Have you been to Healesville Sanctuary?

Travel & LeisureTravel Spot

  • Author Craig Payne
  • Published October 3, 2022
  • Word count 532

Healesville is a village in country Victoria, Australia close to a 1 hour drive from Melbourne's main business district. Healesville is located on the Watts River, which flows straight into the Yarra River. Healesville may well be most recognised for the zoo, now called Healesville Sanctuary. The town has a resident population of 7589 in 2021, but that is often more if adding in the tourists. The township was initially settled back in 1864 predominantly as a lodging location for the nearby goldfields and for development of the Yarra Track and was named after Richard Heales who had been the Premier of the state of Victoria from 1860 to 1861. Healesville lies on the ancestral land of the native Wurundjeri people. A reserve set aside for the Aboriginal people called Coranderrk was set up in 1863 just south of the principal township. Apart from the tourism industry the primary employment in and around Healesville is founded on areas including sawmilling, horticulture and viticulture. Healesville has become a traveler spot since the 1880s, with the Grand Hotel becoming built in 1888, and the Gracedale House becoming constructed in 1889. Along with the Healesville Sanctuary, the tourism is situated around the wine and food businesses from the Yarra Valley, with many other points of interest such as the Badger Weir Picnic Area, Yarra Valley Railway and the Healesville Organic Market. In addition there are many bistros and dining establishments, and volunteer-run activities including the Healesville Music Festivity, Open Studios, along with the Yarra Valley Rodeo in which bring in people to come for the day from Melbourne or even for a holiday. A tourist association was first established within the 1920s to advertise the location. The township is the southerly conclusion of the Bicentennial Heritage Trail which has its north end at Cooktown, Queensland, north of Cairns. The path is 5330 kilometres so that it is the lengthiest trail of its kind in the world.

The Healesville Sanctuary which was formerly referred to as Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary is a nature recreation area or zoo with a huge selection of indigenous Australian animals which are exhibited in a semi-open natural environment. Sir Mackenzie put together the Institute of Anatomical Research in 1920 on 78 acres of Coranderrk. In 1927 it was passed on to the Healesville Council changing into the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary later in 1934. The Healesville Sanctuary is now just one of two zoos having an active platypus breeding program, breeding their first back in 1943. Later in 1978 the Zoo ended up being placed directly under the operations of the Victorian Zoological Parks and Gardens Board. The Sanctuary is located within a natural bush ecosystem where walkways wind through different habitat places that showcases wallabies, , emus, , kangaroos as well as over two hundred native bird species. Tourists generally spend 2 to 3 hours for getting around the zoo and take in a flight show using indigenous birds. In 2009, the zoo had been threatened by the serious Black Saturday bushfires that ravaged a lot of the area. Many the zoo's endangered animals were evacuated to Melbourne Zoo at that time. Healesville has a proactive Country Fire Authority volunteer fire brigade which was started in 1894 that competed a leading role in fighting the fires in the area during those times.

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