This weekend we travelled to a western suburbs area of Melbourne called Werribee. When I say we, I mean my kids and me, my sisters and parents and my mother-in-law (Isobel’s mum) as it was her 80th Birthday! We were all getting together to spend a night at the Werribee Mansion Hotel and Spa to celebrate. And it was such an amazing day with a 27-degree Celsius, blue skies and a slight breeze. We arrived just before lunch on the first day and took our time walking around the beautiful grounds of the hotel and the adjoining historic mansion. The mansion and grounds are managed by Parks Victoria and together with the hotel, provide a seamless experience between old and new.

Of course, going to such a picturesque location, I took along my cameras. As did my dad and my sister. And so I managed to capture quite a lot of images of the mansion and gardens as well as the actual family time we spent together.  Fortunately, there is a winery that sits on the outskirts of the mansion grounds. So after our leisurely stroll, we continued on to Shadowfax Winery.  We were all hot by this point so the chance to sit in the amazing winery restaurant and tasting room was very welcomed. We had an incredible lunch accompanied by amazing wines. After this, we tried a few more wines and even made some cellar door purchases.

We finally checked into our rooms which were fantastic and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. The kids went for a swim in the indoor pool. I managed to get out and take a few more photos before finding the bar for a cooling beer. We all met for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant – Joseph’s – and had what was a truly amazing meal. Incredible food and more incredible wine and beers. After dinner, the kids went to one room to hang out and watch a movie, while the rest of us had a couple of night-caps at the bar.

We were all up early the next morning and met in the restaurant for a buffet breakfast. It was my little boy’s first time in a buffet breakfast and he was so excited and amazed that he filled his plate but probably only ate one-quarter of it. We gave the Birthday girl her presents over breakfast before packing and checking out. Finally, we made the short car-ride to the Werribee Open Range Zoo. This is again right next to the mansion and hotel and was a perfect way to fill part of the day before returning home to our fur babies. If you are looking for a day trip out of Melbourne then the whole Werribee Mansion, winery and zoo experience is well worth considering.

It was such a great weekend and the birthday girl had a great time and was thrilled we could all join her for her birthday celebrations. Not every day you turn 80. With this blog, I have attached images from across the weekend. As always, all images were shot on Fujifilm X Series cameras and lenses. I used the Fujifilm X-T3 with either the XF23mmF2 or the XF50mmF2. I also used my Fujifilm X70 and a surprise little effort by the new Fujifilm XF10. That last one is on loan from Fujifilm Australia. I am putting together my final thoughts for a review on that so stay tuned. You will have noticed that the outdoor shots of the mansion are for the most part bright and colourful. However, when I was inside the mansion, I opted for a darker and haunted look as to be honest that’s how that place felt to me. Happy shooting.