We didn't trust ourselves to survive driving on the lefthand side of the road after getting off a 16 hour flight. We spent the first night at the Mansion Hotel in Werribee, about 20 miles southwest of Melbourne.
The grounds are a beautifully manicured park. Werribee.
If I recall correctly, the mansion was originally built, as a private residence, by the owner of a (very) successful 90,000 acre sheep station in the late 1800s. Today it's a (very) comfortable hotel.
After 16 hours crammed into economy class seats, the bed was looking pretty good.
A (semi-)comfy chair and view out into the eucalyptus didn't hurt either. Mansion Hotel, Werribee, Victoria.
Werribee Park and Open Range Zoo
Gotta stay awake. Gotta stay awake. After getting settled in, we took a walk around Werribee Park and the Werribee Open Range Zoo to keep ourselves up.
Werribee Park Polo Grounds
Polo grounds, ... if you play. And apparently brought your horse.
Aloe, maybe? Or a relative.
There are something like 700 species of eucalyptus in Australia. With the exception of the rainforests up north, they were everywhere. Here's one.
Superb Fairy Wren
We suspected we were in for an interesting trip when this was one of our first bird sightings. The female is much more subdued than this, though possible prettier. These guys ended up being a fairly common sighting on the trip.
Species? Not sure...
If you've got any guesses, let us know. Werribee Park.
Again, species? Not sure.
Pacific Black Duck
I think that's what the species is, though s/he has fairly pale facial markings.
White-Browed Scrubwren, Juvenile
If anyone has a correction to the species, let us know.
Werribee Park, Werribee, Victoria.
Peeking into a shuttered greenhouse on the grounds. Someone must still water... Werribee Park, Werribee, Victoria.
Red Rumped Parrot
Red Wattle Bird
The pigeon of Australia (though Australia has a bunch of doves too). We saw Red Wattle Birds nearly everywhere on the trip.
Red Wattle Bird Feeding Young
Both the mother (lower left) and father made numerous trips back and forth to deliver grubs to this juvenile (upper right).
Cape Barren Goose
One of the rarest geese in the world, they are found only along the extreme southern coast of Australia. Werribee, Victoria.