The Healesville Sanctuary and The Hedgend Maze

The Healesville Sanctuary entrance.Raquel and I wanted to forget about our house-hunting worries for one weekend at least. So, yesterday, we went to the Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley (east of Melbourne). The Zoos Victoria website discribes it as:

Healesville Sanctuary, Australia’s premier wildlife park, is nestled in the foothills of the Yarra Valley, just one hour from Melbourne. Koalas, dingoes, kangaroos and the unique platypus are just a few of the 200 species of Australian wildlife flourishing in a beautiful bushland environment of towering gum trees and lush tree ferns. Renowned as the best place in the world to see Australian animals in their natural habitats, visitor highlights include the many Animal Close-ups and Meet the Keeper presentations scheduled throughout the day.

The Healesville Sanctuary is one of three zoos that form the Zoos Victoria group. Lucky for us, when last we went to the Werribee Zoo, we bought the Zoos Victoria Passport instead of a one-day ticket. The passport allows us to go to Zoos Victoria’s three zoos (the Werribee Open Range Zoo, the Melbourne Zoo and the Healesville Sanctuary) for the price you’d normally pay to go to two zoos. So, when we used the passports at the sanctuary, we’ve now hit break-even so to speak.

The sanctuary was supposed to be only an hour away from Melbourne. Raquel and I have learned from our last drive to Ballarat that we should never believe the advertised travel time for a tourist destination. I can’t remember now the exact time it took us to get to the sanctuary but it definitely wasn’t one hour.

It was a wonderful place. We walked around in circles along the foot path for half-a-day and we never felt tired. I loved the scheduled Meet the Keeper presentations where the zoo keepers explain the different type of animals they have in the sanctuary. In the Birds of Prey presentation, they even have a trained falcon do aerial acrobatics at the start of the presentation to demonstrate how they catch their prey. Amazing to see.

The Hedgend Maze viewed from the observation tower.After a busy and fun stay at the sanctuary, we went to the Hedgend Maze which happened to be nearby. It’s essentially a big maze made out of tall hedges. Trying to solve the maze without the benefit of a map was more difficult than I first thought.

It took us just a little over an hour to get out of the maze. We probably would’ve gone through it quicker if I had realised that the map drawn on the brouchure handed to us at the counter was the actual map of the maze. The only reason why I didn’t believe it was the actual map was because the drawn map had the name “HEDGEND MAZE” incorporated on the actual map. As it turned out, the actual maze did have the name on it if you look at it from above. Anyway, I’m still proud to be able to go through the maze without the benefit of the map.

Solving the maze wasn’t the only fun thing to do there, though. Inside the maze were clues to help you solve a puzzle given to you at the counter. So it felt more like being a part of the Amazing Race reality TV show. It was a lot of fun. In the end though, we felt that we might not finish the maze before they had to close so we abandoned the clue-hunting and just proceeded to find the exit.

Other than the exit at the end of the maze, we were told at the counter that there were two emergency exits midway through the maze. I always wondered how are we going to get there if we really were in an emergency. Finding these emergency exits weren’t easy.

The entrance fee was $12 each and it includes going through the maze (of course). I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the fee also covered the cost of playing at their mini-golf course and frisbee golf area. It was the first time I’ve played both games. It was not to streneous but it was still tiring.

When we got back home, all we wanted to do was to sit around and rest. We were walking around the whole day at the sanctuary and the maze, after all. And we also did some swinging at the mini-golf course plus some frisbee throwing. It was tiring but it was all fun. Maybe we’ll go there again some day.

Photoblog Links:
Healesville Sanctuary
Hedgend Maze

Published in: on October 16, 2005 at 11:38 am  Comments (3)  

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Really, its fuuuuuunnnnnnnn!

  2. Hehehe. Yeah. That’s what I thought, too, while we were going around in it. I just forgot to mention it in the blog. :d

  3. nice. hedgend maze looks like a wonderful place. it reminds me of the maze in the triwizard tournament in Harry Potter. 🙂

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