Escape the city and spend a day immersed in the bushland of the Dandenong ranges, meeting the local wildlife as you go!

Just outside of Melbourne, the Dandenongs rise skywards in a flurry of picturesque forests and ancient narratives. Here, you’ll find the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary that sits amongst the stunning scenery and is open for visitors to experience the local wildlife.

About the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary

It is a sanctuary that offers its visitors the chance to see an array of Australian natives. While on-site, you can get up close and personal with some of the country’s best-loved creatures, including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, wombats, dingoes, and around 200 different bird species. The sanctuary is dedicated to all types of the country’s native species, and you can learn all about the feeding, breeding, and living habits of their iconic animals.

As well as animals, the wildlife park also offers a range of events for all its visitors. Including their ‘Acoustic Afternoons’, an event that offers live acoustic music, entertainment, and delicious food and drinks amidst the wildlife. Or animal theme days including Wallaby Wednesdays and Possum Play Thursdays!

About the Puffing Billy Tour

When you leave the sanctuary and head back into the welcoming arms of the Dandenongs, you’ll be greeted by towering mountain ash gums, which are the tallest flowering plants in the world, and charming mountain villages that echo sentiments from yesteryear. Keep your eyes peeled for brightly-coloured cockatoos that circle high in the treetops while you sip on a traditional Australian billy tea and soak up the fresh mountain air – don’t forget to try a chocolate and coconut lamington cake with a spread of savoury Vegemite for the ultimate Australian experience.

The Dandenongs are home to the popular Puffing Billy Steam Train, which has become one of the main transportations used for travellers wanting visit this lush region. The train takes passengers through the lush forest undergrowth and through the pretty scenery of the mountains and their surroundings.

The train itself has been chugging away for more than a century, but it still maintains its original charm as it runs on a dedicated mountain track from Belgrave to Menzies Creek. Whilst travelling through the landscape, you’ll head back in time through the ancient rainforest, spotting colourful wildlife and fascinating plant life as you go.

Along the way, Puffing Billy takes you through the magical Sherbrooke Forest and over the whimsical Trestle Bridge. As you near Menzies Creek, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of Port Phillip Bay as it glistens in the distance.

The Dandenongs provide the perfect place to experience everything that the countryside outside of Melbourne has to offer. Just a short drive away from the bustling city, you’re greeted by soaring mountains peppered with cute villages that hark back centuries, and a stunning selection of native wildlife that basks in the ancient forests.

When you hop aboard the Puffing Billy Steam Train, you get to experience all of this and more as you chug beneath impressively tall trees and weave along the picturesque mountain track.

Explore the Puffing Billy Tour Departing from Melbourne

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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