Werribee Open Range Zoo is located at Werribee South Victoria, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne CBD. We went to Sovereign Hill Old Town in the morning and it took about 1.5 hr drive to reach Werribee Open Range Zoo from Sovereign Hill. You can visit both attractions in a day but a little rush, both sites are located outskirt of Melbourne.
Usually, people spend about 4-6 hours to explore the 560-acre open zoo in Werribee Park. The open range zoo has the theme of African, an open savannah kind of taste.
Book ticket online with Klook
We book our ticket online with Klook to enjoy up to 20% discount. Remember to print out the voucher from home and pass it over to the ticketing counter to issue you the tickets.
There are three walking trails, one of them is the Australian Trail which you will see the Australian icons such as kangaroo & koalas.
African River Trail
The African River Trail is another exciting trail to explore, a 1000 meter long trail that takes approximately an hour to cover. Over here you get to see the African village and animals such as lions, hippos, cheetah and gorillas. We had a shock when the cheetah charged toward us as we didn’t realize there is actually a glass door.
Werribee Yaluk (River) Trail
This trail closed at 4.30 pm so if you arrive after lunch, the first thing you may want to explore is the Werribee Yaluk River Trail. It takes roughly half an hour for the 1km walk. You will discover the historic Chirnside Woolshed and the beautiful Werribee River.
Safari the Highlight
Look out for the timetable for the safari which is also the highlight of this park. Please queue at the Safari station and wait for the safari bus (40-50 mins ride). We were told that this special bus is designed to be rhino-proof. So you will be safe from rhino’s attack.
There is an electric operated gate to enter into the safari zone. The driver who is also the zoo-keeper will use the remote control to open and close the gate. The zoo-keeper will explain about the animals here. Once the safari bus entered the safari zone, she has to make sure the gate is closed immediately.
Bison is native to Africa and Asia looks like buffalo but very hairy.
These kinds of horses are rare species also known as the Mongolian wild horse or Dzungarian horse. It is an endangered horse native to the steppes of central Asia. I was surprised such precious horses were found in Werribee’s open range zoo. This is my second encounter with Mongolian Wild Horse. The first time I saw was in Xinjiang China, which is just neighbor of Central Asia. The Mongolian Wild Horse looks short but bulky and strong.
The camel here reminded me of my camel ride experience in Dunhuang China at Crescent Moon Lake. The camel walks slowly like a snail and seems to be very patience and have a good temper.
The Hippos at the river has given us a good shock! When the safari bus passed by, the hippo was yawning and open his big mouth widely to greet us.
Emus are so cute with very long eyelashes.
Beware of Giraffes, they steal your heart!
There is no glass or fences between you when you explore the safari and you will spot many beautiful animals up close. My favorite is the majestic giraffes, they went so close to our bus and we were so excited to have eye to eye level with them. You don’t get this kind of experience when you are in the normal zoo unless you fly to Africa safari.
Alternatively, there are other options where you can explore the safari with a small group and in a specially designed vehicle but cost more. We just got our usual ticket – Werribee Open Range Zoo Entry Ticket and not the exclusive –Werribee Open Range Zoo Off-Road Safari. It actually depends on which season you go, we went in the winter so there is no crowd so getting the Open Range Zoo Entry ticket is good enough as it will include the safari bus ride. However, during summer the crowds will be huge and the queue to safari bus ride can be very long too, so you may want to get the smaller group safari ride – Werribee Open Range Zoo Off Road Safari.
You don’t have to fly all the way to Africa to experience the safari, visit Melbourne Werribee Open Range Zoo instead! Jump on to the safari bus and explore the savannah and look at the different habitats of these lovely animals. Really amazing to see the animals moving around freely in 225 hectares of wide space.