melbourne day 4: werribee mansion, penguins, and goodbyes / by mmkeyes

Our last day in Melbourne was utterly amazing! It was my idea of a perfect day. My parents, my husband, nature, and a 19th century estate. What else is there?! We drove to Werribee Park, an estate southwest of Melbourne. One of the reasons we had planned to visit Werribee was so that we could be indoors--it was forecast to rain all day. But the day turned out to be sunny and beautiful!

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Werribee Park and Mansion was built by the Chirnside Family in the 1870s and owned by their family for a few decades before turning into a Catholic Seminary. We explored the State Rose Gardens first. These were beautiful. Despite the fact that autumn was in full swing when we were there, everything is green and blooming. There were hundreds and hundreds of different rose species.

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After exploring those gardens, we walked toward Werribee Mansion. The walk to the mansion was full of unique and beautiful trees. The majority of the trees we saw were types I had never seen in my life.

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This one was my favorite. The most beautiful roots!

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The mansion was beautiful from the outside and on the inside. I have an obsession with old estates, so I was happy as a clam.

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I love how ornate old estates are. We just don't make 'em like this anymore!

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Is this promenade not the most spectacular thing ever?!

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After exploring the many many rooms of the mansion, we headed back outside toward the orchard, grotto, and pond. This awesome tree grew Irish strawberries. Before actually researching what they were, my Mom decided to try one. She's always been an adventurous one, especially considering how many poisonous things there are in Australia.

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As we were walking around the pond, my mom and I heard some birds screeching not too far away. It was continuous and extremely annoying. We looked over to see what type of birds were causing the noise, only to find...

BATS.

EVERYWHERE. There were hundreds of them hanging from the trees.

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I've seen a bat or two in my time, but they were in dark caves, and they were SMALL. These things were hanging around mid-day and way too large for their own good.

But they were also cute in their own weird way.

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We pried our eyes away from the unexpected bat colony to finish our walk around the grounds. It was so lovely.

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I fell in love with Werribee Park. If I were born in a different age, it would absolutely have been the 1800s. Preferably into the upper class, though. Werribee Park in Victoria, Australia and Lanhydrock House in Cornwall, England are my favorites, and I recommend both if you're in either area at some point.

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We had to, alas, leave Werribee at some point so that we could get packed for our journey back home. After packing and resting at home, we drove to St. Kilda's Pier to see the penguin colony that lives there. It was my first time seeing penguins in real life. They're pretty cute and funny!

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I really enjoyed the Melbourne skyline from St. Kilda's.Before leaving Australia, we had to stock up on lollies. I am addicted to Marvellous Creation bars and Crunchies. My mom had already bought some for us on arrival... but naturally, we needed more. Did we go overboard? You be the judge. But the right answer is no, we far underestimated our needs. We ran out already.

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Our last stop before the airport was dinner at the Hog's Breath. Yes, that's right. The Hog's Breath Steakhouse. It was really good, despite the name!

Goodbyes at the airport were pretty excruciating, but it had to be done. My cute parents stayed with us as we waited to check our bags. They spend so much time at the airport as it is--multiple times a week--but they wanted to stay with us as long as possible. My dad has dropped me off at the airport countless times. I can still remember him waiting and waving the first time I left the country as an exchange student when I was 17, so it was a tender moment. It was so wonderful to see my parents, even if it was just for a few short days!

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