Healesville Sanctuary, a bushland haven that you shouldn’t miss in Yarra Valley

sleeping koala in the tree

I started to enjoy road trips recently, especially that I’m in Australia (the locals pronounced it as Straya) for a long holiday. Driving for hours wasn’t that bad nor boring at all (after all, I’m not maneuvering the wheels, lol). With the smooth speed along the freeway while listening to the car’s radio music (while listening for the constant reminders about safety driving, and bushfire updates), you won‘t realized that you’ve reached your destination. 



This week, we drove from Melbourne CBD and spent less than an hour going to Yarra Valley and visit the town Healesville and its known bushland sanctuary.

Located right in the centre of the Yarra Valley food and wine district, Healesville is also home to some of the region’s most talented artists, town galleries & studios, and best to partake in a leisurely lunch at one of the al fresco cafes and restaurants. Healesville is also the home of renowned Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria’s premier wildlife attractions, with over 200 species of Australian animals including the iconic koalas, kangaroos, platypus, dingoes, wombats, and emus in their natural surroundings.

resting kangaroo

As a first-timer here at Healesville Sanctuary, I find the whole place very relaxing, a different world that is a haven not only for Aussie’s wildlife species, and also for us humans who would love to escape the stressful life of the concrete jungle, and regain your mojo surrounding the nature. It is lovely to spend your time wondering around with all the natural trees and bushes. 



You don’t have to worry about checking your phone for emails and messages, and just have a quality me-time, reconnecting with nature, and if you are lucky – have a close-up encounter with koalas and kangaroos, assisted by sanctuary’s volunteers.

girl sitting in a bench
girl and gumtree
Gumtrees are natural trees all over Australia, and homes for many wildlife species. Aged trees like this one with over 150-years old is being protected.

girl and animal statue
It is sad that this giant cutie is now extinct, called the Mega Mob exists thousands of years ago. Imagine having this giant animal, much bigger than bears!

group of pelican

If you are the kind of person that likes to enjoy the weekend “serenity moment”, Healesville Sanctuary is a place for you. Bring a good book, sit back and enjoy the fresh breeze (and a little shower rain!), the sound of swaying trees and chirping birds. You can also bring food with you, and have an enjoyable picnic at designated areas, but always observe cleanliness and sanctuary house rules, especially not feeding the animals.  


colorful birds
Enjoy the beauty of gouldian finch, swift parrots, princess parrots, golden-shouldered parrots, budgerigar, scarlet-chested parrots, diamond firetail, and the rest of endangered birds in Australia.




Entrance Fees:


Ticket prices for regular, one-off pass are the following:

Adults – AUD$38.00

Children (0-3years) – FREE

Children (4-15years) – AUD$19.00

Concessions – AUD$29.00

Seniors – AUD$34.00

You can also check the KLOOK website for current ticket price and other promotions available.


OR EVEN BETTER….

BE A ZOO MEMBER! And enjoy unlimited pass and discounts for a whole year!

Join for just a fee of $114 per year, per adult, you can have unlimited express entry to Healesville Sanctuary, Taronga Zoo, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Adelaide Zoo, Monarto Zoo, and Perth Zoo. The membership also includes discount perks animal shows, zoo retail stores, and member exclusive events. As a member, you can tag kids with you for FREE all year!




Australian Wildlife Health Centre

animal hospital
Healesville Sanctuary is internationally renowned for its work saving endangered Australian species at the Australian Wildlife Health Centre. The center treats more than 2000 sick and injured native animals every year, especially during the bushfire season.

animal hospital
animal hospital
The hospital team also conducts cutting-edge research into conservation medicine, clinical wildlife medicine and wildlife rehabilitation, and plays an important role in wildlife disease surveillance. The Australian Wildlife Centre receives funding from the Victorian Government through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Wildlife Rehabilitator Grants.

animal hospital
Don’t forget to visit the center and meet the resident vets and nurses and see their modern facilities! You can also join the thousands of volunteers and help on saving the wildlife. 

They accept donations of all sizes also makes a big difference.

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wombaroo - wildlife alternative milk
We found these milk replacers made specially for baby wildlife species! If you rescue a baby koala, you need to feed it with special Wombaroo milk, and it isn’t cheap though.

bird in the tree
green bird feeding

girl and the tree
This is a dead old tree, once a casualty of the seasonal bushfire many years ago. Although fire is essential for the growth gumtrees, sometimes it leads to total damage juts like what happen to this tree.



