If you want to get up close with some of Australia’s famous animals, make tracks to Healesville Sanctuary, a native wildlife zoo set amid the beautiful bushland of the Yarra Valley just over an hours drive from Melbourne. Here you can cuddle koalas, hand feed kangaroos, and even pet a spiky echidna. The 30 hectare haven is also home to dingoes, pythons, Tasmanian devils, wombats, emus, and even the elusive platypus. But the highlight of any visit is sure to be the thrilling daily Spirits of the Sky show where majestic eagles, owls, and colorful parrots whirl overhead and show off their best aerial acrobatics.
By Eleani Purcell, AFAR Local Expert
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Take a break from sipping at this 70-acre bushland zoo in the foothills of the Yarra Valley. It has more than 200 native wildlife species, including kangaroos, wombats, and wallabies, plus Tasmanian devils and dingoes. Sign up for a guided tour—and don't miss the Spirits of the Sky show or a visit to the Platypus House. To book this experience, contact Judy Perl email@example.com
Sponsored by Tourism Australia
A short drive east of Melbourne will take you to the glorious Yarra Valley, famous for its stunning scenery and cool-climate wines, including some of Australia's finest pinot noir and sparkling varieties. Stop for a tasting and lunch at one of the 80 wineries, or fill your picnic hamper with gourmet goodies on the Yarra Valley Food Trail and explore the region on your own. Make sure to stop in at the Healesville Sanctuary to see native Australian fauna, including platypuses, koalas and echidnas.
By Ellie Cobb
Badger Creek Rd, Victoria 3777, Australia