Today, we were booked in for a day tour which included Puffing Billy and Healesville Sanctuary. We booked this tour in Dhabi itself. A big bus came to pick us up really early in the morning and we were well on our way. Surprisingly, it wasn't raining like the previous day but it sure looked gloomy.
We drove far, far away through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges until we reached our first stop which was a restaurant known as Grants on Sherbrooke. Here, we had an Aussie Billy Tea and some yummy Lamington cake. For those of you who don't know, Lamington is coconut kinda cake that originated in Australia. Do not leave Australia without trying out this cake. This was included in our tour.
However, none of us had breakfast that morning and decided to have it here. I loved this restaurant because it was in the middle of a jungle. Next to it were a lot of birds flying around. Feeding the birds were part of our tour too, that's when it started raining like crazy. So, we sat inside just enjoying the weather and the surroundings. My review of the restaurant can be found here.
After an hour of so, we hopped on the bus again and headed to Belgrave railway station. It was at this station where we caught "Puffing Billy". Puffing Billy is not your modern day luxury train. Its a century old, steam train and puffs with that smoke and all. Hence the name Puffing Billy.
Inside the train, its all woody. The best part about this train ride was that we could keep our legs out of the window the whole while as it passed through the ranges. It was a beautiful ride and thankfully it didn't rain! We reached Menzies Creek in an hour or so where we had to disembark.
Our big bus, which was there waiting for us picked us up here and we were on our way to the next place which was Healesville Sanctuary. Healesville was the first wildlife sanctuary we visited while we were in Australia. The moment we entered inside we headed straight to a restaurant for lunch.
After that we had a choice of a guided tour of the zoo or exploring it ourselves. We chose the guided tour. The last thing we wanted to do was go around in circles. At he zoo, we had an opportunity to interact with native Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas, emus as well as other animals. We witnessed a beautiful bird show called "Spirits of the Sky". They even have a mini wildlife hospital in there.
By the time we reached the city, it was already 5pm. Instead of heading back to the hotel we asked our driver to drop us somewhere near Chinatown where we saw this funky looking bar called Touche Hombre. Oh boy, the drinks they whipped up for us were amazing. This bar is definitely a must visit when you're in Melbourne. Make sure you have their "chicken jug". For more pictures and my review about them, click here. Dinner that night was at a nearby mall's food court.
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