If you want to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s famous animals, head to Healesville Sanctuary, a native wildlife zoo set amid the beautiful bushland of the Yarra Valley just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Here, you can cuddle koalas, hand-feed kangaroos, and even pet a spiky echidna. The 74-acre haven is also home to dingoes, pythons, Tasmanian devils, wombats, emus, and the elusive platypus, but the highlight of any visit is the daily Spirits of the Sky show, during which majestic eagles, owls, and colorful parrots soar overhead and show off their best aerial acrobatics.
By Eleani Purcell, AFAR Local Expert
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
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.
Sponsored by Tourism Australia
Badger Creek Rd, Victoria 3777, Australia