Day trip to Healesville

Melbourne Travel Blog

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The beautiful, red trees lining the path up to the winery.

For their first full day in Melbourne, we took our American friends on a day trip to Domain Chandon winery and Healesville Sactuary. It took about an hour and a half to drive to the Yarra Valley area and I was instantly charmed by the rows of red leaf trees that greeted our entry to the winery.

Domain Chandon in Coldstream produces the famed Dom Perignon champagne (or sparkling wine, given that it's not made in Champagne, France). Tastings or lunch are served in a glass-walled building that overlooks the vineyards. Every table is set with signature glasses and complimentary bread, cheese and beetroot dip to accompany tastings. There were four sparkling wines to try, including a Pinot Shiraz NZ (I don't think I've ever seen red champagne before) and my favourite, the Cuvee Riche NZ, given that it was the lightest and sweetest.

Some of the products available for purchase at Domain Chandon.

Next stop was lunch at Mt Rael in Healesville (www.mtrael.com.au). This restaurant and hotel is perched on a mountain top, hidden amongst all the gum trees. The restaurant itself has fantastic food and modern decor, though probably above my price range if my parents weren't paying (he he).

Last stop was the famed Healesville Sanctuary. I couldn't believe how active the koalas were! Apparently, koalas sleep for around 20 hours a day, but we managed to arrive during the four they were awake. They jumped from tree to tree, munched on gum leaves and stared curiously at the crowd of tourists taking their photo. Although I was born here, this was also the first time I'd seen an echidna. Its spiky ball of a body was camouflaged next to a rock hiding tasty ants. However, our American friends were a little disappointed with the lazy kangaroos. There's actually a sign in their enclosure saying that kangaroos only hop when they sense danger, so their lax behaviour is a sign of comfort. Just shows how much the tourist status can consume you - everyone cared more about getting a photo of a jumping kangaroo than whether they were comfortable.

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The beautiful, red trees lining th…
The beautiful, red trees lining t…
Some of the products available for…
Some of the products available fo…
View from the restaurant onto the …
View from the restaurant onto the…
My attempt at an arty shot.
My attempt at an arty shot.
Andrea with a sample glass of each…
Andrea with a sample glass of eac…
Mum, Dad and me.
Mum, Dad and me.
Another arty shot attempt.
Another arty shot attempt.
Mt Raels stylish restaurant, wher…
Mt Rael's stylish restaurant, whe…
Our American friends at lunch.
Our American friends at lunch.
The view from Mt Rael over Healesv…
The view from Mt Rael over Heales…
An emu at Healesville Sanctuary.
An emu at Healesville Sanctuary.
A koala eating eucalyptus leaves.
A koala eating eucalyptus leaves.
Koala up close.
Koala up close.
A Tasmanian devil - ugly and scary…
A Tasmanian devil - ugly and scar…
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photo by: jendara