Now that I have visited Australia's three main open-range style zoos (Western Plains Zoo near Dubbo, Werribee Open Range Zoo near Melbourne, and Monarto Zoo near Adelaide), I can make some comparisons between them. Monarto and Werribee both offer safari bus tours as their prime mechanism for letting you see the animals. The format of such "tour" style zoos allows a different experience to a typical zoo, and is much more effective for a true open-range zoo where there are very large paddocks - unlike Dubbo, where the enclosures are small enough to see from a viewing area while walking around the park. However, given that you cannot do the tour at your own pace - the Werribee tour typically lasts around 50 minutes - I do find such tour only setups frustrating. The thing that Werribee has that Monarto does not yet have is a couple of walking trails where you do get to see other animals in smaller exhibits at your own pace. At the moment, Monarto's bus-only tour leaves you wanting a lot more from your visit - but Monarto is a very new zoo, and has a long way to go before it can really be compared fairly to Werribee or Dubbo. While the Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo is called an open range zoo, and it does indeed have much larger exhibits than a typical suburban zoo, the enclosures are still relatively small compared to those at Monarto and Werribee, where you actually need to drive through the paddocks to find the animals. Both systems have their good and bad points - I like to set my own pace, which you can't do well at Monarto or Werribee, and the animals are much more accessible at Dubbo because of those smaller enclosures. However at the same time, at Dubbo you don't get those special moments when the bus gets close up to some of the animals in an open paddock like you do with Werribee or Monarto - and it is much more satisfying to see the animals in a safari style environment. I actually think Werribee has done a good job with a mixture of both styles - I just wish there was more that could be seen at your own pace. I also look forward to see what Monarto can grow to become in the future - they are getting more animals all the time, but I think the tour-only format they currently have is quite limiting. I'd be interested to see if they have plans for making their animals more accessible. Dubbo certainly has a great collection of animals, and you can easily spend an entire weekend there wandering around looking at them all (we did !), but is it really "open range" - especially when compared to Werribee or Monarto ? Does anyone else have any comments about these open range style zoos ? Actually, given my recent discoveries about the changes at Mogo Zoo, we may need to include it in this category too now !