Thursday, October 25, 2012

Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo, you can come too, too, too!

We've decided to make a bit of an investment as a family in the form of a zoo membership. Aurora is the perfect age to start introducing her to this sort of activity. She's very aware of her surroundings and loves animals. When we were home in June/July she loved watching my mum's cats and she loved it when we spent some time at a friend's ranch (she especially loved the horses). We've been wanting to go to the zoo for months and for one reason or another we haven't had a chance.
We decided for Aurora's birthday we were going to spend the money on a membership and then make the effort through the year to get to the zoo. We are really lucky that there are three zoos/animal sanctuaries close by. The Melbourne Zoo is about half an hour away, Healsville Sanctuary is about an hour away and Werribee Open Range Zoo is only about 15 minutes away (just a few minutes away from Glen's work). With a zoo membership you get free/unlimited access to all three zoos (plus a few interstate) and we worked out that we'd have to visit the zoo as a family only 4 times in the next year for the membership to be worth it. In the 20 days that we've had the membership we've already been twice and have at least 2 more visits planned.
With Werribee Zoo just around the corner it's a good place to go for lunch or a little bit of a walk if the weather's nice and we have some spare time. With the membership we don't have to worry about making a day of it, we can just pop over and see our favourite animals (or go on the included safari bus tour) and come home again.
As you can tell, I'm a huge fan of the membership (I'm in no way paid/sponsored by them, I can just see so many benefits for our family!)!

When we got to Werribee Zoo we had about 40 minutes to kill before the safari bus tour so we went and looked at the Australian animal section. In this section the animals are free range and you're in their enclosure. There were tonnes of emus wandering around but not much else. It was a fairly warm day so we think a lot of the kangaroos were being lazy in the shade. After we wandered around there we made our way and boarded the safari bus. Our tour guide was awesome, very knowledgeable, personable and she didn't make it sound like she was reading from a script. We got to see all sorts of animals and they were all fairly close to the bus which was great for Aurora.

On the safari bus, excited to get going!

After that we made our way around the rest of the zoo. A lot of the animals in the regular enclosures were a little too hard for Aurora to see (not that they were too far away so much as hiding under/in things).

Giraffes on the safari tour (all males).
The zoo has an African theme and all sorts of great signs around, this is one of my favourite:

Best sign ever. Had me laughing all day.
I'm hoping to be able to go back to Werribee Zoo with the girls from MG in the next few weeks (quite a few of them have memberships too) and I'm hoping we'll get to Melbourne Zoo this week on Glen's days off. We tried to go at the beginning of the month but it was school holidays and a total madhouse (we couldn't find a spot to park!) so we gave up and drove out to Healsville. I'll write a post about our trip out there (we went on Aurora's birthday) in the next few days.

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