HEALESVILLE SANCTUARY SHOWS AVAILABLE:

Spirits of the Sky – be awed by parrots as they light up the sky and birds of prey as they feed on the wing.

Tales from Platypus Creek, the only platypus show in the world will show you the platypus playful nature.

Land of Parrots – pick-up a nectar tray and be amazed as friendly parrots land on your arms to feed.

Keeper Talks – composed of Healesville Sanctuary volunteers, the keeper talks explain to visitors their relationships with animals and how they care them.

Australian Wildlife Health Centre – be inspired by vet team as they talk to guests about the work, they do to save wildlife as well as care for all the animals of Healesville Sanctuary.

flowers
garden


playground
Never forget your inner child-heart

pathways
Unfortunately, no matter how adorable our pets to us, they are not welcome to this sanctuary. Please understand that this is for the safety of your pets, and more importantly for the safety of the resident wildlife species.








A post shared by BLAIR VILLANUEVA (@blairvillanueva) on


When visiting the sanctuary, it is best to bring your own bottled water to keep yourself fresh during the whole stay. Victoria’s weather is known unpredictable, so it is best to be prepared, bring a warmer cardigan to protect you during the sudden temperature drop. The whole sanctuary has several drinking water faucets that visitors can use, and to refill your bottles. They also have reliable toilets facilities for your sudden call of nature.

Healesville Sanctuary has its own café if you want to grab a bite and drinks while waiting for the next show. Or head to their gift shop for some souvenir items!



entrance gate





Opening Hours:

Daily, 9:00am-5:00pm
Animal areas close from 4:30pm

Address:

Healesville Sanctuary, Badger Creek Road, Healesville, VIC 3777
Website: https://www.zoo.org.au/healesville

How to Get There:

Self drive: Take the Eastern Freeway out of Melbourne, then drive east along Maroondah Highway through Ringwood and Lilydale to Healesville. Turn right into Badger Creek Road, just past the township centre. From there, road signage will guide you to the Healesville Sanctuary carpark

By train: catch a train from the Melbourne city centre to Lilydale Railway Station, travelling on the Lilydale line. From Lilydale Railway Station you need to catch bus 685 to Healesville, and then a connecting bus (686 towards Badger Creek) will take you to Healesville Sanctuary

Please visit Victoria Public Transport Timetable for up-to-date tram, train and bus times


Watch our vlog below for some actions!




Acknowledgment of Country:
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Country throughout Victoria and recognize their continuing connection to land, waters, and culture. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging and ask that during your travels you respect these cultures, peoples, and land. 



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117 comments :

  1. Halesville Sanctuary seems perfect day trip and Glad to know that they are doing best in preserving endangered Species.I would love to Go here for those colorful birds and Kangarros. I have heard about Yarra valley but this looks cool destination.

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    1. Yarra Valley is a gorgeous place with many vineyards too! We will visit again once this isolation is over.

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  2. This sounds like a wonderful place! I love the idea of it being a sanctuary for both animals and humans, it must be so relaxing to walk around there. The Australian Wildlife Health Center sounds great, the work they do is so important and it must be so interesting to learn about all the research they do. I would also love to see the platypus show, that sounds so cute! :)

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  3. Healesville Sanctuary looks like a great place to spend some time amidst nature for a day. It was good to know that they are doiung so much for the betterment of the endangered species. And you were also able to enter inside the clinic! Thats something great. Healesville itself sounds like a great destination with some great galleries, studios and cafes.

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    1. I was hoping that I could witness an on-going operation or rescue coz sometimes visitor can watch.

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  4. These animals are so cute! I've never been to Australia and never saw a kangaroo. Maybe someday ... I see you had a nice time. Healesville Sanctuary looks like a cool place to visit, especially with children. I will gladly see it in the future.

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  5. I would love to visit Australia one day and your post makes me want to go even more. Halesville Sanctuary seems like such a tranquil place to stroll around and see the animals.

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    1. It is very peaceful, and you can visit here and enjoy the whole nature.

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  6. Sounds absolutely amazing! I definitely need to plan a trip to Australia - once the lockdown has been lifted ;)

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    1. Maybe you can plan for next year.. I don't think Australia will be open to the world for next 6-months.

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  7. Omg, this was a terrific read. Thank you for jotting everything down in detail

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  8. It seems to be such an amazing experience. Travel blog posts like yours are so needed right. Thank you for sharing. I feel like I traveled with you from the comfort of my house.

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  9. I love reading this post and looking at these pictures!

