R from church arranged to come and collect us … but didn’t take the traffic at that time of day into account … so while we waited out by the station, we enjoyed the time we spent people watching …

R & L took us out to Healesville Sanctuary, a bush zoo, populated with injured and rescued animals … all sorts! So we saw: koala, wallaby, kangaroo, wombat, platypus, dingo, emu, cassowary … and birds, all sorts of birds, parrots (though the parrot house was closed), waterfowl, raptors. There was a reptile house, creatures of the night, an animal hospital, and aviaries of various kinds. The planting was primarily natural – the zoo path being cut out of virgin bush – and the planting in the aviaries was impressive, too. A real taste of Australia. And the weather was perfect, cloudy all day, not too cool, but not too warm to enjoy the walking.

R provided everything, and graciously paid for our entry too. She carried sandwiches and drinks and fruit … and she and L were determined we were to see everything and everywhere! Although they don’t live far, L hadn’t been for over 10 years – the typical local attitude of not going where the tourists go, but she remembered really enjoying it; indeed, nearly everyone said it was the place to go.

I took so many photographs, not all of them of any value, but enough to record our day in some detail, including the incidental sights along the way – the yellow robin was delightful. I tried to concentrate on viewing, not photographing the flying display, however – unlike a typical display in the UK which would feature mainly raptors, this had birds of the parrot family, too … and was focussed on how birds adapt to the environment.

We had a lovely day, and I took the opportunity to buy a few more gifts from the souvenir shop, before R insisted on driving us back – we had offered to catch a train from the nearby station. Unfortunately, the traffic was just as bad, so in the end, we persuaded her to drop us off in Toorak Road for us to walk the rest of the way. We took a detour via the Burger restaurant, for an improptu Valentine’s Day meal. A perfectly suitable end to a lovely day.