Get a proper introduction to Australia’s fascinating nature on this guided day trip from Melbourne: get up close to some of the country’s rarest animals at Healesville Sanctuary, go for a scenic ride through marvelous landscapes on the Puffing Billy steam train and complete the experience with a penguin encounter. Depart from Melbourne early in the morning and head to the sanctuary specializing in fighting wildlife extinction and see the platypus and other favourites such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats and dingos up close. When there, don’t miss the unrivalled Spirit of the Sky bird of prey and parrot shows. Go on to visit the Wildlife Hospital treating over 2,000 animals a year and explore the training facility for future veterinarians. Hop aboard the century old steam train Puffing Billy and enjoy the ride through lush fern gullies and eucalyptus forests. From here on, depending on the package chosen, you will either head back to the city or continue on to Phillip Island for the Penguin Parade.