Healesville Sanctuary, Melissa Krafchek

Population 7993

To the west of Yarra Ranges National Park and within easy reach of Melbourne, Healesville has a charming rural atmosphere. There are good restaurants and cafes in town, all focusing on quality local produce, especially the world-class Yarra Valley wines. On top of this is a host of art and craft boutiques and two major attractions – TarraWarra Museum of Art and the famous Healesville Sanctuary, one of the best places in Victoria to experience Australia's unique wildlife close-up.

Visitor Information

Yarra Valley Visitor Information Centre, Old Courthouse, 42 Harker St; (03) 5962 2600


Nearby national parks

  • Yarra Ranges National Park

    Lofty mountain ash bathed in mist, rare and endangered plants and animals, snow in winter and pristine pockets of bushland make Yarra Ranges...more

  • Kinglake National Park

    Surrounding the township of Kinglake, this bush retreat close to Melbourne offers views of the Yarra Valley, the city skyline and Port...more

  • Brisbane Ranges National Park

    In Brisbane Ranges National Park low mountains are dissected by rugged gorges and hidden gullies with basalt grasslands and woodlands. An...more

Nearby towns

  • Yarra Glen

    Yarra Glen is in the heart of the Yarra Valley wine region, nestled between the Yarra River and the Great Dividing Range. It is a gorgeous...more

  • Warburton

    Warburton was established when gold was discovered in the 1880s, but its picturesque location and proximity to Melbourne meant it quickly...more

  • Marysville

    For 100 years, the beautiful subalpine village of Marysville was a much-frequented holiday destination for Melburnians. Providing access to...more

In Town

Silvermist Studio Gallery: handmade gold and silver jewellery; Maroondah Hwy.

Open-air trolley rides: from Healesville railway station; open Sun and public holidays.

Innocent Bystander: thoroughly modern cellar door in the town centre with an excellent bakery, bistro serving mouth-watering pizzas, and cheese room; 336 Maroondah Hwy; (03) 5962 6111 or 1800 661 624.


Healesville Sanctuary Australia's unique animals are on show at this 32 ha reserve. Read More

TarraWarra Museum of Art TarraWarra Estate has been operating as a vineyard since 1983, producing a selection of fine chardonnay and pinot noir. Now there is a striking building housing an extensive private collection of modern art. The collection focuses on the 3 key themes of Australian Modernism – landscape, figuration and abstraction – and works by artists such as Howard Arkley, Arthur Boyd and Brett Whiteley can be found within. Healesville–Yarra Glen Rd; (03) 5957 3100.

Hedgend Maze: giant maze and fun park; Albert Rd; 2.5 km S.

Corranderrk Aboriginal Cemetery: once the burial ground for an Aboriginal mission, and the final resting place of well-known Wurundjeri leader William Barak; 3 km S.

Maroondah Reservoir Park: a magnificent park set in lush forests with walking tracks and a lookout nearby; 3 km NE.

Donnelly's Weir Park: starting point of the 5000 km Bicentennial National Trail to Cooktown (Queensland). The park also has short walking tracks and picnic facilities; 4 km N.

Badger Weir Park: picnic area in a natural setting; 7 km SE.

Mallesons Lookout: views of Yarra Valley to Melbourne; 8 km S.

Mt St Leonard: good views from the summit; 14 km N.

Toolangi: attractions include the Singing Gardens of C. J. Dennis, a beautiful, formal garden; the Toolangi Forest Discovery Centre, for a fascinating insight into the local forests and how they were formed; and Toolangi Pottery; 20 km NW.

Yarra Valley Wine Region: around 85 in the area open for tastings and sales. Tours available; details from visitor centre. See also Yarra Glen.

