A trip to Werribee Mansion and Park can make up a lovely component of a day trip in the countryside… only 30 minutes from the centre of the CBD!
When: Mansion 10am to 4pm weekdays, 10am to 5pm weekends/public holidays and grounds (non-daylight saving) 9am to 5.30pm and (daylight saving) 9am to 6.30pm – check here for details.
Where: Werribee Mansion, Gate 2, K Road WERRIBEE
Cost: It’s free to enter the grounds, $5 for a ride on the Little Red Train and entry into the Mansion is $9.60 for adults and $7.10 for children
While winter may not be an obvious choice (when I think of Werribee Mansion I think more of picnics in the garden) it’s actually a lovely time to visit for a walk through the grounds and a wander through the Mansion-house.
As we walked through the main gates of the Werribee Mansion the Little Red Train approached us and the kids sprinted ahead to find where it was going/stopping. A ride on the Little Red Train takes about 10 minutes and does a loop of the garden. The two girls (Immi and her friend both age 10) decided that they would ride, whilst Charlie decided he’d rather race the train (how could I say no to potentially 10 minutes of running for an energetic 8-year-old!) and so off they all went! I hung back as a vintage car rally meet was just concluding and I watched some incredible cars drive off as the kids lapped the gardens.
The gardens are filled with fabulous climbing trees – if your kids are tree climbers like mine then that’s an easy hour spent just waiting for them to come down from the trees!
There is a cafe and amenities on site – as well as the Mansion Hotel (with fine dining at Joseph’s).
Inside the Mansion itself are a number of rooms that have been preserved and restored (after the Chirnside family the house was a Seminary and so some rooms were stripped of their ornate decorations). It’s wonderful to walk through the halls and rooms of this Victorian beauty and imagine what life might have been like.
The kids opted to hire audio guides for our visit – and this kept them both entertained and informed… you will know if they are paying attention because when they get to the section that describes the family motto – it’s in latin and sounds suspiciously like a word we aren’t allowed to use.
The house is a “looking not touching” type experience bar one room – the nursery. And here we stopped to play games and pretty much touch everything.
The audio tour goes beyond the house taking in the gardens, the farm and the sculpture walk – all up you could listen to 170 minutes of audio tours!
While you are in the area you should check out: