With more than 74 acres (30 hectares) of natural bushlands and hundreds of animal residents, Healesville Sanctuary is one of the best places in Victoria to spot native Australian animals. Kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, platypus, emus, and Tasmanian devils are just some of the many creatures that call the sanctuary home.
Standard entry to Healesville Sanctuary includes access to all the main attractions, including the bushland walks and exhibits, the live shows and zoo keeper talks, and the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, which cares for sick and injured wildlife. Entrance to the sanctuary is free for iVenture card holders.
Many travelers opt to visit as part of a day tour from Melbourne, often in combination with nearby attractions, such as a ride on the Puffing Billy steam train or wine tasting in the Yarra Valley.
Things to Know Before You Go
- On-site facilities include free car parking, picnic areas, and a selection of restaurants, cafés, and gift shops.
- Most of the sanctuary’s exhibits are outdoors and you will likely do a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and water.
- Healesville Sanctuary is fully wheelchair accessible, and wheelchair rental is available.
How to Get There
Healesville Sanctuary is located close to the Yarra Valley, an approximately 1.5-hour drive east of central Melbourne. To arrive by public transport, take the train from Melbourne to Lilydale Railway Station, followed by the 686 bus to Badger Creek.
When to Get There
Healesville Sanctuary is open daily, year-round, but the busiest time to visit is during the summer peak season (December–January) or during school holidays. To avoid the crowds, opt for a weekday visit in offseason, or if visiting with your own transport, make an early start and arrive at opening.
Animal Sightings at Healesville Sanctuary
The Kangaroo Country, Koala Forest, Dingo Country, and Platypus Creek exhibits allow visitors to admire native animals in an environment similar to their natural habitats. At the Cool Conservation exhibit, learn about the sanctuary’s breeding programs, including endangered species, such as the mountain pygmy-possum and southern corroboree frog. Animals of the Night exhibition features an indoor area devoted to Australia’s nocturnal creatures. Bird lovers will adore the spectacular Spirits of the Sky bird show.