Fishing spots near town

Rubicon River 48 km

The Rubicon, one of Victoria’s legendary trout waters, is popular with trout anglers who fish using all methods available. Rising in forested hills with a steep gradient in the headwaters, the river varies from... Find out more

Goulburn River 49 km

The Goulburn River from Eildon Pondage to Alexandra is one of the most popular stretches of trout water in Victoria. Places like Thornton, ‘Gilmore’s Bridge’ and the Breakaway, where the Acheron River... Find out more

St Kilda 54 km

St Kilda Marina gives boat anglers easy access to excellent snapper and whiting grounds. Inshore there is plenty of seagrass and sand areas for whiting while the deeper waters offer reef areas for snapper. The St Kilda... Find out more

Maribyrnong River 56 km

The age-old adage about the grass supposedly being greener somewhere else applies to fishing around Melbourne. Many anglers who head out of town do so because they don’t believe any serious fishing is possible... Find out more

Patterson River 56 km

The Patterson River is well known for bream, and walking and bike tracks on both sides of the river offer ease of access for bank fishing. The most productive waters are in the marinas between the Mornington Peninsula... Find out more

Yarra River 58 km

Mulloway are one of the most sought and least caught Victorian species. Anglers often put in hundreds of hours in unsuccessful quests for a trophy of this enigmatic species. During autumn, reports tell of mulloway being... Find out more

Carrum 58 km

The Launching Way boat ramp facility at Carrum is the best in the bay but during snapper season anglers who haven’t launched their boats and parked their cars by about 6am have to go elsewhere. Managed by Parks... Find out more

Eildon Pondage 59 km

Boating is not allowed on Eildon Pondage, which is just below the dam wall at Eildon. Nevertheless, it is one of the most heavily fished waters in the state and is an ideal family spot, with barbecues and toilet... Find out more

Lake Eildon 61 km

Lake Eildon is Victoria’s most popular freshwater fishing spot. Part of its popularity is due to its proximity to metropolitan Melbourne. Lilydale is just a 90 min drive away, either over the Black Spur or via Yea.... Find out more

Altona to Williamstown 62 km

The skyline stretching around the shore from Altona to Williamstown provides an unlikely backdrop for top fishing. Industry dominates, in particular refineries, with flames burning off gases. However, anglers who fish... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Dandenong Ranges National Park 23 km

About an hour’s drive out of Melbourne, some 35 kilometres east of the city, this park has forests of towering mountain ash and lush, damp fern gullies. Around 300 kilometres of walking tracks crisscross the park,... Find out more

Cycling around Melbourne 51 km

Melbourne has an active cycling community that has helped develop and establish some great routes and a network of cycle paths. One of the best sources of information is Bicycle Victoria. One option is to hop on the Main... Find out more

Indigenous tours - Melbourne 51 km

To grasp what Melbourne was like before the skyscrapers arrived you can take a two-hour Koori Heritage Trust walking tour. You will gain an insight into Indigenous history and the natural and cultural landscape of the... Find out more

Melbourne Zoo 52 km

Melbourne has a choice of two excellent zoos: Melbourne Zoo, with more than 320 species on display; and the 225-hectare open range zoo at Werribee, about 30 minutes drive from the city centre (access from the Princes... Find out more

Mountain-biking around Melbourne 52 km

With 20 kilometres of tracks developed by the Mountain Bike Association of Australia, Lysterfield Lake Park has something for all standard of mountain-biker, including family-friendly loops and exciting single-track... Find out more

Golf courses around town

RACV Healesville Country Club 1 km

Of the 120 golf courses featured throughout these pages, the new layout at Healesville is the odd one out. It could, in fact, be considered a minnow among giants, for this par-68 measures only 4872 metres from the... Find out more

The Heritage Golf & Country Club (St John course) 21 km

Jack Nicklaus, the golfer, was the most powerful player of his generation and also its finest strategist, a man who could win a tournament based on smart play and at other times on pure heroics. Jack Nicklaus, the... Find out more

Riversdale Golf Club 43 km

Victoria’s second oldest club, formed 18 months after Royal Melbourne, began life in humble circumstances as the Surrey Hills Golf Club. After a brief stint at Camberwell the club moved to its present location... Find out more

Huntingdale Golf Club 47 km

Huntingdale – Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath aside – is arguably the most famous of Melbourne’s sandbelt courses, home to the Australian Masters for 30 years. A parade of the game’s best... Find out more

Metropolitan Golf Club 47 km

Metropolitan has changed dramatically over the past century but has never been short of plaudits. The club, the second oldest on the Melbourne sandbelt, was established in 1908. J. B. Mackenzie was one of the founding... Find out more

