Sunday, 1 April 2018
Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary and Puffing Billy
The gorgeous creature above is an echidna. We took a day trip from Melbourne into the Dandenong Ranges to ride on an old steam train line called Puffing Billy and stopped on the way at the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary for a few hours. It was excellent - a great selection of native Australian animals and birds with a strong conservation message.
There was no petting the critters as at other wildlife parks which, although fun is with hindsight, probably not the best thing for the animals.
The wombats were awake! This one refused to look up but was very cute - my favourite.
The adorable tree kangaroo who very nearly hid his face from me for the 10 minutes I stood there. However, he did eventually peek his face out through the foliage he was chowing down on.
An owl nestling in a heart-shaped hollow.
A Tasmanian Devil. I had not realised that these creatures are desperately endangered. In Tasmania most are stricken with a vicious face-eating cancer which is potentially wiping them out. This Sanctuary is doing its bit in conducting a breeding programme amongst non-diseased animals and researching into possible treatments and vaccinations but it is a race against time.
We watched a bird display called Spirits of the Skies. It was wonderful. Beautiful hawks, eagles, parrots, owls and kestrels flying inches over our heads and catching food in mid flight. A brilliantly humorous and conservation minded talk from the handlers. Very Australian and great value. I didn't take many photos as they were so fast and low but caught this hawk.
After Healesville and a 45 minute wait for an ignorant couple who thought it was fine to keep a minibus full of people waiting without apology we had a longer drive than planned to rendesvous with the train later than planned....grr.... It was beautiful though.
And the train trip was lovely. You can sit with your legs dangling outside the train which seemed like a fun thing until you experience the bar digging into your thighs!!
Beautiful temperate rain forest dotted with stunning tree ferns.
Those agapanthus were everywhere too.
And a gorgeous rose corrella (possibly) perched on the station clock when we left the station.