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  10. Looks like such an amazing place! I want to visit! Such beautiful photos!

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  11. I’ve been to Australia two years ago. I love it so much. I plan to visit again and will have to pay this place a visit

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    1. Wonderful! What's your favorite place in Australia?

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  12. Great pictures! I am taking note of this places for when I visit Australia. I really want to see Kangoroos

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    1. They are so cute! And did you know that Australia exports kangaroo meat? :)

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  13. Wow, these are the places to be! :)
    Thank you for taking us along with you on this trip!

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  14. What a fabulous day trip Healesville Sanctuary would be. I love how they have laid out the property as it all looks so natural, rather than having ugly walls for enclosures. It gives a wonderful feeling of seeing these animals out within nature itself. Hard to believe it is less than an hour away from the big city of Melbourne. Their health centre and the initiatives they carry out there is also very impressive.

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    1. And in Yarra Valley which is famous on many wineries and slow food lifestyle!

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  15. this sounds like a cool place to explore! I love all of your great pictures!!

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  16. I love the preserved trunk of the gum tree. It's sad when they get destroyed by bush fires. How many gum trees were destroyed in the bush fires earlier this year?:-( ... You can seem to have your serenity inside the sanctuary.

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    1. Last time I checked it was millions of gumtrees. Although gumtrees need fire in order to germinate new life, the recent bushfire is devastating. The house situated nearby forest adds to magnitude of it. That's why if possible, no communities should be build near the forest.

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  17. I'm scheduled to go to Australia and Yarra Valley soon, and I'll stop by the Healesville Sanctuary. Thanks for sharing this information.

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  18. I'm scheduled to visit Australia and Yarra Valley after COVID, and I make sure to stop by the Sanctuary. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I love this sanctuary, especially the fact you can visit the hospital. What a great way to learn about animals and how people are trying to help them.

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    1. Kids love this place, and motivates them to learn about animals and environment conservation, including rescue.

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  20. Wow! That looks like such a wonderful place for a day trip. The animals looks magnificent. Would be nice to see an actual koala in real life. Happy to know that they are doing a great work with generally helping Australian wildlife.

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    1. We missed the koala talk and experience, but I am happy to see them enjoying their time sleeping up on those trees.

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  21. wow. This place has so much to offer. I especially want to see those gum trees right before my very eyes. They are really beautiful! <3

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  22. Kristine Nicole AlessandraApril 22, 2020 at 7:19 PM

    I have never been to Australia. I wish sometime I could. The places you've visited is a nature lover's dream destination! I love visiting animal sanctuaries in places we travel to. Hopefully someday we can visit Healesville Sanctuary too.

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    1. When our borders are open soon, we are planning to visit more sanctuaries!

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  23. This looks like a lovely trip. Im from Western Australia and just love the Aussie Wildlife. Would love to visit here one day

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  24. Is it still open now? You must miss it there! Very refreshing to explore and I can see that the weather is just right to roam around!

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    1. Currently it is temporarily closed for visitors. I guess the animals missed their guests too!

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  25. The place is truly relaxing and de-stressing. The surrounding greenery and the wildlife interaction are surely a great experience. How is the animal interaction generally? Are there any species who are clingy to the visitors?

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    1. Yes there are many clingy animals too. I think they will be more clingy coz they missed they many guests now that this sanctuary is temporarily closed to comply with social-distancing.

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  26. One of the things I admire Australia for is their care for wildlife. I've been to NSW and I was shocked because of all the birds I saw in Circular Quay and the suburbs near the CBD. I really hope I can go back to OZ and see Melby too. I'll defo use this blog as a reference when I come back :)

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    1. Aussie people are very caring to animals including wildlife. However, Australia have very strict laws about importing of animals even it is your pet.

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  27. Halesville Sanctuary seems perfect day trip on summer. Thanks for sharing!

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  28. I have always wanted to visit Australia. I love sanctuaries and think that they help animals so much!

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  29. This sounds like such a cool place! I want to go!

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  30. That is so awesome you can visit the wildlife health center!! Do they let visitors in all the time or did you get a special tour as a blogger? Looks like they're doing good works so thank you for sharing about them.

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    1. I never get a special tour as a blogger! The access is available to everybody :)

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  31. I hope I can visit Healesville Sanctuary. It looks like a fun place to be at.

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  32. Wow, this makes me think to bring my family here. BUt not too son since we are still in lockdown. Thank you for your post. It encourage me.

