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Published January 24th 2016
Too hot for a scarf for this giraffe, see for yourself
Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Are they bored and restless? Pack the car and head to Werribee Open Range Zoo for the day.
Approximately 30 minutes from Melbourne central, the zoo is set up to look like you are on an African adventure. It's expansive and set out in such a way as to get the legs pumping whether you are young or old, big or small. Be sure to wear comfortable footwear as it is a fair way walking between the animal enclosures. Having the animals spaced out so far has given them very large enclosures however, and though it may at times be difficult to spot them as they laze about in their Savannah type habitats it is obvious that they are well cared for.
From Meerkats, Wild dogs and Gorillas to Lions lazing in the sun while the lion cubs frolic through the enclosure playing up to the crowds.
Monkeys swing around theirs oblivious to the children pointing fingers at them (until one notices and comes cheekily forward to say hi in his own special way). Plus there's Cheetahs, Kangaroos, Emus and more. There are plenty of animals to see on the walking trails, with various activities along the way for the little ones including a dig for bones activity, a water activity and more. Check out the Africa village or relax on the seating scattered around the zoo.
When you are ready to eat, head to one of many places set up and stocked with plenty of yummy treats. The Meerkat Bistro, The Meerkat Kiosk and Hippo Beach Café (open 11-2 weekends, school holidays and public holidays) and during school holidays and other peak periods there are a couple of other food and drink locations within the zoo, so there are plenty of options to tickle your taste buds after wandering around the enclosures at your own pace.
Once you have had something to eat and drink, why not head on over to the safari station and hop aboard the Safari bus. Departing regularly, the bus is suitable for everybody, old and young, babies and children. Walker and wheelchair users can still board the bus via a special platform lift, so they also can enjoy the FREE safari tour.
The safari bus will take you on an African style safari through a different part of the zoo. You will hopefully get up close and personal some of the animals which is always fantastic. Your experienced driver will take you through the habitats of the different large animals and will be talking to you about those animals as they drive. You will learn all about them and if you are lucky enough some of the animals might come close to the bus to say hello, so make sure you have your cameras handy.
This safari tour runs for 40 minutes so make sure anybody who is going on it is well prepared and able to sit with their seat belt on for the duration. On the safari bus you might be lucky enough to see animals such as Hippos, Bison, Camels, Giraffe, Antelopes, Rhinos, Zebras and more, so there are plenty of awesome animals to see on the tour and lots of excitement.
If you have accessibility needs including wheelchairs, parking, assistance dogs or any other inquiries, go to the zoo accessibility information page or call them for assistance.
Werribee Open Range Zoo has accessible parking near the main entrance; this parking is for disable parking permit holders ONLY and you MUST display this permit of you must not park in these spots. This makes it easier for those with the permit to enter and exit their vehicles and also to walk to and from the zoo. Please respect the accessible parking and their purpose. There is plenty of visor parking outside the zoo for non-permit holders also.
There are plenty of extra activities that the zoo has, including Wild Encounters which you can find out about by clicking HERE and the zoo also offers wedding and function facilities which you can find out about by clicking HERE.
So no matter the type of animals and no matter the age or ability of the person wanting to see them, there is something for everyone. Pack a picnic, load the kids in the car and make your way to Werribee Open Range Zoo for a day.
Open 9am-5pm, every day of the year. Last entry at 3:30pm.
Address: K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030