While the Werribee Park Precinct - encompassing Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee Park & Mansion, Lancemore Mansion Hotel and Shadowfax Wines - is already a popular destination for families, here are some other hand-picked suggestions to help you to ‘choose your own adventure’ when you next visit the region with kids.
Discover an epic playground
Werribee and Surrounds are truly blessed with some of the most awe-inspiring destination playgrounds you’ll find in Melbourne. There are over 300 playgrounds to choose from - here are my kids’ top ten favourites:
- Wyndham Park is an unmissable community open space that features not just one but two large playgrounds;
- Presidents Park in Wyndham Vale is a popular family drawcard, with its sprawling wooden structures;
- For water play it’s an even heat between Crocodile Park in Point Cook, Riverwalk Water Park in Werribee and Lakeside Playground in Manor Lakes;
- Gather your pirate crew at Bayview Park in Point Cook;
- Become a zookeeper for the day at Safari Park in Werribee;
- Train a budding pilot at Aeroplane Park in Tarneit or command the airspace inside the aircraft control tower at Ashcroft Park in Williams Landing; and
- Be a paleontologist at Dinosaur Park in Truganina.
Eat the World on Watton Street
Watton Street is Werribee City Centre’s eat street!
Stroll this leafy avenue and you’ll be sure to find fare that will satisfy every appetite, whether you’re looking for a quick coffee, a pub meal, or multicultural dishes that are hard to find anywhere else in Melbourne.
Family friendly options include:
- Wolf on Watton: This all-day cafe/restaurant/bar offers dine in or take away. Grab a takeaway of specialty roasted coffee and seasonally inspired food, such as their popular picnic grazing box curated from their ‘grazing cabinet’ of cured meats and boutique cheeses.
- Mama Lor: a family-owned Filipino restaurant that offers a variety of traditional dishes, as well as selling Filipino-style bread and cakes. Kids will love the brightly hued, toddler-palm sized ube pandesal (sweet purple yam bread rolls).
- Notorious Espresso: Fuel your day’s adventures with coffee brewed using beans from Veneziano Coffee Roasters and artistically presented food that’s truly the definition of ‘eating with your eyes’.
- Fusion Ceylon: a unique restaurant combining Sri Lankan food with Western gastronomy. For instance, their daily ‘house bake’ counter offers flaky Cornish-style pies and sausage rolls that the kids will appreciate, while their weekend banana leaf specials will have the adults salivating over crab goan curry or spicy prawn devilled rice.
Unwind in Nature
Breathe in the serenity by exploring some of the region’s pristine waterways, beaches and marine sanctuaries.
Werribee River Park stretches along the west bank of the Werribee River, running south of the Princes Freeway (Maltby Bypass) through to Port Phillip Bay. The shared bike and walking trails are an easy way to explore the rich flora and fauna of the Werribee River.
Point Cook Coastal Park offers extensive bird spotting opportunities, with more than 200 bird species making the spot their home from as far away as Japan, Siberia and Alaska.
A short stroll along the sandy foreshore offers the opportunity to discover shells, see abundant birdlife and an interesting array of marine life in the nearby Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary.
Finally, Werribee South Foreshore offers a quiet, shallow beach that is perfect for wading, with stunning views across Port Phillip Bay, particularly at sunset. Werribee South Beach is patrolled during the peak swimming season (from mid-December to late January), making the beach a perfect destination for kids to enjoy a safe paddle.
The foreshore playground (plus the promise of an ice cream from Anglers Anchorage), will mean that the kids will never want to leave.