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Going Wild!! At Melbourne and Werribee Zoos (part two of two): Dad Day Out review – Werribee

We went on Safari.

Dad Rating: Original icon created by: http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk/Original icon created by: http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk/Original icon created by: http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk/Original icon created by: http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk/Original icon created by: http://www.doublejdesign.co.uk/ (5/5)

Have you ever been on Safari? No I’m not talking about the web browser, I’m talking the African type of Safari. Head to Werribee Zoo and you can.

You get to go on Safari! Get really close to the animals. Great grounds. Lots of play areas around, with activities to do and see. Still fun even if you don’t go on the safari.

A bit out of the way, so it can be a car trip, about 30+ minutes unless you live out that way.

The day after the Melbourne Zoo visit we decided to make the trip out to Werribee to get the most value out of our zoo passes. Werribee is 34 Km South west of Melbourne CBD, about 30mins traffic permitting, that makes it about about 50Km away from our place, a good one hour travel time.

Front Mr F
Mr F just hanging out with his Rhino mate.

As you go to enter, you walk past some really amazing animal statues, great photo opportunity even before you part with your money.

We used the express members lane to enter, as we did at Melbourne Zoo the day before, then made a food stop as it was morning tea time. Yes, everything seems to revolve around child feeding times – me too. As we can all can get really cranky when we are hungry.

Then we were ready to go on Safari. Lining up for the Safari bus and looking at the work that has been put in to make it look like you are in Africa, I was impressed. Once on the bus, it’s really a beefed up bus at the front, with a couple extra carriages on the back, open window sections on both sides with seats, we start off on the adventure.

As soon as we had passed the first gate, we were asked to look to the left to see the hippopotamus and her baby lazing in the sun. Which was a great view as we climbed up a hill and into the park proper. The guide spoke to us though a PA system, informing us that they are expanding the safari experience. Currently the trip is about 40 minutes long and I’ve got to admit, I was pretty excited about what lay ahead after seeing the Hippos so soon at the start.

View Bus Hippo and baby
Mum and Baby head to head asleep. Are they smiling?

The bus passes though a number of “enclosures” or rather large open plains that the animals can roam about. Some hanging out by the water hole, some snoozing upright – a couple Zebras. There are even mock up African Huts to give that added feeling of being on a safari trip.

African hut replica

One of the best enclosures I feel, was the one which had the Giraffes – I think I might have a thing for them after these two posts. They are in a large open space with Zebra and Rhinoceros, and as we turned a corner the guide pointed out that it was “Giraffe feeding time”, so they had gathered near the walking path of the zoo, as people hand fed them. One really big one was standing right on the path which we waited 5 minutes for it to move so we could move on.View from bus Rhino

Seeing the size of the Giraffe, and the size of the opening on the bus, I’m sure if it got annoyed we would have had a face full of Giraffe. Thankfully, the big one just moved enough for us to pass and then two others came near to him as they all did what looked like a neck dance as they are chewed on a branch. I could almost reach out and pat them, except for having the boys on my lap.
View from bus Griffa dance

Now we went past this one island in the middle of a “lake” I guess and I thought, oh there is nothing in this enclosures. Till I saw the big Crocodile. It was just sitting there so still and jaws wide open, probably waiting for lunch to just wander in – lazy thing.

Lazy croc. waiting for lunch to jump into its mouth.
Lazy croc. waiting for lunch to jump into its mouth.

There was a little backtracking with the safari, but it was a good thing as you get a second chance to see all the animals.

Once off the safari bus, we had to get the double pram out from Pram parking hell – I really should have taken a photo. I was triple parked in by double prams – what you think because I have parked so others can get in and out I would not want to get out myself? Anyway, we sat down for lunch on a well maintained grass area, just in front of the safari pick up drop off spot – with numerous others who were doing the same thing. The boys took to running all around as 40 minutes sitting in a bus was really just enough ‘still time’. Then we started on the walk around.

Boy at Hippo

We walked around to the Hippo viewing boat, which was a cool, although mummy and baby hippo where hidden around the corner, luckily we saw them on safari. Then we kept walking and came across a sandpit – Why oh why is there a sandpit? Wait, OK, I see, it has a big bone buried in it… educational?

Mr A in sand pitThe only problem we had then, was we could not get Mr A out of there. I think he dug holes and used the wheelbarrow for about 10 minutes easy with out looking like stopping.  Mr F was easy enough to persuade to come with me, because he caught sight of a chicken roaming along the path and started chasing.

I finally got Mr A out of the sandpit, by telling him about the Lions which where ahead.  There is a Jeep half inside the enclosure  half out side the enclosure. The boys loved it, all the buttons and things. It would have been really cool if a lion was to sit on the bonnet of the Jeep while we where there…Nope oh well another time.

MR A & F at lions

We kept going around until we were almost back at the entry. There we found a great playground there, so little Miss S could have some milk and the boys could run around and play before getting back into the car.

MR A Play
Mr A making his way to the slide.

I know that we will be heading that way again. Well worth the travel time.

Oh, and side note, not far from Werribee Zoo you will also find a fancy hotel and spa Lancemore Hotel as well as Werribee Mansion and the Rose gardens, which are all amazing places to visit as well.

Till next time.


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Demos Karkazis

I'm a husband and father of three. I work hard and try and be the best dad I can be (not always a success)

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  • That sounds like such a cool place! Too bad I have no plans to travel to Vic in the foreseeable future..

    • Demos K

      Hi Anita. It is! When your foreseeable future becomes the past and you can make it to VIC maybe give it a try. Don’t forget the day spa is really nice around there too.