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.


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.


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.


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.


Never forget your inner child-heart

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


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!

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