Spring Valley Golf Club 47 km

The story of Spring Valley Golf Club’s early days is not dissimilar to that of many clubs which now call Melbourne’s sandbelt home. Spring Valley began its existence outside the sandbelt, as Forest Hills... Find out more

Commonwealth Golf Club 49 km

It is nearly 90 years since the first rounds were played where the Commonwealth Golf Club now lies. The club was constituted in 1920 and land – regarded as scrub country, and comprising only 89 acres – was... Find out more

Yarra Yarra Golf Club 50 km

First-time visitors to Yarra Yarra Golf Club, expecting the river with the similar name to play a pivotal role, might be surprised. The closest the Yarra gets to this acclaimed sandbelt course is the spot where it... Find out more

Southern Golf Club 50 km

Southern is one of the Melbourne sandbelt’s least-known courses, but in recent years its star has been on the rise. The original layout was created by Sam Berriman, a British expat who began his working life in... Find out more

Kingston Heath Golf Club 51 km

Kingston Heath has long been regarded as the second best course in Australia, only marginally behind nearby Royal Melbourne’s West course. Both layouts call on players to be strategically smart from tee to... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Innocent Bystander

A bakery, cafe, cellar door and cheese room in one, Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander has a trendy, industrial feel that provides the setting for a multitude of gourmet experiences. Just off Healesville’s main road,... Find out more

Healesville Hotel

You’ll enjoy one of the best dining experiences in the Yarra Valley at this gastropub, where the timber floors, sandy-coloured walls and cane chairs add a touch of old-fashioned character. The owners and chef... Find out more

Mt Rael Restaurant

Boasting the best views in the Yarra Valley, Mt Rael Restaurant would be able to draw a crowd on the strength of its vistas alone. But there is no laurel-resting in the smartly kitted-out restaurant of this small... Find out more

Bella Vedere

Surrounded by the vines of Badger’s Brook Estate, the atmosphere at Bella Vedere is rustic country style, casual but smart. The open-plan kitchen offers diners a view of the intricate food preparation undertaken by... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company 13 km

Craft brewers come from all sorts of different backgrounds but classical pianist Simon Walkenhorst and his opera singer wife Beth Williams are among the more exotic. Together, they started Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company... Find out more

3 Ravens Brewing Company 45 km

This microbrewery began operating from the basement of the successful Thornbury-based engineering company Zetkin and has proved to be an interesting diversion or sideline for the principal business. Some of the company... Find out more

Mountain Goat Brewery 48 km

Kicking off in 1997, home-brewer Dave Bonighton and music industry booking agent Cam Hines proved that two good mates can start a successful microbrewery with no money, but with unlimited enthusiasm, dogged perseverance... Find out more

Foster's Group (Abbotsford Brewery) 48 km

Re-branded as the Foster’s Group in the 21st century, Carlton & United Breweries was formed in 1907 through an amalgamation of the city’s six largest beer-makers: McCrackens City Brewery, Victoria... Find out more

2 Brothers Brewery 51 km

A microbrewery is not exactly what you might expect to find tucked away among panel-beaters and sheet-metal fabricators in the industrial estates of Moorabbin, 20 minutes south-east of Melbourne. While the location may... Find out more

Matilda Bay Garage Brewery 51 km

Previously operating as the Stockade Brewery, this South Dandenong-based microbrewery was acquired by the Foster’s-owned Matilda Bay Brewing in 2004 and re-badged as their ‘garage’ brewery. Then head... Find out more

Campsites around town

The Gums camping area 23 km

The Gums camping area can be reached by travelling 4 km down Glenburn Rd from Kinglake, and then continuing for another 6 km down Eucalyptus Rd. While the campsites here in the midst of the Great Dividing Range have been... Find out more

Bull Creek camping area 25 km

From the Melba Hwy, turn east on Murrindindi Rd to the south of Devlins Bridge. The Bull Creek camping area is signposted off this road at the southern end of the Murrindindi Scenic Reserve.... Find out more

The Ferns camping area 26 km

This camping area beside the Murrindindi River is signposted off Murrindindi Rd, about 100 m south of Falls Creek Rd.... Find out more

Water Gauge camping area 27 km

The Water Gauge camping area is located off Murrindindi Rd some 1.4 km north of The Ferns.... Find out more

