Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary
Healesville Travel Blog› entry 118 of 206 › view all entries
Today we randomly decided to go to Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary which is 'an hour outside Melbourne'. We set off on the tram (our first tram) down to Flinders Street, then caught the train to Lilydale which took about an hour. The instructions on the website said we had to take a bus after that, so we waited about 20 mins and caught the bus to Healesville. An HOUR later we finally arrived in Healesville, stopping a few turns beyond a sign that said 'Healesville Sanctuary 800m on right'. We assumed we could walk from here but the bus driver assured us the walk was about 4.5km (in 35 degree heat) and we should wait 25 mins for the bus that went there. At this point frustration, heat, thirst and hunger started to get the better of us; it had so far taken us 2.
We almost gave up and came back another day but decided to persist after a rejuvenating muffin and caught the bus to the park. The lady gave us a discount for arriving so late and explained that only 4 buses per day came to the park and we should have coordinated our train and bus but assured us that the bus we would take to return would be direct to Lilydale rather than connecting at Healesville. We then started on a power-walk view of the sanctuary, starting with koalas, kangaroos and emus, then on to elusive wombats, echidnas and rock wallabys, the night-time prowling ring-tail possums, bush-tail possums, greater bilbys, sugar gliders, antichidnas, flying squirrels, velvet-marble geckos and knob-tail geckos.
At 5.30pm we went to catch the bus again and when the 586 bus arrived we didn't get on, believing the direct bus to be the 585 to Lilydale. The bus driver explained that there was no 585; that he WAS both the 585 and the 586 and no he didn't go direct to Lilydale. By this point we were pretty tired of these persistently conflicting directions and I started to argue but he said I could wait if I wished but I'd be waiting a long time.
We decided not to argue. So we jumped on the bus back to Healesville and started the arduous journey back. Fortunately for us, and for the housemates we had agreed to cook for, we were lucky with our returning connections and finally arrived home at around 8.20pm after spending 5 hours traveling for an hour at the sanctuary. None the less we had had a good day, and had finally satisfied my long-standing need to see some real Australian wildlife after having seen none in 3 months of being here!