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    1. Yes after the lockdown! Maybe two years from now para sure :)

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  33. Ang ganda naman ng place. I'll share this post sa friend ko na nakatira sa Australia baka sakaling gusto niya puntahan with her kids.

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  34. what! i need to get here. this place looks amazing. i love all animals so this would be awesome.

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  35. Healesvill Sanctuary looks like and amazing travel destination. Me and my husband love spending wildlife and would love to visit this place someday. For now, enjoy your beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing.

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  36. Australia is definitely on my must see places to visit one day! I will save this pin so I can visit the Healesville Sanctuary!

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  37. Wow, so much to see!! I love watching animals and gush aboit how cute they are. Hope to visit that part of Australia in the future!!

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    1. I got this zoo pass where I could visit Australia's zoo in a discounted rates.. gladly we visited this place before the lockdown.

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  38. One of my childhood dreams is to walk along the roads of Australia and hug a kangaroo. Would that be possible?

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  39. Seems like you had a fun trip to the sanctuary. It is always fun to have nature's creatures around.

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  40. Well, you are making me add the Yarra Valley to my travel list. Wow some of the animals and site are amazing.

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    1. I will share more Yarra Valley destination soon!

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  41. The Sanctuary looks amazing and you know I wanna see some koalas. I've never seen any in person.

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    1. I've seen koalas crossing the roads many times, that's why you have to be an alert driver to about killing koalas :)

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  42. Aw this looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing about this!

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  43. It's really amazing to see sanctuaries like Halesville. Hopefully, we can have this kind of place in the Philippines (though I know there are some in the province) but Halesvill is really more a relaxing place close to nature.

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    1. I agree, The Philippines should have this kind of sanctuaries catering local animal species.

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  44. That place is really relaxing and perfect for a family day trip. For sure Nathan will enjoy there because he likes animals and he's a lakawatsero hehe. I hope this pandemic will end soon so we could continue our travel adventures. I will include Australia specifically Halesville on our travel bucket list :)

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  45. I love how they take care of the animals in Australia. They seem to be freely roaming around like what they would usually do in their normal habitat. After all, Australia trip won't be complete without seeing the Koalas!

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    1. Animals are important here and well protected. Many local animals are become lesser and lesser because of bushfire.

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  46. This looks so amazing! I will definitely have to add this to my travel list for once we're able to travel again. :) Thanks!

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    1. I am sure that your kids will love to visit the sanctuary.

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  47. I super love how Australia takes care of the animals. Too bad, I wasn't able to visit Healesville Sanctuary when we visited Melbourne.

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    1. Australia is a destination for animal conservation around the world. Those animals from China and even from Africa are brought to Australia for breeding, and bring back to their home country after.

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  48. That looks like such a gorgeous (and interesting!) place to spend some time! I've never been to Australia, but it's definitely somewhere I'm keen to explore in the future!

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  49. i bet you had a great time here. the picture of the koala made me happy. hahaha!!!! i wish the Philippines as sanctuaries like this na madaming mavisit. ang hirap kasi our local species, ang layo, like tarsier in bohol, ako nakapag bohol na but my son hindi pa he really wanted to visit.

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    1. I've been to Bohol pero hindi ko pa nabisita yung mga tarsiers :)

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  50. Awww. The animals are sooo cute. Plus the place is just so peacefulll. Hope they are treated well. Will check thia out when we visit australia🥰

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  51. Quite a beautiful place
    Can't wait to visit that part of the world some day

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  52. wow! the place looks absolutely impressive! I would very much enjoy time there

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  53. wow thats an amazing sanctuary, Halesville. I would like to visit one

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  54. Looks like you had a fab day out for sure. I bet it was a good experience to learn about the animals x

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    1. It was a very relaxing day. We will visit them again as soon as we are allowed to travel again.

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  55. So great that you can get this close to nature!

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  56. It seems that you really enjoyed Healesville Sanctuary. It's a perfect place to chill and relax with family or friends.

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    1. Perfect for anyone especially for animal lovers. You can also join for volunteer works.

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  57. Halesville Sanctuary looks like such a serene place to visit and also because of the fact that it is home to these lovely endangered species.The thought of colorful birds, the kangaroos and the green all around is so enticing. Yarra valley is such a cool destination which I would love to visit.

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    1. Thank you for appreciating! When everything's back to normal, hope you can consider visiting this sanctuary.

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  58. It seems like you had a great experience there. I would love to visit that Sanctuary Bushland someday. Gonna add this on my bucket lists.

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