Wheelie Accessible Adventures

Werribee open range zoo wheelchair access

During our quick visit to Melbourne this time we decided to checkout the Werribee open range zoo. I had heard some great reviews on the zoo so I was keen to check it out and its wheelchair accessibility.

Wheelie accessible adventures werribee zoo

Transport to Werribee open range zoo

The Werribee open range zoo is about 30mins from Melbourne city.

Because we were staying in the heart of Melbourne city at the Melbourne short stay apartments we decided to catch a train in. We caught the train from Finders st station on the Werribee line. From Werribee station we caught the 439 bus that took us to the front door of the zoo. The zoo bus departs every hour so it’s best to time the train and bus times to ensure they link up and you don’t have to wait for the bus too long. The train and bus is a fully accessible option.

Victoria train network
Werribee zoo bus 439
Werribee zoo bus 439 wheelchair seating

Wheelchair access at Werribee Open Range Zoo

The zoo is fully accessible throughout with wheelchair accessible facilities available. 

Some paths are cemented, but there are path areas that are gravel. This didn’t really bother me in my electric wheelchair, but for some wheelchair users the gravel can be pretty bumpy and uncomfortable.

We were able to get fairly close up to the animals on display and had a good view to the animals in their enclosures. The Zoo is large with a lot of land space for the animals to move around.

When visiting the lion enclosure we were lucky enough to be there when the lion came right up to the glass and sat up on the car bonnet. It was such a poser! Everyone was going bananas trying to get a photo with the lion on the bonnet but I did managed to zip in and get a quick photo with it.

Wheelie accessible adventures werribee zoo lion
Wheelie accessible adventures werribee zoo lion 2
Wheelie accessible adventures werribee zoo lion 3

They do offer animal encounters at the zoo but I am unsure if they are wheelchair accessible.

Meerkat restaurant

The bistro /restaurant area was lovely and modern. It had plenty of room to move around and is accessible via a ramp, The restaurant looked out into the meerkat enclosure where you could view the playful meerkats through the large  glass wall while eating lunch.

Werribee zoo meerkat
Werribee zoo meerkat
Werribee zoo meerkat

Werribee open range zoo safari bus

I was happy to hear the Safari bus was wheelchair accessible at Werribee open range zoo. The safari bus is included in the admission price and has a number of tours throughout the day.

The bus is wheelchair accessible via an awesome little lift that is located behind the driver. I was very impressed with the lift and thought it was fantastic how they made sure the safari bus was accessible to wheelchair users.

Werribee zoo safari bus wheelchair lift
Werribee zoo wheelie accessible adventures safari bus
Werribee zoo safari bus wheelchair tie down
Wheelie accessible adventures werribee zoo safari bus

Unfortunately though the safari trip didn’t turn out as expected.

Once I was loaded on the bus via the impressive little lift I was locked in place via straps to secure the wheelchair. (Like in a taxi) I was asked to positron facing out to the right side of the bus. Unfortunately once the tour started I soon realized the animals were all on the left side, which was behind me. And because I was locked in I was unable to move or reposition. I spent the whole 40mins of the tour facing my back to the animals such as the zebras, giraffes and rhinos. All I seen was three long horned cows and a couple goats.

Sadly the safari bus was a huge flop for me. I was so disappointed. When arriving back at the safari station the driver apologized and realized I was facing the wrong way and I couldn’t see anything, I appreciated the apology and his acknowledgment of the issue.

He did say he would report the issue. Hopefully they can come up with a better setup so wheelchair passengers aren’t restricted to one side where there’s a chance of seeing no animals.

Werribee open range zoo safari 1
Werribee open range zoo safari zoo 2
Werribee open range zoo safari 3

Even though the safari tour was unsuccessful we still had a great time at the zoo.  We saw a number of animals during our visit and was able to get to all areas throughout the zoo in my wheelchair without to much difficulty.

 In my opinion I give Werribee open range zoo a rating of 4 for wheelchair accessibility,  and  a rating of 4 stars for the overall experience .

wheelchair access rating 4

* I was not financially compensated for this review. The review is based on my own opinion and personal experience.*