Silver Shadow Docks Down Under: Steam Engines, Kangaroos & Koala Bears | TravelResearchOnline

Silver Shadow Docks Down Under: Steam Engines, Kangaroos & Koala Bears

When the Silver Shadow docked in Melbourne, Australia. I opted for a full-day tour called “Puffing Billy, Wildlife & Dandendnongs.”

One of the highlights of the tour was the visit to Healesville Sanctuary, where I, along with other Silversea guests, saw cute and cuddly koala bears, kangaroos and other wildlife found only in Australia.

Cute & Cuddly: The Koala Bear.

After visiting the animal sanctuary, we traveled down the road to enjoy a wine-tasting and lunch, included in the cost of the tour, at the Rochford winery, situated in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Some people compare the Yarra Valley to California’s Napa Valley. A few of the more experienced oenophiles in our group said the wines were perhaps a bit young, but still tasty. Certainly, it was interesting to hear about the growth of Australia’s wine industry.

Wine-tasting at the Rochford Winery in the Yarra Valley.

Our next stop was to board a century-old steam train, affectionately known as Puffing Billy, still running on its original mountain track in the scenic Dandenong Ranges.

The engineer of Puffing Billy.

We returned to Silver Shadow just after 4.p.m., an hour before setting sail to Tasmania, where we’ll arrive on Wednesday, after a sea day tomorrow.


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An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com

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