• Jill Barry

Australia, Wildlife and Me

Updated: Apr 29, 2019


A trip to the Yarra Valley included not only wine tastings (to be savoured in a later post) but also a visit to the Healesville Sanctuary (pictured above) at Badger Creek. This beautiful nature reserve specialises in Australian native animals and was recently featured in one of Julia Bradbury’s ITV documentaries. https://www.itv.com/hub/australia-with-julia-bradbury/2a5896a0008A


My holiday down under didn’t allow much time for writing, though I’m certainly not complaining. My son and his wife, together with kind relations and family friends provided accommodation, great company and delicious home cooking, including a barbeque where I sampled whole sweetcorn baked to perfection. And apart from sightseeing and visiting restaurants and cafes, I enjoyed a taste of what it’s like living on a farm where wildlife that made me ooh and ah is everyday stuff to my hosts.


I’m delighted to say I met only one spider during the whole of the month I spent in Victoria. And he/she was miniscule. But while staying near Metung, a town in the East Gippsland region, I was lucky enough to see cockatoos, pelicans, an egret and an ibis, as well as assorted waterfowl, including swans.


But my delightful hosts didn’t leave me out of their everyday duties. One morning I hopped into their ute to be driven across the fields to watch three beautiful horses who needed moving to another paddock. Seeing them gallop past, manes flowing behind, took my breath away.




There was also a rather large bull called Rambo who joined the stock just as my friends said goodbye to his smaller predecessor. Needless to say, I admired the new guy from a safe distance.


And I’d never realised how many different kinds of chooks there were! Anyone who’s ever watched TV series Neighbours will recognise the word. The ones with the frilly headdresses are French hens - as in the song.





There were kangaroos all over the place once we left Melbourne behind. Apart from admiring roos at the wildlife sanctuary, I spotted several on my rail journey to Bairnsdale and lots at the end of my holiday when staying with friends who live near Melbourne Airport. Understandably, many farmers are not so enthusiastic about the iconic animal, given the way they devour so much of the vegetation. But it’s the cuddly koala who is my favourite and it was great to spot one on Raymond Island, just off Payneville and accessed by a very short ferry ride.



I hope you’ll enjoy the next instalment of my adventures. It might even be the one where I try not to behave badly while touring some of the many wine estates and chocolate producers in the delectable Yarra Valley.


Thanks for visiting.

Jill Barry



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