Kurth Kiln camping area 28 km

This camping area is accessed via Soldiers Rd, which branches off the Gembrook–Launching Place Rd. As you stroll through the mountain ash, keep your eyes peeled for swamp wallabies and echidnas.... Find out more

Pine Tree camping area 29 km

About 2.8 km north of Water Gauge, you’ll see signposted access off Murrindindi Rd to the Pine Tree camping area.... Find out more

Blackwood camping area 29 km

Around  1 km from the forest boundary along Murrindindi Rd is signposted access to the Blackwood campsites.... Find out more

Suspension Bridge camping area 29 km

The Suspension Bridge camping area is signposted off Murrindindi Rd about 200 m north of the Blackwood access. This site can accommodate smaller caravans.... Find out more

SEC camping area (walk-in camping) 30 km

The SEC camping area is a walk-in site. It’s signposted off Murrindindi Rd.... Find out more

Longridge Park camping area 30 km

A one-time cattle-grazing area set within the pretty Yarra Valley Parklands, the turf at Longridge can now be booked through Parks Victoria (by phone or online) by individuals or groups of up to 40 for relaxing camping... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Crystal Brook Tourist Park 32 km

This park caters for tourists. It has good facilities and is located in a leafy area of the northeastern suburbs of Melbourne. A minimum-length stay applies during holiday periods.... Find out more

Wantirna Park 34 km

This is a large park with a limited number of tourist sites. Located in the eastern suburbs, its facilities include tennis courts and a recreation room. It is good value. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Melbourne BIG4 Holiday Park 48 km

This is a tourist park in a quiet area of Melbourne’s northern suburbs, just 9 km from Melbourne’s CBD. The park has relatively easy access to the Hume Highway and other northern approaches and is a popular... Find out more

BIG4 Dandenong Tourist Park 51 km

Just 6 km south of Dandenong, this is a good quality park, ideal for those wanting to stay on the eastern side of Melbourne. It is very close to the Jayco factory. Bookings are required in peak times and a minimum-stay... Find out more

Glen Cromie Caravan Park 57 km

In a large, park-like setting on the banks of a stream, this is a popular caravan park during weekends and holiday periods. It is a great place for a family break and just a short drive from the greater Melbourne area.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Healesville Hotel

Built in 1910, the two-storey hotel has been rendered and painted white with green detailing – entry being between two established oak trees and an imposing triple archway. Although the hotel’s restaurant has... Find out more

Mt Rael Retreat

High on a hill near Healesville, this luxury gourmet escape has unsurpassed views of the entire Yarra Valley. There are six suites featuring contemporary designs, all individually furnished and varying in price according... Find out more

RACV Healesville Country Club

You don’t have to be a golfer to check into this redeveloped country club in the Yarra Valley, but you do have to be a club member. While its 80 luxurious rooms are all nicely furnished with a large ensuite,... Find out more

The Sebel Heritage 
Yarra Valley

Surrounded by the celebrated natural beauty of the Yarra Valley countryside, the Sebel Heritage is an oasis of elegant luxury and an ideal retreat for relaxation and golfing. In fact, Heritage is home to the only private... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Alto Hotel on Bourke 53 km

Although it is not doing anything radical, this plush hotel on Bourke Street is one of the most ecologically aware in Melbourne, and should be commended for its power-saving measures, garbage sorting, supply of... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Gumbuya rest area 48 km

77km E of Melbourne (L) or 40km W of Yarragon (R)

Secluded among trees well off the highway.

Yea East rest area 49 km

1km E of Yea (R) or 30km W of Alexandra (L)

Just off the highway under shady trees.

Sheepwash Lagoon rest area 54 km

11km E of Yea (R) or 20km W of Alexandra (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.      

Bunyip rest area 55 km

29km W of Yarragon (L)

Adjacent to the highway. For westbound only.

Koriella rest area 57 km

25km E of Yea (L) or 6km NW of Alexandra (R)

Large area adjacent to the highway. Good shade.

King Parrot Creek rest area 61 km

21km SE of Seymour (L) or 17km NW of Yea (R)

Well off the highway under some large trees.

What's on around town

Market: River St; 1st Sun each month.

Yarra Valley Food and Wine Festival: 4-day festival celebrating local produce hosted at venues throughout the district; Apr.

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