YARRA VALLEY WINE COUNTRY AND HEALESVILLE SANCTUARY
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Depart the wharf and travel to Healesville Sanctuary, which is situated 65kms from Melbourne. The Sanctuary houses one of the best collections of native fauna in Australia. The sanctuary is like no other animal reserve, with Australian native animals in their own habitats, which can be seen at close quarters. Many of the animals roam freely in this natural environment see lyrebirds, kangaroos, emus, koalas and perhaps, the elusive platypus. Healesville is also responsible for breeding some of the most highly endangered species of Australian animals and some of these are on display in the Animals of the Night exhibit. Continue to the Yarra Valley area, which has a reputation for producing some of the best cool-climate wines in Australia today. The wines of the Yarra Valley have a proud history stretching back to 1837 when the first vines were planted. Today the Yarra Valley is recognised as one of Australia's finest regions with almost a hundred wineries and vineyards. Arrive at the Fergusson Winery for lunch. Overlooking the picturesque vineyard and constructed from solid native timbers, is the Fergusson's restaurant. Cathedral ceilings soar high over the hand sawn refectory furniture and large open fireplace with antique turning spit. Continue on to De Bortoli Winery where you will be met for a wine tasting. The original Yarra Valley planting of 10 hectares, established in 1971, has now increased to more than 160 hectares, making the vineyard one of the largest in the region. On the return to Melbourne enjoy a brief city tour (time permitting) before arriving at the wharf to rejoin the ship.
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