Sorry for the unintentional hiatus! I was having a few issues with WordPress but now we’re back up and running smoothly :) at least now you guys will have some back-to-back updates over the next few days because I have LOTS to write about. One fun thing that happened a few weeks back was our trip to Healesville Sanctuary – which was my birthday gift from Will <3. It’s a zoo of sorts located out in the beautiful Yarra Valley (about 40 – 45 mins outside of Melbourne CBD). I say “of sorts” because it was a bit smaller than a typical zoo, and unless it was a super dangerous animal (snakes – eek), the animals were really only held back from you by a low barricade (the kangaroo only had a rope around their enclosure) or perhaps nothing at all! The wallaby enclosure (it’s chained off, but you walk through a door into a large area) had nothing keeping you from the wallabies, although they ask you to not go to the wallabies, but if they come to you, that’s okay. I had a super impromptu encounter with a wallaby, where they were allowing two individuals to feed one, and as we watched, they asked if we’d like to do the same. Of course I said YES, and fed him a slice of corn on the cob – he seemed a bit cautious but his hunger got the best of him and he gently grabbed it out of my hand and chowed down. Such an amazing experience! I loved it.
Maybe it’s because I’ve just been exposed to typical animals my entire life, like lions, elephants and bears etc, that I was so in awe of the Australian ones. Nowhere on earth do these animals exist but on this remote and amazing continent, which also happens to be a country! I was amazed at how unique most of the animals were – none of them seemed at all like anything I’ve seen before (except maybe the emu, because it literally just looks like a deranged ostrich) – and all of them looked like hybrids of other animals. For example, the echidna (totally stole my heart) looks like a hybrid between a hedgehog and an anteater, and the platypus looks like a beaver/duck (by the way, they are suuuuper tiny).
When we first arrived into the sanctuary, the dingoes were being taken for a walk – like no big deal! They looked like massive shiba inus, but had to snap myself into my sense and realize, nope these are wild freaking dogs. They said usually it would be fine to pet them but they were in the middle of marking their territory, and the last thing I’d want to do is mess that up and lose a hand, so I restrained myself! The one downer was that if we did a little encounter with the koalas, we wouldn’t be allowed to hold them, so we decided to do the wombats instead. I was SO excited for this because I was so intrigued by these little guys – again, unlike any other creature I’ve seen before, like a cross between a bear and a giant rat, mixed with a capybara. The wombats we got to sit down and play with were only 6 months old, and one was super feisty and excitable, while the other just wanted to eat sweet potato. You had to keep distracting them with said sweet potato, or else they’d come for your clothes, shoelaces, camera, fingers… I ran out of nom noms and they decided my sweater and Will’s shirt were equally scrumptious, leaving us with delightful orange stains (which thankfully came out in the washer!) It was an amazing experience, and I’ll forever cherish it :)
The rest of our tour included a delicious lunch at a winery, a few wine tastings, and a pit stop to a chocolaterie, which was uh-mazing. When you walked in, they had MASSIVE bowls of milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate buttons, that you could scoop into your hand and eat while you walked around. Best thing about it? Totally free and you could go back and get as many refills as you wanted. I restrained myself and only did one helping. We also got some Toblerone ice cream * insert heart eyes emoji * — totally delicious. Add in the absolutely stunning view of the valley from the chocolate factory, and you’ve wrapped up a fun, amazing and adventurous day!
We definitely would love to return to Healesville and spend much more time there, and possibly do more encounters with various different animals! It seems like a super easy drive out there, so once either (or both – eeek lol) of us have mastered driving on the other side of the road, we’d love to head out there again. The vines were just beginning to sprout and bloom, so I’m sure in a few months, it’ll be totally gorgeous.
My goal is to have another post up tomorrow about our one year anniversary(!) and the romantic picnic we had, so stay tuned :)