Healesville is a town in Victoria, Australia, 52 km north-east from Melbourne’s central business district. It can be seen as a classic country town with an exceptional Australian animal sanctuary and unique winery and drink experiences.
What you can see and do in Healesville
Healesville Sanctuary- Interact with Australia’s native wildlife at one of Victoria’s premier attractions. Healesville Sanctuary is one of the three zoos which form part of Zoos Victoria which focusses on creating a safe space for native Australian animals. Set in a beautiful natural environment, the Sanctuary offers a place for people and animals to reconnect with nature from the creek to canopy and plays a critical role in saving some of the world’s most endangered animals. Explore the 70-acre bushland haven to experience close-up encounters with some of Australia’s unique and endearing wildlife, including koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, birds of prey and platypus.
Maroondah Reservoir Park- Great place to visit with friends and family for a picnic or for an interesting walk. Maroondah Reservoir Park provides great views of Maroondah Dam along with surrounding forests and enough shade to enjoy a packed lunch. You can also watch the spectacular water forced through the spillway which regularly overflows during spring. Plenty of colorful birds around at the main car park, making this place even more interesting.
Hedgend Maze- Explore a beautiful 20 acres of stimulating, fun-filled activities for all ages. Perfect for a day out with the kids, Hedgend Maze has it all with a cryptic hedge maze, a mini-golf and Frisbee golf course, as well as an area to search for old bones in the Fossil Dig. If you enjoy visual brainteasers, you’ll love the Rainbow Maze and Giant Eyespys. Bring all your family and friends and celebrate togetherness or find an intimate spot to picnic with someone special. Experience Hedgend how you wish to spend a memorable day.
Yarra Valley Railway- Yarra Valley Railway is a heritage railway that trundles along a restored track from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Get on board the Yarra valley railway run by friendly and informative volunteers. A short leisurely 30min ride through lovely hilly/lush green scenery of the beautiful ranges, through cuttings and into the 1889 brick-built tunnel.
Drive through the Black Spur to Marysville
Stretching from Healesville to Narbethong, the Black Spur is one of the most iconic drives in Victoria and is famous for its tall Mountain Ash trees and fern gullies. Fernshaw and Dom Dom picnic areas are situated at the base of the spur, so you can further enjoy the beautiful scents of the bush. Travel beyond Narbethong to Marysville, which was heavily impacted by the 2009 bushfires. Here you can enjoy a range of walking trails, shops, cafes and majestic scenery.
Artist demonstrations at Healesville Glassblowing Studio
Visitors to Tali and Tim’s studio in Healesville can witness the skilled and historic art form of glassblowing. Open Thursday to Sunday, 10am-4pm. 16B Hunter Rd, Healesville
Sample art and wine in a striking contemporary building
There are many Yarra Valley wineries lining the Maroondah Highway as it heads into Healesville, as well as in the hills and valleys around the town. The enormous, curving rammed earth and concrete structure of TarraWarra is a particularly interesting venue close to town. It is divided into the TarraWarra Estate winery and the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Australia’s first privately-funded public art museum, which houses an impressive collection of Australian contemporary art. After looking at the art, stroll across the courtyard to the wine bar café to taste excellent pinot and chardonnay and savour Yarra Valley seasonal fare on the sleek terrace or in front of the fireplace.
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