bendigo Bank 2011 Gippsland Business Awards. The Bass Coast region was well represented, with Maru Koala and Animal Park being one of many finalists from our region. We were honored to be announced as winners in both categories that we entered:
- Tourism – this award was sponsored by Destination Gippsland
- Good Access is Good Business – this award was sponsored by Gippsland Rural Access
Homestead Bistro Grand Opening – August 2011
Homestead Bistro Grand OpeningAs featured in the Sentinel Times Editorial click here to view the full article (PDF, 7MB). THE spectre of the devastating fire that ripped through Maru Koala and Animal Park back in January 2009 has almost been completely wiped away by the latest, major stage of re-development at the popular tourist attraction.
With the emphasis on achieving a significant improvement in the quality of the food and the dining experience at Maru, the change for the better is evident as soon as you step out of the car. Thanks to the development of a newly paved entry way, bordered on both sides by a new alfresco dining area; undercover in the woolshed themed shelter or outside under shady, permanent umbrellas and on handcrafted tables and chairs, there’s an immediate sense of arrival at Maru.
“There will be entertainment provided, including a free jumping castle and face painting for the kids. So come along and enjoy the day and sample the range of delicious new food lines, including sweet pastries and cakes, gourmet pizzas and breads.” For all those visitors that then decide to pay to enter the animal park, the owners are offering free entry to Pirate Pete’s Mini Golf as well. “There will be guided tours and talks at the start of every hour in the koala enclosure, and a range of close encounters available with different animals for those that want a unique experience.”
President of the Grantville and District Traders Association and vice chair of the Bass Coast Business and Tourism Partnership, Neroli is committed to developing the local tourism industry. “The grand opening for the new kitchen and dining area is Sunday, August 21, from 10am to 3pm and everyone is invited to come along and take a look while also enjoying some free activities.” For more information on this great family day out, telephone (03) 5678 8548, visit the website www.marukoalapark. com.au or the Maru Facebook page.
Pat a koala at Maru – August 2010
Pat a koala at MaruA new feature product available at Maru from the 1st July 2010 Ever wondered what it feels like to touch the fur of a Koala?
Well now you can find out during a 'Koala Close Encounter' soon to be available at Maru. Trying to spot koalas up trees just can’t compare with the personal experience of locking eyes with a koala, feeling its soft fur and see this magnificent animal so close.
- pat, touch, see and smell one of Australia’s most famous Animals up close
- take as many of your own photographs as you like or purchase a professional photo as well
- available daily as of 1st July 2010, subject to extreme weather and koala availability
Fundraiser at the Gurdies – February 2009
Fundraiser at the GurdiesWendy Peterson - Published in the Bass Valley News February 2009 Maru Koala and Animal Park is a popular tourist attraction that has been operating in Grantville for over twenty years. In early January this year, tragedy struck in the form of a fire that burnt the main building to the ground. The damage bill is horrendous and not completely covered by insurance. One unexpected expense that incurred as a result of the fire was the tipping fees for the burnt-out remains which came to approximately $8,000.
However, it seems that whenever darkness and tragedy occur, a ray of light still shines through. The local community have rallied behind the owners of Maru and have organised various fund-raising events in support of the Heffer family. On Saturday evening, January 17th, members of the Grantville and district community, councillors from Bass Coast Shire Council, the Mayor and the Member for Flinders, Greg Hunt, gathered at The Gurdies Winery for an evening they will remember for a long time. The Mayor, Cr John Duscher, observed, “It is wonderful to see the response of the community and how they have rallied around to help each other. This is true community spirit.” Greg Hunt was equally impressed. “This is great support for Maru and the work they do for local tourism and wildlife. Maru is a great symbol of support for the whole community of Grantville, Pioneer Bay and The Gurdies.”
Neroli told how touched she was by the way the community had stood behind them. “The kind words we have received are so reassuring. It means so much to us. The community spirit in this area is fantastic. Anything else we receive is just extra.” The owners of the Maru Koala and Animal Park, themselves, have shown this kind of community spirit in the way they have consistently supported local events, causes and charities. Maru was nominated and won the Bass Coast, Australia Day Community Event of The Year Award for their annual ‘Dream Night At The Zoo’. On these occasions, the park is opened for special needs children and everything on the night is free. Staff also volunteer their time.
Fire Devastates Maru – January 2009
Fire Devastates Maru
On the 2nd of January 2009 at 2 in the morning, an electrical fire started in the fuse box with flames quickly engulfing the entire building. The main building was fully ablaze when the local CFA attended and the entire bistro, shop and retail area and all their contents were lost. There was one koala housed in an enclosure adjacent to the bistro that was rescued by Ian Heffer during the fire. The koala suffered skin loss from her nose, her fur was singed on her ears and face but she made a full recovery over the next few weeks. Other animals were housed in the Nursery but were removed before the fire directly threatened that area. Fortunately the fire did not reach the Animal Park area and no other animals were harmed. Mrs Ruth Heffers was woken from her sleep by her son Ian and the CFA, who led her to safety as the business beside it was overwhelmed by ten meter flames. Thanks to the efforts of the CFA, the private residence was saved from damage by the fire. Mr Ian Heffer suffered a broken nose after falling whilst assisting with the fire managementt. Both Ruth and Ian were assessed and treated at Maru with Ian receiving further treatment at Wonthaggi hospital.
Coming soon to enhance your experience
- New toilet block, hand wash and drinking fountain in the animal park - Completed
- Landscaping and planting along paths in animal park - Completed
- New greens throughout Mini-golf - Completed
- Car park upgrade - Completed
- New reptile display, including Crocodile - coming 2017
- Walk through large bird aviary - coming 2017