Friday, 17 February 2017

Adventure #17: Healesville Sanctuary

This year for Valentine's Day, Daniel and I visited the Healesville Sanctuary. If you've read either of my zoo posts, you'll know that we have annual passes to the Melbourne Zoo, which also allow us unlimited entry to the Werribee Open Range Zoo and the Healvesville Sanctuary. Healesville is the next closest to us, after the Melbourne Zoo, so we decided to have a little day trip there for our fourth Valentine's Day together.

I love long car rides, and always have. I grew up living in the middle of nowhere, so I was always used to having to travel to go anywhere, but now that I live a 2 minute walk from work, I don't get to be in a car very often. I love being able to just sit back and read without any distractions.

The first thing we noticed about the Healesville Sanctuary is that it's a lot more close-up and hands on than the Melbourne Zoo. The first animals we saw were the emus, and we were very surprised by how close they were.

As you'll see in the photo below, the fence separating us was shorter than they were, which made me think they could've jumped over at any moment. They were very calm and relaxed the entire time, and didn't seem fussed at all about humans being near them.

The Healesville Sanctuary also offers a lot of close-up encounters. You can pat and play with some wombats for $20, swim with the platypus for $175, or get up close and personal with dingoes, kangaroos, echidnas, koalas, emus or a python for $12 each. 

Daniel and I both wanted to pat some wombats, and I was dying to hold a python, but we didn't realise that you had to purchase those tickets at the entry gate rather than at each individual animal enclosure, so we missed out on that.

I wasn't too upset though, because while we were looking at the lizards, a zoo worker brought out a shingleback for people to pet! That was pretty cool. I definitely want to go back soon and slowly do each close-up encounter - except for swimming with the platypus, because that's expensive and we'd have to drive home wet.

It rained a little while we were there, which was slightly annoying as my camera kept getting water on the lens, but the water droplets on the trees and plants looked really cool. One of my favourite things to do after it rains is go outside and take photos of the droplets up close.

While we were walking around, we saw a tree with a sign on it that said it was over 150 years old, which completely blew me away, and began a conversation between me and Daniel on how people can tell how old a tree is without cutting it down.

A nearby zoo worker came over to us and said he couldn't help overhearing, then explained to us that you can estimate of how old a tree is by how thick it is - which certainly makes sense when you see how round these trees are! He then went on to tell us about a tree in another part of the zoo that was over 250 years old. 

You could clearly tell that he genuinely loved trees and nature in general, which was really sweet to see. I love listening to people talk about the things they love. Passion is such a wonderful thing to find in life.

There are plenty more animals at the Healesville Sanctuary than the ones I photographed, such as marsupials, heaps of different birds, and a lot of native Australian wildlife too - but, as it was Valentine's Day, I tried not to focus too much on taking photos, and instead just enjoyed spending the day with Daniel.

All in all, it was a lovely day out. Daniel and I both love animals, so it was the perfect way to spend our Valentine's Day together.

How did you spend your Valentine's Day? Was it with a partner, hanging out with friends, or just enjoying some much-needed "you" time? Let me know, I love reading comments!

Until next time,
Indya xx