Werribee Open Range Zoo is an African-themed zoo with many programs that make the zoo an interesting tourist attraction in Werribee, Victoria, Australia.
Come and see the exotic animals of Africa in Melbourne
The history of Werribee Open Range Zoo
Werribee Open Range Zoo was opened for public in 1983, where visitors will be going around the zoo with a tour guide. At the time, most of the animals were hoofed animals like bison and deer. A pair of Southern White Rhinoceros then was given by Whipsnade Zoo. In 1996, the zoo was relaunched with a new concept, and some new features were added as well. In 2008, the plan to make a African Safari World at the zoo were announced, but the execution was postponed due to the cost. However, an African wildlife habitat was unveiled in December 2008. The zoo was celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010 and continued to expand its exhibitions. The last addition was the gorilla exhibit in 2011.
Join the Safari Tour
The Safari Tour is a must try when you are visiting the Werribee Open Range Zoo. Here, you will be transported with the unique safari buses through the arid landscapes and savannah grasslands to explore and learn about some of the world's most endangered species. The trip will take about 40 minutes and there will be live commentary from the Safari Guide as well as you are going through the grasslands of Asia. You will also learn more about the work of communities in Northern Kenya in order to protect wildlife through the Beads for Wildlife program. Another great thing is that you don't need to pay extra to join the Safari Tour as the fee is included in your admission and the tour is suitable for all ages. For a more thrilling adventure, join the off road safari, where you will go in a small group with personal guide to answer all your questions.
Meet the exotic gorilla
One of the highlights in the Werribee Open Range Zoo is the gorilla. Here, visitors have the opportunity to see, connect, and learn more about the mammal. The zoo has three gorillas since 2011 that live in the 6,000 square metre exhibit which features lush vegetation, undulating hills and sweeping views. The design of the exhibit allows the visitors to freely see as they forage, groom, play around, and relax. You can also join the Keeper Talks that are held daily to learn more about the gorillas and how we can help in conserving them. Visitors who are interested to know more about the gorillas and join a feeding activity and discussion can also join the Gorilla Encounter program or join the fun race game in a Gorilla mission. With these two activities, visitors are able to experience more from the zoo.
Go through Australian Journey
Even though the Werribee Open Range Zoo was designed with African theme, the zoo still has Australian animals that live and join the exhibit. Here, visitors can find the kangaroos, emu, koalas, and other Australian animals on a beautiful walk in an area that will take you through an Australian Journey. The area is set on the banks of the Werribee River, and you can also see the old Chirnside Woolshed that was built in 1860. There is also a new area that is an aviary for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot. Here, the animals were trained to build up their physical fitness, flight, foraging and social skills before being released to the wild. While you are walking through this area, you will also spot some other animals, including the endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot, blue-tongue lizard, unique plants, and others.
Take your kids to spend the time in the zoo
The Werribee Open Range Zoo is a perfect place for your kids to spend the holiday as there are so many fun activities that they can join. The first one is the Lions on the edge, where your kids can become rangers and come face to face with the lions. They will be immersed to the world set in a savannah landscape as they sit behind the wheel. The zoo also has special programs for toddler every weekdays. Most of the activity can be joined for free because the fee is included in the admission. Werribee Open Range Zoo also has an indoor play space called the Ranger Kids with three areas, an African village, the savannah, and a field hospital.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets can be bought online or on the spot. However, it is better to book online to skip the line. For a cheaper price, you can also apply for a membership that will grant you unlimited entry to 3 zoos per month or per year.
How To Get Around?
To get around, you will have to go by foot. However, in some area, you will travel with jeep, bus, or other vehicles. The zoo is also accessible for those who use wheelchair.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommendation on what to wear to visit the Werribee Open Range Zoo. It is recommended to check the weather before you go and wear comfortable clothes. Don't forget that it can be very hot in the zoo.
Best Time to Visit
It is better to go in the summer, though it can be very crowded during peak season and the weather can be very hot. Prepare a whole day if you want to see all the animals and join the daily program at the zoo.
Australian Dollar (AUD)
Will I Need a Guide?
The zoo is a self-guided tour, though some programs include safari guides that will explain more to you about the animals and the conservation.
How To Get There?
If you are going from Melbourne, you can go by train from Melbourne CBD to Werribee station via the Werribee Line. You can also ride the bus number 439 Werribee South to the zoo.