Located in the heart of the Yarra Valley, is one of the best places in Australia to see native wildlife – Healesville Sanctuary.
Only an hour and ten minutes by car from Melbourne and covering a whopping 30 hectares of bushland, Healesville Sanctuary showcases more than 200 Australian species and offers visitors the opportunity to see animals unique to Australia.
Many of the exhibits are designed so visitors can walk through and get up close and personal with the animals… but not too close. Keepers are on hand in the walk-through zones to ensure over-excited children don’t intrude too much on the animal’s space and everyone stays safe.
There are set feeding times at some of the enclosures, where visitors can ask the keepers questions about the animals, and a popular twice-daily bird show demonstrates the flight and hunting skills of Birds of Prey. The birds used in the show are usually birds that have been injured and rehabilitated.
Treating more than 2000 sick and injured native animals every year, Healesville Sanctuary plays an important role in training veterinarians and conducts research into disease surveillance, conservation medicine and wildlife rehabilitation.
The Sanctuary is pivotal to the conservation of Australian species and engages visitors passing through with interactive kiosks and information posts.
It’s an ideal place for a family day out, but be warned, weekends can be unbelievably busy. If you can, go midweek. Adults may be interested in the wine and wildlife tour, which includes a trip to Healesville Sanctuary and a tour of one of the nearby wineries in the Yarra Valley.
Alternatively, tell the kids you’re going to Healesville Sanctuary, stop for lunch at one of the wineries on the way and visit the Sanctuary late in the day. It works well for us and ensures both adults and children have an amazing day out.