Weekend Escapes: Werribee

It’d be a forgivable mistake to think Werribee is simply a family destination due to the Open Range Zoo being one of its more iconic attractions, but at just 30 minutes outside the city centre Werribee offers so much more than cute distractions for kids. If you’re in the neighbourhood or keen for a weekend escape, drive out to Werribee’s K Road and simply follow the signs to these great locations.

Meet the wildlife at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

The Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park

Host to many special events throughout the year such as the recent So Frenchy So Chic and the cheese lover’s dream festival Fromage A Trois, the romantic setting and garden surrounds will have you leaving your worries back in the CBD while you spend a night in luxury. The former seminary, now luxury hotel is set on 10 acres of manicured gardens and sculpture walk that, even if you’re not really a garden person, you simply have to admire. Sunday afternoon high tea is served regularly and the on-site spa is worth the trip.

The Werribee Open Range Zoo

Get up close to giraffes, zebra, hippos, rhinoceros and lions too! Not just for kids this zoo offers plenty for adults, such as overnight sleepover safaris and experiential packages including guided off-road tours and a two-course lunch with wine at nearby Shadowfax Winery. There’s also giraffe feeds, a unique lion encounter as well as behind the scenes package with the gorillas that are ideal for wildlife lovers.

Shadowfax Winery

One of the closest wineries to the CBD with a cellar door, you can easily spend the day at Shadowfax wine tasting from 11am. Arrive on a weekend from midday and the winery offers live jazz music to complement the fine food and wine offerings. It’s an ideal little spot to order a cheese board, a bit of antipasto or wood-fired pizza with a tasty drop and relax. If you’re keen to see the inner workings of where the wine magic happens, head down the industrial spiral staircase into the barrel hall. Here’s you’ll find where all the fermenting wines are stored and learn a bit about the winemaking process right from the experts.

Point Cook RAAF Museum

History and aviation buffs can take a flight in a Tiger Moth or simply suss out all the military aircraft on display at this museum. It’s also the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Flying Corps.

Truck Stop Deluxe

Fans of the Grand Trailer Park Taverna in the city can still enjoy their burger in the burbs too, with the very same boys behind both tasty ventures. Inspired by the colourful truck stops of the USA, you can expect to get your tower-tall burgers, batter fried chicken, topped fries and spiked shakes here. Actually, think candied bacon-topped spiked milkshake and you’ve pretty much summed it up.

98 Watton Street, Werribee

The Park Hotel

While your options are a little bit limited when it comes to food options in Werribee, it doesn’t mean they’re non-existent. And if you’re more of a beer kind of person, this is going to be right up your alley. The Park Hotel might look like an average local pub but inside you might be surprised with the abundance of craft beers on tap – more than 340 of them. You’re also going to find plenty of tap beers and cider on offer too. Pair it up with some standard (and not so standard) pub grub and it’s worth the trek to zone 2!

12 Watton St, Werribee

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