Neighbourhood Watch / Werribee

Thursday, 2 July, 2015

Can’t wait until mid year break? Me neither. You want to travel? Great idea! But wait, my dear Farrago reader, wherever will you go? Europe? No. Asia? Sorry, those locations are too full of cultural experiences and adventures that you can neglect in exchange for a short trip down to my hometown of Werribee. I know what you’re thinking: Why would I go to Werribee, do I want drugs? Do I want to get stabbed? Well, here are what I like to call the Seven Wonders of Werribee to demonstrate why your thinking just might be right.

1. Werribee Train Station.
While in Werribee, why not take a ride on some glorious public transport? The station features 3 platforms that may or may not have a creepy man drinking beer and waiting to catch the train with you! The Werribee train station features various bus terminals that only run every 40 minutes! Good things come to those who wait.

2. Western Treatment Plant.
Which processes about half of Melbourne’s sewerage. Bet you didn’t know that!

3. Mynt Nightclub.
Where locals get loose.

4. Campbells Cove Nude Beach.
Go European and enjoy the “clothing optional” freedom this beach provides. Although located in Werribee South, it is VERY different to the Werribee South Beach that features a children’s playground. The Wyndham Council will be reviewing the current nude status of Campbells Cove so enjoy this privilege while you can!

5. Centrelink.
The prime centre is located in Werribee CBD.

6. Wyndham Refuse Disposal Service.
More commonly referred to as the Rubbish Tip.

7. Maccas Car Park.
You know what goes down here, c’mon, think about it.

Yet, despite these features and the negative stereotypes of the area, Werribee is also home to actual tourist attractions, though it may be hard to believe.

First up, there’s the Werribee Park Mansion. Built by brothers Thomas and Andrew Chirnside between 1874 and 1877, the mansion features an Italianate architectural style while most of the rooms display the Chirnside’s original furniture. Student entry to the mansion is $9.30 while guided tours are $18.60. The State Rose Garden, which is located across six acres on the Werribee Park estate, contains over 5,000 roses – it’s an Instagram goldmine! And why not get away from your assessments for a glass or two at Shadowfax Winery, open seven days from 11am with the option of wine tasting.

If you’re into animals, there is, of course, the Werribee Open Range Zoo. From giraffes to gorillas, koalas to the eastern barred bandicoot, you can find all the furry friends you want at a concession discount of $23.60. The Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre is also an international standard sporting facility hosting frequent events including the World Polo Championships.

There are even a couple of promising attractions set to open in the coming year. Werribee Waterslide Park boasts of building the largest waterslide in Victoria, while Pacific Werribee Shopping Complex, though currently looking like the set of a dystopian film, plans to put the Emporium to shame once construction is complete with two Gold Class cinemas, 120 new stores and a two-level Myer store.

So despite the bad reputation my hometown has, there are many aspects to recommend it. Werribee is one massive contradiction, both beautiful and ugly, appealing and revolting; but if you criticise it, I will stab you.

Just kidding.