Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Healesville Sanctuary

Max, Riley and I took a trip up to the Healesville Sanctuary about 80 miles northeast of Melbourne.  The devastating bushfires in February 2009 had burned within a few miles of Healesville. Luckily the fire didn’t go down the hillside into the Sanctuary.

The day was overcast and a little too cool for our liking but it was a good opportunity for us to see the Australian wildlife as Miranda had flown up to the Gold Coast for a couple of days to visit her friend Michele. 
We had been to Healesville 3 years ago when Riley was 5 and Max was 2.  Riley said he remembered some of it, Max, nothing.  Despite the cool temperatures we had a fun time with the emus, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, wombats, Tasmanian devils (they say “Tazzy” devils!), blue-tongued lizards, etc.  One of the koalas was awake and looking around.  Last visit they were all sound asleep.

They have a raptor show in a small outdoor arena which is fun.  Falconers with heavy gauntlets bring out eagles, owls, buzzards (a Black Breasted Buzzard named Beatrice to be exact) and hawks.  They fly right over the heads of the audience close enough that Max said, “His wing touched my cheek!”  None of my photos of the birds turned out as my shutter speed was set way too slow.  Every photo was a blur of feathers!
On the way out we stopped in the gift shop to see if there were stuffed animals that we DIDN’T have, and sure enough we came home with a kookaburra and platypus.

Miranda came in that evening and had insisted on taking the bus into the city from the airport, then catching a tram back home.  Several hours later she arrived a little frazzled.   Public transport is good in Melbourne but you need a little patience.  

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