When was the last time you went to the zoo? We have become frequent zoo visitors since a membership was fortunately gifted to us when my daughter was born.
Our favourite zoo of the three in Victoria is Werribee Open Range Zoo because, as they claimed on the website, it “offers a unique opportunity to experience an African adventure closer to home and encounter the magnificent animals of the African savannah.” If you haven’t been, there is a 40-minute guided safari bus tour that takes you into a large grassland and arid landscape area. Seeing those iconic animals and endangered species is amazing (and it’s safe – no lions running around!). The bus tour runs multiple times daily and it’s FREE with a valid entry ticket! A hot tip – get on the bus before visiting the other areas – it helps beat the queue. The whole experience is fantastic, so don’t tell me that you’ve been to the Werribee zoo without completing the Safari Tour!
We visited the zoos again on some partly-sunny Sundays in winter. “Open range in winter?” I can see you shaking your head now. But, you know what, I recently received a zoo newsletter which told me that winter is the best time to visit zoos because “fewer people visit the zoo which means it's easier for you to spot your favourite animals and get some one-on-one time with the wildlife!” And……it was true! While at the Melbourne Zoo we saw three gorillas without being pushed or having our view blocked by other visitors. And at the Werribee Zoo, the hippos were out of the water sunbaking which rarely happens in summer and the queue for the Safari Tour was much shorter than in the warmer months. How good is that!
What to eat at the zoos? We sometimes buy sandwiches or chips from the zoo cafés. The food quality is average, and to be honest, the price and waiting times are a pain (sorry, Zoos Victoria!). So, we decided to try something different – baked beans! Baked beans, you kidding me? Nope! Trust me, it is not as crazy as it sounds. You just heat them up and put them in a flask and you’re away. We also brought some bread, cheese, veggie sticks, dip, fruit and Double Wood Coffee of course. It was a proper (and hot) lunch! Who says that you have to sacrifice your tummy when exploring the outdoors?
Here is our lunch packing list for a hungry family of four:
- 1 flask of warm baked beans
- 4 slices of cheese
- 1/2 loaf of bread
- 1 container of cut fruit
- 1 container of dip
- Some veggie sticks (carrot and celery) wrapped in a beeswax wrap
- 4 sets of reusable plates and cutlery
You can easily pack them in a backpack or shopping bag. We recommend a cooler bag for cold food and putting all your plates and cutlery in a big zip-lock bag to keep them clean and tidy. After your meal, you can just pack all the used “tools” back into the zip-lock bag, so your backpack stays clean!
It’s now our new lunch option for the zoo! How about you? Share with us your ideas/experiences by sending us an email or tagging @doublewoodcoffee on Instagram or Facebook.