Just 30 minutes drive from the crowded streets of Melbourne there is a ‘mini Africa’ where zebras, giraffes, antelopes, rhinos, and other wild animals roam freely.
It’s the hugely popular Melbourne Zoo – Werribee Zoo. This 200-hectare open range zoo is home to iconic African species, as well as animals from North America, Australia and Asia.
Melbourne Zoo – Werribee Zoo attractions
Werribee Open Range Zoo is the next best thing to hopping on a plane and heading to the wilds of Africa. The experience is so authentic you forget you’re in Australia.
Not surprisingly, it’s high on the lists of ‘must-see’ attractions in Victoria. It’s especially cool for kids.
A different kind of animal encounter to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo has no cages and very few fences. Many of the residents live happily on the zoo’s vast savannah, while animals such as lions, cheetahs, hippos and gorillas live in large, secure areas that closely replicate their natural habitats. Consequently, they behave pretty much as they do in the wild.
Things to do at Werribee Zoo
A highlight of a visit to this Melbourne zoo is Werribee Zoo’s safari bus tour of the savannah. The tour is included in your admission ticket. You can pay extra to upgrade to a smaller open vehicle. Safari suit and pith helmet optional, but a camera is essential.
Australian Journey and Wirribi River Trail
Feeling intrepid? Ready for adventure? Then arm yourself with a map and set off on foot to explore Werribee Zoo’s beautiful natural habitats and landscapes – including the amazing hippopotamus marsh, bison habitat, and Victorian grasslands.
Extras at Werribee Zoo
You can pay a fee to have an extra special wildlife encounter. Your options include meeting giraffes, touring the fantastic lions on the Edge exhibit, and going behind the scenes of the gorillas’ night dens. You also have the chance to come face to face with beautiful African cats at the Serval Cat Presentation, which is considered to be one of Australia’s best animal presentations.
Little humans roam freely
Entry is free every day for children 0 – 3 years. Kids 4 – 15 are free on weekends, Victorian public holidays and Victorian government school holidays.
Feeding at Melbourne Zoo – Werribee Zoo
There are attractive eateries at this Melbourne Zoo. At Werribee Zoo you can sit down for a fine meal at the licenced Meerkat Bistro or grab tasty takeaways from the Meerkat Kiosk. During peak periods there’s a sausage sizzle and an extra snack bar.