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March 28th 2012
Published: May 12th 2012
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This was an early morning. Early morning was quite easy for us. It was common for us to wake up early, 5am or so, it was staying up late that was challenging. Our pick up was at 7am and we were headed to take a ride on the Puffing Billy and see some wildlife. We had tea, coffee and Vegemite and crackers for breakfast. Vegemite is a dark brown food paste made from yeast extract. It’s a spread that typically is used on toast and crackers. Neither one of us was a fan. Not at all.

The Puffing Billy is a historic steam train that rides through the Blue Dandernong Ranges with tall eucalyptus and bellbirds and kookaburras that echo the steam train’s whistle. We actually got to sit on the edge of the window of the train and let our legs and feet hang from the window. The views were amazing. We rode the Puffing Billy for just a short time and we actually lost a couple and their baby to the Puffing Billy when they didn’t get off the train when they were suppose to. We came home with minus 3 people. From the Puffing Billy we had a nice lunch at a winery at Yarra Valley. We of course, were typical Americans, and had 2nd helpings. It was nice to have a hot sit down meal instead of getting something quickly because we have to get to our next tour or adventure.

After lunch we headed to Healesville Sanctuary, home of over 200 species of Australian birds, mammals, and reptiles in a natural bushland setting. This part was really cool because we had a private tour with one of the tour guides there. We got to learn about all the different types of Australian animals. The sanctuary was very different than zoos in the U.S. A. There are no fences that keep you away from the animals. Eric actually got to pet a kangaroo while Vicky took what seemed like millions of pictures. We learned many different facts about koalas and kangaroos. Unfortunately, each state in Australia has different laws regarding koalas and in Victoria, the state of Melbourne, one is not allowed to touch or carry koalas. Our dream of carrying a koala didn’t happen here. This sanctuary also had an animal hospital. It was equipped with some state of the art equipment. There

Lunch at a winery
are cameras in the operating room that record video and play it for the sanctuary visitors in the waiting room. We actually saw a kangaroo getting a cast off from his leg. The sanctuary is utilized to save animals and to educate the public. It really was a learning experience and our favorite part of the day.

Australian Word of the Day: Chemist=pharmacy

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


Puffing BillingPuffing Billing
Puffing Billing

How we rode the train

Lunch at the winery
Animal Operating RoomAnimal Operating Room
Animal Operating Room

We are allowed to watch live animal surgeries

16th June 2012

What great photos of all the animals...and of course Vicky hanging from the Puffing Billy!

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