Saturday, September 13, 2014

Werribee Open Range Zoo and Werribee Mansion

Last week we went to Melbourne to meet the Wellington Papps for Grandad Papps' 60th Birthday celebrations. After a night at the airport hotel we headed off down the coast, stopping in at Werribee Open Range Zoo and Werribee Mansion on the way.

Werribee Zoo is an african themed zoo outside of Melbourne. It is situated on over 500 acres of land and is located on the Werribee river.

I think Ethan would have almost been happy with just seeing the entrance to the zoo, it was that cool!
 Awesome sculptures of animals to play on and with!
 We started the day on the bus ride out into the "free range" area. 
 It was lovely seeing the animals so well cared for and roaming free.
 The giraffes were tall and majestic, and came very close to the bus!

 The rhinos were lazy and seemed to enjoy sitting in the sun! Basking in the fresh spring air.
 The zoo had simulated african villages... such a different life to what we are used to!
After the bus tour we walked the rest of the park... The hippos were also basking in the sun.
 Ethan had a ball in the park, which included a archaeology digging area for the kids!
 The lions were amazing, and we were only separated by a piece of glass, One lion was on the car bonnet of the car that was half on their side of the glass and half on our side of the glass!
 The zoo was truly wonderful and everyone enjoyed it!

Right next door to the zoo is Werribee mansion, which upon entering the grounds, we are transported back to 19th century Australia. Apparently weathly sheep farmers built the mansion, finishing back in 1877.

Here is the gate house!
 The mansion was amazing - we didn't do the inside tour (which I would have loved to do), but the house with the rolling lawns and acres of gardens was a sight to see. I could only imagine the lives of the people who actually lived there once upon a time.
 Down at the bottom of the gardens was the grotto - apparently it was the only place for the "ladies" to get cool in the summer months (inside the grotto was lined with shells and children's teeth...hmmmmm not sure I like the sound of that one!).
We ended the day in Torquay with a quick walk on the beach, a spot of shopping at the surf stores and some groceries to see us through the next few days! 
All in all a great first day of our holiday!

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