A part of the trio that forms Zoos Victoria is Healesville Sanctuary. Heading out east about an hours drive from Melbourne takes you to the Eucalypts and farm country, and then if you keep driving, to the snow and high country.
Once a holiday town last century, Healesville is now certainly a daytrippers town. We always, always eat at the Beechworth Bakery, Healesville branch, and it sees a big influx of road trippers, cyclists, motorcyclists, and so on. Fortified on pies and vanilla slice, we then head to Healesville Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary is set in the shade of towering Australian Eucalypts, with paths wandering throughout the various habitats. As you enter, on the right you will get to admire the emus, some chicks now having achieved adult height (however the photo we have here is of artistic sculpture of the said emus!)
A peaceful bird life habitat beckoned both us, and a Pelican!
Trails through the sanctuary take one amongst roos and wallabys, wombats, tasmanian devils, emus, dingos, complete with maremma shepherd dog companion, bird and reptile aviaries, and the birds of prey show - where one gets to see the sanctuary staff interact with birds of prey, which fly amongst us, the attendees.
We spent one memorable New Years Eve here, where on park closing, the heavens opened up with thunder and torrential rain, and we ran a long long time pushing strollers and carrying bags to get to the safety of the car, for the 1.5 hour drive home, drenched to the skin.
But on this occasion, the air was still warm, when we left the zoo in search of a walking track.
There are very many beautiful walks that one can do in the area. On this occasion, we chose to visit the little publicised Badger Weir Circuit. Mountain Ash towered above us, and we took a beautiful trail amongst the tree ferns, with the distinctive sound of a particular breed of white cockatoo that we had not encountered before this.
We broke the first law of bushwalking on this trail, for we began it late in the day after our trip to Healesville, and while walking the light faded fast, as it does in Australia. It was a short trail (2 - 3 kms), but still, with little light, we used our mobiles to detect the path, and the last few hundred metres was somewhat stressful, until we came out at the picnic ground again. Note to all other bushwalkers, never walk unless prepared!
Nonetheless it was very beautiful and we look forward to returning