24 July 2012
Healesville holds an annual Railway Heritage Festival, so you are able to immerse yourself in some road, rail and steam history. Trains run each Sunday, public holidays and on Wednesdays during school holidays.
The long-term plan is to run steam trains from Yarra Glen to Healesville, once the entire track infrastructure has been restored to its former glory. Until then, be content with the 30-minute return trip which included a trip through an old tunnel.
The Badger Creek Holiday Park is one of two caravan parks in Healesville and is a great spot right on Badger Creek, surrounded by towering gums, on 24ha.
Not far from the caravan park is the Badger Weir picnic ground – part of the Yarra Ranges National Park. It has some great short walks along the creek to the weir and through fern gullies and thick forests. The weir itself was built back in the 1920s, to assist with local water supply.
There are countless wineries in the Yarra Valley, and many of the well-known ones can be found on the Maroondah Highway, close to Healesville. A few names you'll see are Rochford, Oakridge, Domaine Chandon and St Huberts. Many offer more than just the cellar door experience, with cafes, restaurants and even art galleries. Rochford hold regular concerts On the Green – and have featured some very well-known international artists in the past. Tarrawarra, on Yarra Glen Road, is the largest privately funded art gallery in Australia.
Not forgetting Healesville Sanctuary, which has been a popular destination for generations of visitors. It has been a native animal sanctuary for many years, having been founded in 1921 by Dr Collin Mackenzie. It opened to the public in 1934. The Sanctuary made headlines around the world in the 1940s when it was the first to successfully breed platypuses in captivity.
Exploring the heart and soul of the Yarra Valley will prove to be a fruitful and memorable holiday.