Melbourne Roadtrip (part 3) - Yarra & Healesville Sanctuary

8:38 PM

Hope that everyone has been enjoying their Lunar New Year thus far! It's Day 5 on the Chinese Calender, and I can't wait for all the annual gatherings to come heheh. More about that next time when I got more pictures. For now, Melbourne!

After spending the first four days in the city and covering the Great Ocean Road, we planned for a short day trip on Day 5 to the Yarra Valley and the Dandedong ranges.

The Yarra region is most popular for its wineries and farm produce, simply because Yarra is Melbourne's main agricultural berry and fruit production spot. Their natural picturesque ranges, villages and backroads comes second to becoming another reason to visit the rustic place.
Most tourists come to Yarra to eat and drink, especially since there are many food trails and tours around the region. What mainly attracted me to Yarra though was the earthy sights it has to offer.

Initially, we planned to visit the Sherbrooke Forest, the Dandedong ranges and visit Healesville Sanctuary. But as usual, time constraints limited us to only one of the following ):
But of course, we still covered some other parts of Yarra that we chanced upon! It's a pity most places in Yarra close at about 4-5PM, so we didn't have that much time to cover the other attractions.

Yarra is about an hour's drive from Melbourne city, with a really scenic drive with sights of open fields and the first signs of Autumn.

Gateway Yarra Valley

Prior to our drive to Yarra, I did some searching the night before and noted that there were many berry and organic farms in the region.
As someone who has never picked berries before, I was actually kinda excited to have a go at cherry/strawberry picking. My childlike tendencies totally gave in when we drove past Gateway Yarra Valley which allows you to pick your own punnet of strawberries at a reasonable price!

At first, Han was calling me a kid but guess who got more excited at how red and vibrant the strawberries were...
He even picked more strawberries than me!!! LOL.

Once we were done with our picking, we went on to explore the rest of the goods Gateway had. It was nearing the Christmas season so they had loads of freshly baked festive pastries and candies.
They also had some very interesting spices and seasonings which Han got one of. I would've bought some of their unique peppers and what not but... It's not like I know how to fully utilise them hahaha.

Gateway Yarra Valley
667 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream VIC 3770, Australia
Daily, 830AM - 530PM

Healsville Sanctuary

Once we were done with our shopping, we moved onto Healesville Sanctuary, which is basically one of Victoria's zoos, housing many native wildlife.
It is kind of similar to Perth's Caversham Wildlife Park. The only difference was that here, you actually have to pay extra to have some "up close" time with one particular species of wildlife, whereby you'll get to pet and feed them while learning more about their habitat from the rangers there. They also limit the number of tickets for petting zoo everyday.

In total, our entry to Healsville Sanctuary was $40AUD for two, without any other extra tickets to pet/feed the wildlife or whatever. I believe the adult ticket was more costly, but since we had student IDs (hehe used our poly ezlink cards), it was only $20 per ticket!

This innocent looking Tasmanian devil was eating a bunny....

They have this nocturnal wildlife section which I thought was super cool since I never got to see sugar gliders or a platypus in real life before. The zoo was also pretty huge, so you'll probably spend about two to three hours there.

The zoo closes at 5PM, and some areas like the Wildlife Health Centre where they treat the wildlife closes earlier. We reached sometime in the afternoon, so we didn't get to check out the Health Centre, although reviews on Trip Advisor said it was interesting.

Luckily for us, we didn't miss the Spirits of the Sky show!

I think wombats might just be my spirit animal lol.

Healesville Sanctuary 
Badger Creek Road, Healesville, Victoria 3777, Australia
Daily, 9AM - 5PM

It's a huge pity we had to miss out Sherbrooke Forest. Based on what I see on social media, the treks and trails on Sherbrooke seemed pretty cool ):
But well everywhere closes too early in Aussie...

Personally, I thought that 7D6N was not enough for Melbourne. Many times, I felt like I did not enough time to cover all of the places that I wanted to see, be it in the city or the Great Ocean Road.
In total, I missed Brighton Beach (the beach with many colourful and photogenic beach houses), Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Farm, some pitstops on GOR and the Sherbrooke forest. I think that 10D9N would've been just right for us to cover all that we wanted to see and try out more of Melbourne's cafes.

So that's practically our itinerary for our Melbourne roadtrip! For the rest of our days in the city, we stayed with our airbnb hosts. I think it was the cheaper few alternatives available aside from couchsurfing.

In my next post, I'll blog about some the most amazing and photogenic cafes in Melbourne!! Till next week!

Check out my other posts on Melbourne:
▶ 7 Things you need to know if you're planning a Melbourne Roadtrip
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip (part 1) - Melbourne City
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip (part 2) - Great Ocean Road
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip (part 3) - Yaara & Healesville Sanctuary
▶ 5 Cafes in Melbourne to feed your camera and tastebuds
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip - Great Ocean Road (Video)

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