Healesville, 60km east of Melbourne in the Yarra Valley
, is justifiably famous for its animal sanctuary which is located just out of town on Badger Creek Road.
Initially set up by Sir Colin McKenzie to study marsupials, he persuaded the government in 1929 to declare the area a reserve for native animals.
Today the 31ha sanctuary is one of the nation’s premier wildlife reserves where visitors can meet a wide range of animals and birds. The residents include kangaroos, dingoes, lyrebirds, Tasmanian devils, bats, emus, platypus, koalas, eagles, snakes and lizards.
While the sanctuary anchors this resort destination in the foothills to the Great Dividing Range, there is a wealth of other attractions to keep tourists occupied.
The Singing Gardens, 18km out of Healesville, are a must for C.J.Dennis fans. Dennis wrote his finest work, The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, while living in the Toolangi cottage and gardens which are maintained as a tea-room and shrine.
You can tune into the timeless rhythms of the Aboriginal hertiage at the Galeena Beek Living Cultural Centre, while the regional vineyard trail will prove irresistible to wine fanciers.
Find out more about the Yarra Valley