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Werribee, Victoria

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Just over the West Gate Bridge from the Melbourne CBD lies the picture-postcard nineteenth century world of Werribee Park, perfumed with the fragrance of thousands of roses, where it is also possible to embark on a wildlife safari. Werribee Park dominates the easily-accessible precinct of Werribee, encompassing the Open Range Zoo, Werribee Park Mansion, Shadowfax Winery, and the State Rose Garden. The Chirnside family originally owned much of the Werribee Plains and built Werribee Park Mansion, the largest private residence in Victoria, in the late 1870s. The 12 hectares of park include beautifully kept gardens and a farmyard area complete with authentic blacksmith facilities. Garden-lovers will be in heaven as they take in the sights and smells of the State Rose Garden, which boasts more than 4,500 plants in its collection. The best time to view the roses is between November and May. The Werribee Park Sculpture Walk intersperses contemporary sculpture with the splendid flowers. For a truly wild experience, come face-to-face with giraffes, zebras, meerkats, wallabies, emus and other grassland animals from around the globe at Victoria's Open Range Zoo Follow one of the many scenic trails winding their way through the You Yangs Regional Park through beautiful terrain. Aboriginal rock wells can be found on Big Rock. Watch migratory wading birds at the Point Cook Coastal Park during the summer months. The Werribee Park Precinct is approximately 30 kilometres from Melbourne, or around half an hour via the Princes Highway.

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