We purchased a Zoos Victoria family membership a while back with the plan to visit the Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Zoo approx every 2 months. Great value, and a perfect outing for the kids.
This was my 3rd time to Werribee Zoo. About 30min from Geelong or 30ish mins from melbourne. The zoo is tucked next to the highway between Melbourne and Geelong.
The road that leads into the Zoo passes some of Melbourne’s farming area, with what looked like lettuces and artichokes growing. You then pull into the Werribee Mansion drive, which passes an equestrian field towards the Zoo entrance. Plenty of parking available and we tested this trip on the last day of school holidays.
Entry to the Zoo is about $37 per an adult, with kids free on the weekends and holidays. As we have a membership we use it enough to save money on the visits.
The Zoo has a safari theme, with details used from the many areas of Africa to provide an exciting display around the grounds. As you enter the Zoo there are well placed restaurants and coffee shops to cater for hungry visitors. If you head towards the Safari bus depot (enter and turn right) there is plenty of grass area to set up a picnic with the kids.
The main bus safari is included in the general entry and involves a 30 min drive around the grounds in an open style bus-train.
It first snakes through the arid zones where you can see types of Bison, Adax, Camels, Oryx, and endangered horses. It then wades past the Hippos in a small river, and finally arrives to the lower plains which houses open-range Giraffes, Rhinos and Zebra.
Each time I’ve visited, the animals have no problem getting up close to the bus for a look and a photo. There is an extra ‘small-group’ mini bus that you can take for an extra $50pp. Personally I don’t think it is needed.
The line for the bus can get long, so I have found the best time to catch it is lunch time when all the visitors are at the cafes and restaurants.
Arriving back to the main Zoo, you can follow the well guided path to see the enclosures of the Cheetah, Gorillas, Hippos, Lions, and Monkeys. As you move along the path, each area is themed well and has plenty of stops for the kids to have a play at. Eg. near the Hippo area is a half sunken boat as a viewing platform, along with a water play area.
Unfortunately the monkeys were off display when we arrived, as a Tiger snake had slithered into the enclosure and they were waiting for the snake catcher. Aus vs Africa right there.
As you finish the safari, the path leads towards the back of the Zoo and towards the Australian section. Inside this section the path takes you to a large bluestone shearing shed built in 1860. On the mild 25 degree day we visited, I can only imagine a standard 40 degree summer inside the large shed. Also in this section you can see Emu, Brolga, Koalas, and Kangaroos.
Overall a great day with the Kids, relaxing way to spend 4+ hours.
The restaurants and cafes are well priced, and along the path there are ice-cream shops, coffee stands etc.
The gift store as you exit is well stocked, covering all items local and international.
Highly recommend a visit!
View the Werribee Open Range Zoo website.
Photos: Taken with the Fujifilm X100F