We visited Werribee Open Range Zoo on our way from Hastings to Torquay via Sorento today (I know, it's not exactly on the way, but we really wanted to see the zoo, so we drove up from Geelong to Werribee especially). We followed the signs to the zoo, but somehow missed our turnoff (there was no sign !) and ended back on the freeway heading towards Melbourne, and had to get off at Hoppers Crossing so we could turn around and head back to Werribee. We managed to work out where the zoo was (no thanks to their signs), and got there soon after 1pm. It had been raining steadily since we left Geelong, and the rain seemed to actually be getting heavier. However, we are not the kind of people to let a bit of rain get in our way (rain keeps other people away thus giving you more time and space to enjoy a zoo !!). We got to the zoo in time for the 1:30pm safari bus tour - in a rather impressive looking bus specially designed for these types of tours. Fortunately there was only us and 5 giggling Japanese girls on the bus, so we had tonnes of space and were able to chat to our bus driver/tour guide. The first half of the tour was ruined by the torrential rain we seemed to have brought with us from down south. It got so wet that we had to close up all the windows and there were rivers of water running down our seats making our shorts wet. We didn't get to see terribly much, and I was worried that I would not be able to take any photos at all since the water running down the windows would have spoilt any shots. Fortunately, by the time we got to their African savannah, the rain had mostly stopped so we could open the windows up again, and we proceeded to spend the next half an hour slowly driving around their giraffes, zebras, various types of antellope, and especially their White Rhinos - including a young one ! The Rhinos seemed rather playful, enjoying a bit of mud, and running around chasing each other. At one stage we got a bit worried that the mother seemed to take offense at us getting to close to her baby, and was going to charge the bus, but she calmed down and went back to playing. I think I got some great photos with the 35mm camera (with 300mm zoom lens !!), so I'll be keen to get them developed and see how they turn out. Werribee Zoo are putting the finishing touches on their new Lion exhibit before they take delivery of their four new lions (from Auckland and Melbourne Zoos) early in the new year. We will have to make a point of going back to see what they have done with it all. After the safari bus tour, we did the two walking trails to see some of the other animals they had around - which took another hour and a bit. All up, we had a really good time once the rain stopped, and enjoyed our time there. Naturally we would have preferred a bit more time, but given the nature of these types of zoos, where you do not get to set your own pace with the animals (most can only be seen while on the bus tour), the amount of time we would like to have spent was a lot more than we were given. Apparently you can arrange photographic bus tours, where they seat you on the back of a small (and quiet !) truck with plenty of visibility and a lot of opportunity for photography - which is something I wouldn't mind doing next time we visit. An hour bus tour, an hour (or less) lunch break, and 90 minutes or so to do the two walking trails, and you are done with the zoo. There's simply not much more to see - 3 to 3.5 hours should be enough to visit Werribee, unless you want to look at some of their special offers, like the overnight stays or the photographic tours. Anyway, I would highly recommend Werribee - it has to be one of the prettiest zoos I've seen, and it is effective the way they have taken advantage of the natural terrain - some of the exhibits are built on a river flat along the banks of the Werribee river, which makes it a very attractive setting and a very pleasant place to visit.