Archive | March, 2013

Healesville Sanctuary

11 Mar

Healesville Sanctuary is a bushland type of zoo. And I must say that it really does give a bushland type of feel. Pathways are paved, yes, but somehow as you walk and look around, you can sense that they have intended to keep the place as green, bushy and natural-looking as possible.

Our visit to this park wasn’t really planned, so I had no expectations in coming here. But I must say that I had a really interesting afternoon here.

First thing that I’ve found interesting is that they do charge admission, but no one actually checks if you have tickets when you go in. Not sure if the person in charge just happened to take a break at the time we went in, but this is really surprising for me. You definitely won’t experience something like this in Manila 😀

After going through the entrance and feeling lost in all the greenery, thinking that there should be animals somewhere in this place ;), we were greeted by such an animated character – Zooperman! He had so much energy and enthusiasm that my normally shy husband couldn’t help but ham it up for the camera with the guy 😀

Law and Zooperman

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One of the highlights of our visit is the ‘Birds of Flight’ show. We were treated to encounters with large species of birds of prey, and some amusing tricks by the smaller birds in the family.

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An aborigine who was an early inhabitant of the land, before it got converted into this sanctuary, showed us a demo of throwing the traditional boomerang that he carves himself from wood and played a didgeridoo for us as well. [Wasn’t able to take photos of the boomerang demo, was too enthralled watching to fumble with my camera, plus the movements were too quick to capture anyway :p]

Didgeridoo

I can sense that this is a paradise for kids of all ages. I imagine that I would actually consider buying an annual pass if we were to have kids someday 🙂

Another thing that impressed me about this place is that it really is an animal sanctuary. They give emphasis on taking care and preserving the animal species. It’s something you want to instill in your kids. Having a display of what an animal hospital like the one shown below was a particularly good touch to achieve the goal.

Vet Hospital

Really had to give credit to the humor of this cockatoo lobbying to use recycled material for wiping one’s behind 😀 ->

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Was able to take some good shots of a few animals I’ve found particularly interesting. Was disappointed that I wasn’t able to capture my favorites in this park, though – the platypus and tasmanian devil. Would have to put that in my bucket list 🙂

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Short Visit to Yarra Valley

10 Mar

There are very few holidays (and long weekends) in Australia compared to Singapore and the Philippines. You really have to make the most out of these rare occasions. So for this year’s Australia Day weekend, we headed off to Yarra Valley, which is a little more than an hour’s drive from our place in Box Hill.

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A group doing some wine tasting

A group doing some wine tasting

You can join a wine tasting and tour like the group shown above, but it was our second time here already and Law and I are not really wine people so we decided to skip that and just walk around 🙂

We didn’t spend much time at Yering and soon headed off to Zonzo for lunch.

Zonzo Restaurant & Winery - Photo credit to www.drbnb.com

Zonzo Restaurant & Winery – Photo credit to http://www.drbnb.com

Zonzo Restaurant & Winery - Photo credit to www.drbnb.com

Zonzo Restaurant & Winery – Photo credit to http://www.drbnb.com

Pizza and calzone for lunch

Pizza and calzone for lunch

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to book in advance, so we had to settle for eating outside. Realized later on that eating outdoors during summer time is not a good idea in this part of town because soon after the food is served, your table will be swarming with flies and you’ll have no choice but to take turns swatting them away while the other person’s eating 😛 Oh well, had to really eat quickly anyway since the air is a bit cold and if you don’t eat fast enough, you’d have to eat your food cold…

As for our review of the food, hmm.. The calzone’s a bit burnt as you can see in the photo. But everything tastes nice and almost authentic Italian. The green olives in the pizza taste especially good and the rocket salad was surprisingly great, as it seems plain to the eye but the dressing’s great – tastes fresh and the acidity’s just right.

Went to Healesville Sanctuary after lunch, which I’m going to put as a separate post, hopefully by today as well 😉