Werribee Open Range Zoo
Time Out says
Walk on the wild side in southwestern Melbourne
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped through a portal to the African savannah when visiting the Werribee Open Range Zoo. This world-leading zoo just around 30 minutes from the Melbourne CBD features sprawling enclosures and up-close animal encounters.
The savannah is the highlight of the zoo, with open-air safari buses taking visitors out to encounter giraffes, rhinos, zebras and hippopotamuses splashing in the river.
As well as the African savannah and walking trail featuring lions, gorillas and meerkats, the zoo features the Australian Journey grasslands where you can wander at your own pace and spot kangaroos and other native fauna. You’ll find the greatest hits of native wildlife here – including koalas, mountain pygmy-possums and emus.
If you fancy some more you can level up your experience with a behind-the-scenes encounter that allows you to have a more intimate experience with some of the zoo’s residents. You can book a fully immersive Off-Road Safari, feed enthusiastic purple-tongued giraffes, or meet a pride of lions.
See the animals as the sun slips behind the savannah on an exclusive Sunset Safari, where you’ll roam the plains and dine alongside meerkats. Or for the ultimate glamping experience, the Slumber Safari allows you to sleep over at the zoo and see the animals awaken across the savannah.
This conservation-focused zoo is part of the Zoos Victoria group, with a mission to fight extinction and strengthen the connection between people and wildlife. Profits from certain events are donated to wildlife conservation, working with local and international organisations to help animals in their native habitats.