Sunday, 7 December 2014

Melbourne for Kids 2014 ~ Part 2

In this post, I continue writing about attractions in Melbourne. The Werribee Open Range Zoo is featured.

4) Werribee Open Range Zoo

We took the Werribee Park Shuttle to the zoo. The shuttle picked us up from the National Gallery of Victoria at St Kilda Road at 9.30 a.m., and we arrived at the zoo at about 10.10 a.m. We chose the Werribee Zoo over the Melbourne Zoo as we thought the latter would be similar to the Singapore Zoo and we also preferred to see animals that were freely ranging, rather than enclosed ones. The animals in the Werribee Zoo indeed had a lot more space to roam around.

Our visit started with a safari ride. The variety of animals was not large, but giraffes were ruminating their food right next to our vehicle while the zebras were pretty close too. Other animals we saw during the ride included the rhinoceros, the camel and the antelopes. I managed to take quite good photos with my android phone. Giraffes and zebras are amongst my favourite animals, so I was quite satisfied with the ride.

We then proceeded with the walking trail. Here, we saw gorillas, hippos, wild dogs, cheetahs and other African animals on the right side of the zoo. There was a small water play area at the hippos area and a short obstacle course to entertain the children. A hippo beach was being constructed and due for completion in mid December. There was also the Kubu Queen, a small section with a boat's steering wheel and a radio from which sounds made by hippos were emitted. Most visitors came, took one or two photos and left, but Little An was grateful for the opportunity to be let loose from her stroller and tarried a little longer here. Another kids' attraction here was a fossil pit.

Water Play Area at Hippos Area
Kubu Queen
Short Obstacle Course
Jeep at Lions Enclosure 

On the left side of the zoo, there were Australian animals. We only saw emus though. It seemed like the koala and kangaroo exhibits were under maintenance. There was also a promising playground for children, but as the shuttle came to pick us up at 2 p.m. (too early), our children did not get a chance to play.

The playground that we missed
We were at the zoo for about four hours and we felt that we needed about an hour more to truly enjoy everything the zoo had to offer. We found out that there was a 5-star hotel next to the zoo and guests could go for slumber safari tours at night. Lyn was quite interested in that. For me, I enjoyed the visit to the zoo, though one visit is enough for me unless new attractions are added. Little An seemed happy wherever we brought her as long as she could get up to stretch her legs. As for J, I think the highlight of this zoo visit for him was talking about Plants vs Zombies with Papa as we walked along.

Fee: $30.80 (adults); $13.60 (4 to 15-year-olds, but free on Sat, Sun and public holidays)

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