March 5, 1997
I have been invited by Peter for a stay at his house. The incredible reception in
Aussie continues. The family is very pleasant. They have opened themselves up to me like I
was family. It is a warm feeling to be accepted in such a manner. I visited Healesville
Sanctuary to receive an education on Australian wildlife. The Sanctuary's mission is to
encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of Australia's flora and fauna within a
natural environment through conservation, education, research, and a quality visitor
experience. The sanctuary displays more than 200 species of Australian wildlife in 31
hectares of natural bush. Many wild animals also live within the grounds.
The Sanctuary started out as a research institute in the 1920's and opened to visitors
in 1934. Today, it has breeding programs for more than 20 threatened species, conducts
scientific research, both in captivity and the wild, and is developing new techniques for
restoring wildlife habitats.
The Sanctuary is located in the town of Healesville. This is rated the best place to
see the in the whole country. Sanctuary residents include wallabies, kangaroos, dingoes,
lyrebirds, Tasmanian devils, bats, platypus, koalas, eagles, snakes, and lizards.
Throughout the day the staff gives demonstrations on many of the animals. For a better
understanding of the Australian wildlife a trip to the Sanctuary should be on ones
In the evening I went for mountain bike ride with Peters youngest son Troy (21). We
rode in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The range is about 35 km east of Melbourne.
The forest has a towering cover of mountain ash trees and a lower level of silver wattles,
sassafras, black woods, and other exotic trees, as well as the ubiquitous tree ferns. The
trees are home to a large number of birds including the rosellas, kookaburras, robins,
currawongs and honey-eaters. The forest is famous for its superb lyrebirds. The lyrebird
is unique in that it mimics other sounds and copies them exactly.
From the top of Mt. Dandenong we could see the center of Melbourne. Mt. Dandenong is
the highest point in the range at 633 meters. The ride was nice to explore some local
scenery. The natural beauty of the hills has long made them a favored destination for
those wanting to escape the city.
Tomorrow's schedule is to help Peter in his poultry transportation business. It should
be interesting transporting 5,000 live birds from one farm to another. The drive between
farms is about six hours each way. The whole adventure takes some 18 plus hours. Stay
tuned for more details as Tim tries a new trade.
March 6, 1997
All the chooks (chicken) had a safe delivery. The journey was a six hour drive each
way. At the first farm the 4700 chooks were caught and caged. Then, after a drive through
the night, the chooks were place three per cage. Within the week they will begin to lay
eggs for about 70 weeks. The production is about one egg per day for each bird. The
adventure was entertaining, but, I don't think I will make a career of it.
March 7, 1997
Went for a drive to the Mornington Peninsula, at the southern end of Port Philip bay.
It is surrounded by the waters of Bass Strait, and Westport and Port Philip bays. It's a
little over a hour's drive from the city, and because of its great beaches it has been a
favorite summer resort for Melbournians since the 1870's.
While it's not quite the French Riviera, Portsea in particular has a reputation as
something of a 'millionaire's playground', but the peninsula is also popular with
families, backpackers and campers. It has both rugged and beautiful beaches. The ride was
very serene and the companionship of Troy Geysen was filled with lots of laughs.
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