The Wonders of Werribee

Werribee Open Range Zoo

We’ve started a new little group, just four of us, that organise small photo journey’s to places local and far away. Our first trip was to Castlemaine some time ago and we’ve now spent the day (29/03/2009) a little closer to home checking out Werribee Festival and the Werribee Open Range Zoo.

It was Kathryn’s idea to head to this location and while Sue and David weren’t excited about watching the Parade I thought it was quite cool. But then I like seeing people and the way they work in different situations. Kathryn also set us all challenges. Mine was to capture a woman with a small dog, and she had to pose for me. David had to get a bee on a flower and Sue a bunch of balloons. It made the day a little more fun.

Drummer Boy Drummer Lady

One thing can be said for Werribee, they have too many;

  • churches
  • brass bands, and
  • dance schools

It seemed every second float one of these. But it at least made of a few good shots.

Chinese Dragons Face Painting Model

The other cool thing about taking photos at town festivals is you can generally run into the street to get a good shot. There aren’t any barricades and in this case there were whole sections of the street unencumbered by spectators.

Lady and her dog Brian Mannix

After watching the parade and then wandering around the fair we decided to head on over to the Werribee Open Range Zoo. As I’ve mentioned previously we became Friends of the Zoos and now have a year’s unlimited access which is kind of cool as in Melbourne the two main zoos are relatively close to us, so we’ll be visiting quite often and with anyone who wants to go.

Werribee Open Range Zoo

The wild dogs were moved from the Melbourne Zoo about six months ago (I think) and their new enclosure is much better than the one they had a Melbourne Zoo. While I had seen them before I had never noticed how massive their ears were. Very similar to Fennec Foxes. You definitely get a better view of the Wild Dogs in their new enclosure. My photos of the wild dogs weren’t so great, David got some better shots, perhaps he will share them with us.

Werribee Open Range Zoo

The other thing that continues to surprise me is the parents who rush their kids off from one exhibit to another. Their kids are often awestruck by what they are seeing, for some of them it is no doubt the first time to see some of these animals in person and I think that sometimes the parents are a little too concerned about getting it over and done with and not taking the time to be in awe of the animals themselves and even more so in the way their children are taking the new stimulus in. I am constantly amazed by how kids view the world and think maybe we’d be better off as a people if we looked at the world more often through the eyes of our children.

Werribee Open Range Zoo

We rounded the day out by visiting Werribee back beach, here Kathryn showed us where she likes to sit and watch the boats come in and the pelicans come up to feed on the left overs of the fishermen’s catch. She also took us on a little walk to see a mass of wild mushrooms growing in the sandy dirt of the beach area. Quite an unusual location and interesting to see.

Mushrooms in the Sand


  1. I love your photos of the animals. They are so real. They look like they could have been taken in the wild. And I love your observation on busy parents… I have taken note!

  2. Thanks for your kind comments. And it’s true about parents, you watch them when you’re out. It’s crazy. You know what kids are like and I already see how you are with the kids and the honest joy in your words when you send pics of the kids.

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