“Have you seen a kangaroo yet?”
It’s been the question of the month and no one approved of the fact that I hadn’t.
But it’s not like they’re jumping down the street everywhere. Sydney and Melbourne are big cities. Expecting to stumble across a roo in either is akin to expecting a black bear to saunter through Los Angeles or San Francisco.
On Sunday my host, K, took pity on me and drove us out to the Healesville Sanctuary, about an hour out of Melbourne so I could finally meet a kangaroo.
It’s a beautiful little animal park (doesn’t feel like a zoo) that features native animals, plants and birds in a natural setting. The Sanctuary doesn’t have many walls separating people from animals. I loved walking through the many aviaries. The reptile exhibits were enclosed and thankfully the dingos, but kangaroos and koalas were free to walk on the path and mingle with us. Although good luck finding a koala that motivated. We were lucky to see them awake.
Sleeping koala, waking koala.
Look who wandered onto the path.
They use their tail like a fifth leg to balance on.
Bats! K thinks they’re gross, but I think they’re kinda cute.
Few Australians have set eyes on the elusive and somewhat frenetic lyrebird. (Photo on the right from wikicommons.) It can mimic alls sorts of sounds from its environment, including chainsaws.
The (nocturnal) tasmanian devil at HS was sleeping, so here’s the taxidermy version from the Australian Museum in Sydney.
Strangely, I seem to have more photos of the taxidermy animals at the Australian Museum than the live ones at Healesville. Although in my defense the taxidermy are better at holding still long enough to have their picture taken.
K made me put these koala ears on in the gift shop and now she’s making me put the photo on the blog. So there.
Afterwards we headed over to White Rabbit Brewery in Healesville for a pint and some pizza.
If you don’t like beer (you’re nuts but) there are bakeries and about a dozen wineries nearby. Healesville seems to be Melbourne’s wine country and the scenery along the drive is gorgeous.