Healesville Sanctuary

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Healesville Sanctuary
Healesville Sanctuary Logo.jpg
Date opened1934
LocationHealesville, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates37°40′56″S 145°31′54″E / 37.6822°S 145.5316°E / -37.6822; 145.5316Coordinates: 37°40′56″S 145°31′54″E / 37.6822°S 145.5316°E / -37.6822; 145.5316

Healesville Sanctuary, formally known as the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary, is a zoo specialising in native Australian animals. It is located at Healesville in rural Victoria, Australia, and has a history of breeding native animals. It is one of only two places to have successfully bred a platypus, the other being Sydney's Taronga Zoo. It also assists with a breeding population of the endangered helmeted honeyeater.[1]

The zoo is set in a natural bushland environment where paths wind through different habitat areas showcasing wallabies, wombats, dingoes, kangaroos, and over 200 native bird varieties.

Guided tours, bird shows and information areas are available to visitors.


Dr Colin MacKenzie (knighted in 1929) set up the Institute of Anatomical Research in 1920 on 78 acres (32 ha) of land which had formerly been part of the Aboriginal reserve known as Coranderrk. The Reserve passed to the Healesville Council in 1927 and became the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary in 1934.

The first platypus bred in captivity was born in the Sanctuary in year 1943 when it was managed by David Fleay.

The park was placed under the management of the Victorian Zoological Parks and Gardens Board on 27 June 1978.[2]

In 2009, the sanctuary was threatened by the Black Saturday bushfires, and the sanctuary evacuated their threatened species to Melbourne Zoo.[3]

Animals and exhibits[edit]

Tasmanian devil
List of animals
General exhibits
Birds of the bush
Gang-gang Aviary
World of the Platypus/Platypusary
Woodland Aviary
Arid Birds
Wetlands Aviary
Wombat Closeup
Animals of the Night


Red tailed black cockatoo in flight at Healesville Sanctuary

Reptile Encounter

Lyrebird Forest
Larger Wetlands Aviary
Flying Foxes


  1. ^ Menkhorst P, Smales I, Quin B (2003). "Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Plan 1999–2003". Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Water Resources. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  2. ^ https://www.zoo.org.au/about-us/governance-and-policies/
  3. ^ Kent, Melissa (6 September 2009). "Fire and flight no turn-off for horny devils". The Age. Melbourne.

External links[edit]