A Tall Order adventure
Werribee Open Range Zoo
With Spring finally in the air, the Fresh Home Cook family set their sights on an adventurous road trip to the wilds of Africa – well, not the actual plains of Africa, but as close as we can get, at the open ranges of wonderful Werribee Zoo!
Only 35km from central Melbourne, the Werribee Open Range Zoo is an easy day trip for fun & adventure.
The excitement brgan as soon as the kids saw the entrance and the car park filled with animal sculptures. Master 5 was the official map carrier and Little Miss 3 set the direction, heading straight for the Australian animal enclosure. In here we found dozy koalas, cheeky emus and shy little kangaroos, all of which had the kids oooo-ing and ahhh-ing with delight!
The highlight of this zoo is, of course, the opportunity to go on 'safari' – hopping on a bus and driving the range while the animals meander freely around your bus, giving a sense of what life on the real African savannah might be like.
Rhinos, antelope, ostrich and zebra offer a feast for the eyes and senses, happily crossing in front of and walking beside us as we made our way slowly around the range. It was such a treat for all of us. This, however was just a taste of the real adventure we had planned for the day. The feature animal of our journey was the giants of the plains - the giraffe.
To make our trip extra special, we decided to include the Tall Order package - meaning we and a small group of like-minded animal lovers got to spend some time literally within arms reach of six majestic male giraffes, just hanging out and feeding them! There are no words to describe the awe these beautiful creatures inspire just by their mere presence. These placid, yet playful, big boys just love stripping back wattle branches, tucking into carrots and slices of sweet potato. Watching their big necks reach down and long tongues stretch out to grab the tasty morsels is unlike anything I have experienced before. The kids were so excited and just loved the closeness of the interaction. It truly was amazing! We would all do it again in a heartbeat.
Other highlights of our day included seeing the hippos make their way from the beach into the water, the scampering meerkats playfully darting around their enclosure while your watch from the comfort of their namesake bistro and getting within centimetres of a huge male lion, lazily whiling away to heat of the afternoon in the shade of the viewing glass. Truly awe inspiring.
The Werribee Zoo is extremely well laid out, various enclosures within easy walking distance, even for little legs and is set among lush gardens, dotted with a variety of playgrounds. There is a real sense of space all around. Even when the crowds start to build, you never feel crowded or closed in. There is plenty of good food on offer, from sit down cafe style to barbeque in the gardens. You can also bring your own, something a family on a budget will appreciate.
We finished our day with the kids enjoying a cool down splash in the water park playground, before hitting the road home, filled with amazing stories and special memories. The kids are already planning a return trip, next time though they’re planning the full overnight adventure of the Safari Slumber!
When not partaking in pretend tea parties with her 2-year old daughter, or learning the finer points of playing Minecraft® with her 5-year old son, Jodie is the voice of Fresh Home Cook – a blog focused on food free from gluten and lactose but full of flavour the whole family will enjoy.