Rhinos getting all up in your face, sweetly-scented roses, and Downton Abbey-style mansions – Werribee is one hell of a town!
We recently drove out to Werribee for a day of fun at Werribee Open Range Zoo, The Victoria State Rose Garden and Werribee Park and Mansion – three tourist hot spots that are mere minutes from the freeway.
When you head about 60-minutes out of Melbourne you’ll find yourself in a completely different world. Werribee Open Range Zoo is like a slice of Africa, the Victoria State Rose Garden is like stepping into the most incredible backyard of one bloody determined sweet, rose-loving old lady, and Werribee Mansion, well let’s just say you might want to check it out before you jump on a plane to see Buckingham Palace.
These 16 photos will make you want to head out there ASAP, to witness the beauty of Werribee first-hand.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
I’m not going to lie, this zoo is not cheap. With a steep entrance ticket price of $37 for an adult or $27, if you’re lucky enough to have a handy student card, plus a minimum of an extra $50 if you want to do any of the up-close encounters, it’s not a cheap day out.
But, as much as I love to whine about steep entrance costs, most of the money raised by Zoos Victoria does go towards their animal conservation efforts, so it’s all put towards a good cause.
Me, I’m a sucker for animals so I forked out the extra $55 to do the off-road safari, but if you need to count your pennies they do have a big bus that will take you around the safari, you just might not get as close as you would like to the animals.
Just FYI, that ostrich was terrifying. I mean, just look at the way the damn thing is staring at me! Ostriches and emus are two animals I do not like. After being traumatised by one hungry emu when I was a kid, I have gone out of my way to stay away from them since!
But, on a more positive note, it was truly amazing seeing giraffes, zebras and rhinos up-close. Annnddd, the tour guide was super knowledgeable. For instance, did you know that zebras are pretty low on the feeding scale, so they roll around in other animals’ shit to cover up their scent? It’s super gross, but also incredibly clever – and apparently effective!
Werribee Open Range Zoo is also home to a pretty amazing, authentic-looking landscape.
Long story short, chuck on some sunscreen, put on a pair of comfy shoes and head out to the zoo. Although, according to our tour guide, the best time to head out to Werribee Zoo is when it’s cool out and raining, as the animals are much more active!
The Victoria State Rose Garden
Get ready to be mesmerised by the site and smell of hundreds of brightly-coloured roses that have been carefully manicured to perfection. Late spring? The best time to visit. When the sun’s out you’ll also find dozens of people picnicking around the sidelines of the spectacular rose displays.
I mean damn girl, look at those big, gorgeous blooms!
Just remember to stop and smell the roses.
Werribee Park and Mansion
Walk through one tiny gate and you’ll be leaving the rose garden of wonderland behind and heading into a large estate that was once home to the wealthy elite – Werribee Mansion. Now, I’m not sure what’s more impressive, the house itself, or the sprawling gardens that surround it.
Think of this bad boy as the Aussie version of English manors and French palaces.
Just look at this lawn. My whole damn housing estate could fit on this one tiny piece of Werribee Park.
There’s even an enormous lake!
At Werribee Park, you’re likely to suffer a severe case of love at first site.
The best part about the rose gardens and park though? Entry is completely free! Talk about the best type of afternoon activity.
So, the moral of the story is; no trip to Melbourne is complete without a drive out to Werribee.