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The heart of Victoria's Yarra Valley food and wine region, Healesville is also world-famous for its wildlife sanctuary housing more than 200 species of Australian native animals Healesville Sanctuary is the place to go for guaranteed encounters with iconic Australian animals like platypus, koalas, Tasmanian devils, lyrebirds, kangaroos, emus, wallabies, dingoes and echidnas. The sanctuary has played a leading role in the long-term care and protection of Australian wildlife, and visitors can peek into the Australian Wildlife Health Centre to glimpse an injured or orphaned animal on its journey through the process of rescue, care and rehabilitation. There's also lots to see and learn about Aboriginal culture at Healesville Sanctuary. Healesville is an important food and wine centre. The Innocent Bystander gourmet emporium is conveniently close to Healesville Sanctuary for post-wildlife wine tasting, pizzas, artisan breads, cheeses, and freshly-roasted coffee. A packed calendar of food and wine events throughout the year shows off the region's bounty. Visit local vineyards to sample locally produced wines and talk to their makers at cellar doors. Healesville is surrounded by scenic countryside. Enjoy a picnic at the peaceful Badger Weir Park then take a short stroll through fern gullies and mountain ash. Wander through the town and browse the eclectic range of shops and boutiques selling pottery, handcrafted jewellery, vintage finds and handmade treats. Ride in a motorised, open air trolley on the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway. The original trolleys were used by workmen checking the line. Healesville is 60 kilometres or just under an hour east of Melbourne on the Maroondah Highway. Travel north-east on the Eastern Freeway, the Eastlink tollway and Maroondah Highway.