On our first expedition, we set out (on the left side of the road!) to Werribee Open Range Zoo, about 45 minutes from Melbourne CBD. Since this was our first foray into any type of countryside, the views out the window were even more wonderful. The weather happened to be gorgeous that day, 20 C and sunny, which made it all the better.
The big draw and differentiation from other zoos is Werribee’s safari bus tour. Just like on an actual safari in Africa, we rode in an open sided bus through the middle of the animal habitats. Highlights were camels in the arid habitat, hippos near the waterhole, and giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and antelope on the savannah. The ride was over bumps, through rivers, and on a dusty dirt road; we came off heavily dusted– a small price to pay.
Here was also where I saw my first Australian red dirt! Who knew such a small thing could be so exciting?
The zoo’s landscape itself was full of breathtaking views. It was also home to a nice wetlands walk down to the Werribee River. A small billabong was a habitat for wild animals including frogs and birds.
In the open-air koala enclosure, we got to stroll through a gathering of trees filled with eucalyptus leaves, but only saw one koala. Still, it was an up close and personal view.
The zoo’s open range claim was proved true with kangaroos and emus wandering around freely in the Australian section. I didn’t want to get too close to an emu; the huge claws and sharp beak are strong deterrents.
The kangaroos were lazing around under their golden wattle trees. How Australian is that?And yep, I was that close to a kangaroo!