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Healesville Sanctuary was opened to the public as the Sir Colin McKenzie Sanctuary in 1934, but long before that it had been in use as a research centre for the study of marsupials.

Healesville Sanctuary homes more than 200 species of Australian birds, mammals (including marsupials and monotremes), and reptiles.

A winding pathway trails its way through the bushland sanctuary. The primary pathway is 1.5 kilometres in a circuit around the sanctuary, and will take one past the Birds of the Bush, Tasmanian Devil, Kangaroo, Platypus, Stick Insect, Blue Tongued Lizard, Goanna, Rock Wallaby, Helmeted Honeyeater, Animals of the Night, Birds of Prey, Flying Fox, Dingo, Lorikeet and Koala exhibits. 

If one takes all the smaller paths as well as the main path the walk will be 3.5 kilometres and will take one past the Billabong, Cockatoo, Frog Bog, Fern Gully, Owl, Orange Bellied Parrot, Flooded Forest, Yabby, Wallaby, Echidna, Wombat Gully, Emu, Lyrebird Forest exhibits and the Rehabilitation Aviary, as well as the gift shop, take away cafe and restaurant. 

There are six drinking fountains situated around the main paths of the sanctuary, and three toilet blocks, all with disabled access. There are three BBQ areas, and numerous picnic tables all along the pathways.

Healesville Sanctuary has a long history and in fact the first platypus to be hatched in captivity was hatched at the sanctuary in the 1940s, continuing a tradition of close study of the platypus going back to the 1930s, and making front-page news even in New York and London.

It took 55 years for the hatching to be repeated - Twin platypuses were hatched at the sanctuary in April 1999.

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