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Just over one hour's drive north-east of Melbourne through the renowned wine-growing country of the Yarra Valley is the township of Healesville. This pretty little town is a popular destination for Melburnians: in the valley there are more than 30 wineries open for tastings, with some of the larger ones having restaurants attached, and it is the gateway to the towering ash forests, waterfalls and fern bowers of the Great Dividing Range. The Maroondah Highway becomes one of Victoria's most picturesque highways as it climbs from Healesville to Marysville over the Black Spur.
Healesville is famous for its animal sanctuary, located at the foot of Mount Riddell. More than 200 species of native birds and animals can be seen in the natural surroundings of Australia's leading fauna park. On Sundays, visitors may climb aboard the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway where motorised trolleys travel every half hour through an historic 100m brick-lined tunnel.