This small country town is 32km (20 miles) southwest of Melbourne, a 30-minute drive along the Princes Freeway. Trains run from Melbourne to Werribee station; a taxi from the station to the zoo will cost around A$5 (US$3.25).

The Mansion at Werribee Park Known as "the palace in the paddock," this 60-room Italianate mansion was built in 1877. It was quite the extravagant project in its day. In addition to touring the house, you may stroll around the grounds and have a picnic; it's surrounded by 132 hectares (326 acres) of bushland fronting the Werribee River. You can also pre-arrange to take one of the popular carriage rides that make their way through the property. Allow 1 to 2 hours. The afternoon tea is great.

K Rd.,Werribee. & 13 19 63 in Australia, or 03/9741 2444.www.visitvictoria.com/mansions. Free admission park and picnic grounds; admission to mansion A$10.60 (US$6.50) adults, A$5.40 (US$3.40) children 5-15, A$27.50 (US$18) families. Nov-Mar daily 10am-5pm; Apr-Oct daily 10am-4pm. Closed Christmas.

Victoria's Open Range Zoo at Werribee From inside your zebra-striped safari bus you can almost touch the animals (mainly African) that wander almost freely over the plains—no depressing cages here. This high-caliber open-air zoo is closely associated with the Melbourne Zoo. There is also a walk-through section featuring African cats, including cheetahs, and monkeys. The safari-bus tour takes 50 minutes.

K Rd.,Werribee. & 03/9731 9600. www.zoo.org.au.Admission A$16 (US$10) adults,A$7.80 (US$5.05) children, A$43 (US$28) families. Daily 9am-5pm (the entrance gate closes at 3:30pm). Safari tours hourly 10am-3pm.

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