Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville
Tel: 61 3 5957 2800
Concierge.com's insider take:
More than 200 native Australian wildlife species make their home in this natural bushland setting about an hour and 15 minutes' drive outside of Melbourne. Meander along the paths and you'll encounter kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, dingoes, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, and reptiles in near-natural environs, along with water birds, owls, eagles, parrots, and emus. Maps are available, but it's simpler and more fun to arrange for a tour with one of Healesville's well-informed volunteer guides. Don't bypass the platypus house: You'll never get a better chance to see these strange, shy monotremes up close. And a darkened walk-through area lets you see nocturnal mammals such as the tiny, super-cute possums; hopping desert rats; bilbies; and fruit bats.