Planning a family day out by the Werribee River is easy. From laid-back picnics to bike rides, there is more than enough to fill time under the majestic River Red Gums. A gentle warning: you might enjoy yourself so much in one spot that you’ll have to come back another day to check out all the others!
Bring the dog along for a good stretch at Presidents Park. The flat two-kilometre track loops across grassy areas and shrub patches, including off-lead zones. A well-worn natural path near Shaw’s Bridge, below the concrete walkway, takes you next to the Werribee River.
The park is a popular meeting place for canine friends, and even hosts a dog obedience club. The layout lets everyone hang out with their best mate in an open space away from traffic, so they can relax and live in the present. It’s the doggy way!
Check the Wyndham City Council for dog off-lead areas. Be mindful of wildlife even when your dog is having a frolic so you do not disturb any natural patterns.
Time to refresh with a drink and some nibbles. While the kids check out the timber playground, mum or dad can set up morning tea at one of the picnic tables nearby. There is also a public toilet block onsite, convenient for little ones graduating out of nappies.
For older kids and teens, there is an adjacent skate ramp for pulling their latest move.
You can spend the rest of the morning here. But more adventure also waits!
Next stop: Wyndham Park. You can hop in the car for a short drive over, or the take Werribee River Trail toward Werribee City Centre.
The second option may take around 30-45 minutes walking time, or 15 minutes on a bike, but the route will take you through a beautiful riverine corridor with views of the water and birdlife.
Once at Wyndham Park, kids can pick between the low-key nature play area at one end or the more adventurous playground on the other side. There are plenty of seats for mindful parents among the shrubs and trees that border the park.
For older kids and teens, the central lawn will prove very tempting for a casual session of football or soccer. With a ramp-accessible toilet block, tap water fountains, bike station, and BBQ areas lined with trees, Wyndham Park has been designed to encourage people to make the most of time together outdoors.
Make sure to check out the Werribee River from the footbridges and high points that connect its banks in this precinct. Across the park on Watton Street, there is a vibrant mix of cafes, restaurants, and boutique stores to discover.
Time to head south! Return to your car and make your way to K Road Cliffs, which offer enchanting views of Werribee River as it makes its final journey to Port Phillip Bay.
Take a long moment to take in the stunning red cliffs, wildlife and geological engineering that made this landscape special to Bunurong and Wadawurrung Peoples.
There are picnic tables on site, as well as steps that lead to the river edge; just be mindful of the steep character of this area. When the gum trees and shrubs are in flower, January to April, you can expect assorted parrots, lorikeets and other nectar-loving birds for company.
If you manage to get the afternoon light in your favour, it is a great backdrop for a family selfie to record a memorable day.
Start winding your day down at Werribee South Foreshore, five kilometres from K Road Cliffs. Here, kids can have a wade in the water, and the puppies too!
The natural charms of this coastline are evident as you look out onto the bay, with the peaks of the You Yangs in the west. It lends itself well to gentle on-water activities such as fishing and kayaking or canoeing.
As the sun slings low over the horizon, you can either rest your legs at the beach or take a final stretch along the paved footpath as you think about which part of river country you will explore with the family next time!
Be mindful of wild animals even when your dog is having a frolic so you do not disturb any daily or life cycle patterns.