**I have revisited this post today and just added a few little extra details, some extra reading**

Hi reader’s

Sorry it’s taken a while to get this out, but here goes.

This time on our holiday I’d like to share a couple more places we visited here.  First up is a place I hadn’t been to since I was a kid.  Wayyy too long.   Healesville Sanctuary is a zoo, but not your normal zoo.  You won’t find Elephant’s or Lions here…no.  Healesville Sanctuary is a zoo for animals native to Australia.  Dingo’s, Kangaroo’s, Koala’s, Tassie Devil’s and more.  About an hour’s drive from the CBD, you’ll find the Sanctuary nestled in the hills of the Yarra Valley.

healesville-sanctuary

We were joined on this visit to the Sanctuary by some of my own family, and it was here that Ghita got to meet my parents for the first time.   All went excellently I can tell you lol.  Exploring the sanctuary will take a few hours if you want to see everything.  Starting at the Cassowary and Emu’s you can venture off in a couple of different directions.  Head off towards the Kangaroo’s or off to the Dingo enclosure, take your pick.  Some animals have legends and tales attached to them of their evolution, some quite amusing, such as the Emu’s being tricked by the Brolga’s into giving up their wings, hence the reason they can no longer fly.   Healesville Sanctuary also offers “Magic Moments” where for $12 on top of your entry fee you can spend 10 minutes with a Dingo, Kangaroo or a variety of other animals up close.

By far the best attraction we saw was the “Spirits of the sky” show where you get to see some of Australia’s birds of prey, Parrot’s and others in a flight arena, outdoors. It’s free to watch and simply spectacular. Parrot’s, Eagle’s, Hawk’s and other birds flying over the crowd, sometimes close enough you could feel the woosh of wind as they went by, sometimes even landing nearby.  To see our own Wedge-Tailed Eagle up close along with many other birds like the cockatoo’s who really are the class clown was awesome.   This show is a must see!

They also explain how little changes in our lives and the things we do can change the environment for some of these birds as some are heading towards extinction

There is quite a few Kangaroo’s there as you would imagine and we were there just as some were being fed by the keeper so it was interesting to listen to her explaining a little bit about the Roo’s.   The Red Kangaroo is our biggest roo(and the largest marsupial in the world) with some growing up to 7 foot tall when standing and between their sharp claws and powerful hind legs, they can do a massive amount of damage if provoked!  Much better on the BBQ I think hehe. Oh yes, we eat the Kangaroo’s here!  Good lean meat.  A good sear and done medium rare, delicious. Anyways lol we have 4 species of Kangaroo here in Australia. The Red(the largest), the Eastern Grey(the highest population and most commonly seen), the Western Grey and the Antilopine Kangaroo.  We also have Wallabies which look like a smaller version of the Kangaroo(see the video below).  You don’t want to see any of them standing on the side of the road on night time.  Oh yes, they’re unpredictable and do a lot of damage to your car if you’re unfortunate enough to hit one.

World of the platypus is a dimly lit building with a huge fish tank I suppose you could call it where you can see the Platypuses(not Platypie as some would think) swimming around in something that resembles their natural habitat. Unfortunately being too dark and them swimming around too fast there was zero photo or video opportunities.  And as strange looking and pretty as they may look, the males have a venomous barb on their hind leg  that can cause a great deal of pain.    Ouch!  So if you are lucky enough to see one in the wild….leave it alone.

There is a reptile building where you can see the usual snakes, lizards and even turtles. As Australia has some of the most poisonous snakes in the world, being on the other side of the glass is the only way I’d like to see them hehe.

And of course there is the bird aviaries, several of them in fact housing Parrots, Cockatoo’s, Lorikeet’s and a variety of native birds. We have some really beautiful birds here in Australia and some that live at the sanctuary I’d never seen before. I had a Rainbow Lorikeet as a pet a couple of years ago and they are beautiful little birds. Just very noisy, especially as mine lived indoors. And as beautiful as Rainbow Lorikeets look they are actually considered a pest here and it’s illegal to release them into the wild.  Who knew. And no….mine didn’t get released into the wild, a breeder offered me silly money for mine and for other reasons I let it go to the breeder.

Unfortunately some of the animals were hiding from the camera, choosing to snooze instead, out of the way.   Bloody snobs lol.  And some just would not sit still long enough to get a decent pic.

As you walk around the sanctuary there is a number of wood carved statues which look amazing, as you can see in the pic below and there is various other titbits of information on animals, the area and even the age of some of the trees there. 150-200 years old! Yep.

Anyway, you can check out the website, I’ll put the links at the bottom of the post to make it easy for you.

And just a couple of short videos thrown in too…….

 

Now after visiting Healesville Sanctuary we went to a place called “Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery”. About 10 minutes from the sanctuary, we’d heard all about it, it’s famous here so we wanted to check it out.  Being a Sunday it was absolutely packed!!!  The carpark is large enough for a ton of cars and even buses and it was so busy that they had a man on the driveway ushering cars to different parking spots.

Walking inside was ridiculous, you could not move.  YVCI(shortened name) makes their own chocolate in house and you can watch through the glass windows.  Free sample choc buds to snack on as you shuffle around the store was nice and they also have a cafe so, IF you can find a seat, you can grab a bite to eat.   It was a bit too busy for me and after buying a box of truffles we got out of there.  We plan on going there again, but during the week when it’s a little quieter.

If you’re up in the Yarra Valley area there is a ton of stuff to see and do.  And we are planning on doing some more exploring of the area, maybe take in a winery or two as well as seeing more of the sites in the area, and it’s a big area lol.

Well…that ought to do it for now.  I hope you enjoy the read. Don’t be shy to hit the like button or leave a comment…….it’s all good.

Till next time

Wookie

 

http://www.zoo.org.au/healesville

http://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/Yarra-Valley-and-Dandenong-Ranges/Things-to-do/Nature-and-wildlife/Wildlife-and-zoos/Healesville-Sanctuary.aspx

http://www.yvci.com.au/

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