Sanctuary I

Last weekend we made a trip to the Healesville Sanctuary, which is a large native-birds-and-animals sanctuary about an hour and a half out of Melbourne. It was really nice to get out of the city, and be around trees and birds that aren't pigeons or crows! Even the drive was nice - I liked seeing a bit more of the surrounding countryside.

When we arrived, Celena made a beeline for the dingo pups (she adores dogs of all kinds). Willie and I hadn't been to the sanctuary before, so we strolled around exploring.

One of the highlights for me was seeing the koalas in various states of wakefulness. They look like such characters...

Munching on eucalyptus leaves

Waiting for the keeper to bring in more leaves

Lunch time!

Siesta time :)

I was also very taken with the echidnas. They're so cute! Kind of like giant hedgehogs, with long snouts.

Two echidnas snuffling about


There are lots of different areas in the Sanctuary, connected by paths through trees and across streams. Some of the animals are separated from the public (like the Tasmanian devils and emus), and some roam around in the same space (like the other birds and wallabies).

A Tasmanian devil checking us out

An emu

Synchronised pelicans

The wetlands area

I couldn't resist posing on a sculpture. ;)
Another really cool thing was the 'Spirits of the Sky' bird show, which Chloe had told us not to miss. A couple of bird-handlers showed off various parrots and birds of prey, tossing food for them to snatch out of the air and letting them glide right over our heads - some people had to duck! A big owl with alarming-looking eyes passed us close enough to touch...

My favourite part of all was the parrot enclosure, where you're allowed to feed the birds by hand. They were amazing and totally cheeky! So stay tuned for part two - I've saved the best for last.