Friday, November 7, 2014

Four Days in the Melbourne Area! Another Adventure!

FaceBook Friends Meet!  Linda and PennyJane

We rented a car at the airport, took their map and sketchy directions, and drove to the Albany Hotel by a circuitous route!  It was evening, dark, lots of traffic, unfamiliar territory and I needed a magnifying glass to read the street names on the map!  After a few wrong turns and stopping 3 times for directions we escaped the industrial area and arrived at a very nice hotel in a nice part of town about 8 p.m.

Albany Hotel
Where was dinner?  We were directed to the closest food - Subway - a few blocks away and walking seemed a good idea.  After dinner and some wine, we tucked in for the night.

The morning brought beautiful weather, a buffet breakfast and a walk in the park across the street.  Our first stop was Healesville where we would spend the next two nights.  We passed many vineyards in Yarra Valley with pastoral views.  At a little park, we found several Superb Fairy Wrens and a winding path leading to a river. 

Vineyards!  serious vineyards!
Superb Fairy Wren

Penny Jane, a FaceBook friend, had recommended the Healesville Sanctuary House Resort and we were delighted when we drove in.   http://sanctuaryhouse.com.au/   There were many flowers and paths to explore, lots of birds to watch and a restaurant for dinner.  After checking in, we explored the town, found a grocery store for a picnic food and a bottle shop for some local wine. 

We spent the afternoon at the Healesville Sanctuary, a zoo with Australian animals in natural habitats.  http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/yarra-ranges-national-park/things-to-do/badger-weir-picnic-area  Extremely well done and a great place to see unusual and hard to find animals – like platypus and Tasmanian Devils.

Koala & Baby

Flying Foxes 

Tasmanian Devil
Peter has an Australian Bush Hat and I have a stuffed koala as souvenirs.

The next morning, after a continental breakfast in the lovely dining room, we met Penny Jane and her two children.  They lived about a half hour away and we took a walk through the woods as we got acquainted.  I was so excited to meet her after all the messaging we did about Australia.  The children gave me a lesson in hunting yabbies and recognizing a yabby hole.  I’m so disappointed I did not see the animal!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_yabby   

Ready for a yabby hunt?

Peter and I drove to Badger Weir National Park to do birding. http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/yarra-ranges-national-park/things-to-do/badger-weir-picnic-area   A couple stopped and asked if we were ‘Snitchers’.  Hmmm!  That is what birders in England are called.  So we said, Yes we are snitchers!   They were having tea at a picnic table and the gentleman was explaining that the park service does not want people feeding the birds but several years ago before that ruling went into effect, the birds would come and sit on your arm.  He put his arm out to demonstrate and a King Parrot flew onto the arm expecting a treat! 



Another area we visited was the Yarra National forest near Marysville where we had lunch.  The area had spectacular tree ferns and narrow windy roads.  The weather turned cool with gray clouds and little sun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarra_Ranges_National_Park   We enjoyed such beautiful scenery and nature walks along this route.





After a lovely dinner back at the Healesville Sanctuary House, we were ready for a good night’s sleep.



We woke to Crimson Rosellas and Red-crested Finches, had breakfast and checked out.  What a great place to stay!



Off to Melbourne and The Great Ocean Hiway!
















Friday, November 7, 2014

Four Days in the Melbourne Area! Another Adventure!

FaceBook Friends Meet!  Linda and PennyJane

We rented a car at the airport, took their map and sketchy directions, and drove to the Albany Hotel by a circuitous route!  It was evening, dark, lots of traffic, unfamiliar territory and I needed a magnifying glass to read the street names on the map!  After a few wrong turns and stopping 3 times for directions we escaped the industrial area and arrived at a very nice hotel in a nice part of town about 8 p.m.

Albany Hotel
Where was dinner?  We were directed to the closest food - Subway - a few blocks away and walking seemed a good idea.  After dinner and some wine, we tucked in for the night.

The morning brought beautiful weather, a buffet breakfast and a walk in the park across the street.  Our first stop was Healesville where we would spend the next two nights.  We passed many vineyards in Yarra Valley with pastoral views.  At a little park, we found several Superb Fairy Wrens and a winding path leading to a river. 

Vineyards!  serious vineyards!
Superb Fairy Wren

Penny Jane, a FaceBook friend, had recommended the Healesville Sanctuary House Resort and we were delighted when we drove in.   http://sanctuaryhouse.com.au/   There were many flowers and paths to explore, lots of birds to watch and a restaurant for dinner.  After checking in, we explored the town, found a grocery store for a picnic food and a bottle shop for some local wine. 

We spent the afternoon at the Healesville Sanctuary, a zoo with Australian animals in natural habitats.  http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/yarra-ranges-national-park/things-to-do/badger-weir-picnic-area  Extremely well done and a great place to see unusual and hard to find animals – like platypus and Tasmanian Devils.

Koala & Baby

Flying Foxes 

Tasmanian Devil
Peter has an Australian Bush Hat and I have a stuffed koala as souvenirs.

The next morning, after a continental breakfast in the lovely dining room, we met Penny Jane and her two children.  They lived about a half hour away and we took a walk through the woods as we got acquainted.  I was so excited to meet her after all the messaging we did about Australia.  The children gave me a lesson in hunting yabbies and recognizing a yabby hole.  I’m so disappointed I did not see the animal!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_yabby   

Ready for a yabby hunt?

Peter and I drove to Badger Weir National Park to do birding. http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/yarra-ranges-national-park/things-to-do/badger-weir-picnic-area   A couple stopped and asked if we were ‘Snitchers’.  Hmmm!  That is what birders in England are called.  So we said, Yes we are snitchers!   They were having tea at a picnic table and the gentleman was explaining that the park service does not want people feeding the birds but several years ago before that ruling went into effect, the birds would come and sit on your arm.  He put his arm out to demonstrate and a King Parrot flew onto the arm expecting a treat! 



Another area we visited was the Yarra National forest near Marysville where we had lunch.  The area had spectacular tree ferns and narrow windy roads.  The weather turned cool with gray clouds and little sun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarra_Ranges_National_Park   We enjoyed such beautiful scenery and nature walks along this route.





After a lovely dinner back at the Healesville Sanctuary House, we were ready for a good night’s sleep.



We woke to Crimson Rosellas and Red-crested Finches, had breakfast and checked out.  What a great place to stay!



Off to Melbourne and The Great Ocean Hiway!