Silver Travel Wine Club

November 2022 – Three ways to combine wine and wildlife in Australia’s wine regions

For incredible experiences of the multi-generational kind, the combination of wine and wildlife is hard to top. The happy marriage of these two great loves is the perfect pairing for families seeking a memorable day out in Australia’s diverse wine regions.

Read on for three of the best ways to combine wine exploration with responsible wildlife experiences:

Wine and Wildlife, Hunter Valley NSW

Audrey Wilkinson’s spectacular Wine and Wildlife Experience starts just three hours from  Sydney in the beautiful Hunter Valley. Begin by enjoying the view from the verandah at Audrey Wilkinson while your wine ambassador takes you through a premium wine tasting along with a matching local cheese board. Next, collect your entry tickets to the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park and follow the winding road on a short drive to this incredible animal sanctuary. Spend the day encountering Aussie favourites like koalas and kangaroos as well as some of the world’s most endangered animals including lions, giraffes, meercats, and lemurs. If you prefer you can also save your tickets for the following days if you are staying on in the Hunter Valley for a little while longer.

Yarra Valley Wine and Wildlife, Victoria

De Bortoli Wines, Healesville Sanctuary and the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery have created the perfect Yarra Valley self-drive day out.

The Yarra Valley Wine and Wildlife experience begins at the Healesville Sanctuary, one of Australia’s most beloved wildlife parks and the ultimate destination in Victoria to interact responsibly with native Australian wildlife in a stunning bushland setting. After working up an appetite, enjoy the scenic 20-minute drive through the Yarra Valley to De Bortoli Estate for a tasting of cool climate wines and a delicious two course lunch from the Italian-inspired menu. Ready for dessert? Make your way to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, just five minutes away. Indulge in abundant free chocolate tastings and choose from a wonderful range of remarkable handcrafted chocolates.

Wine, Wildlife and Vineyard Tour, Tasmania

This unforgettable tour begins at House of Arras in Tasmania with a private late afternoon wine tasting and a guided tour through the vineyard, where you’ll learn about the intricacies of vine training, harvesting and the sustainability practices of this premium winery. At dusk, make use of headlamps, binoculars and bird-spotting equipment for encounters of the furry and feathery kind, including wedge-tailed eagles, scarlet robins, platypus, white morph goshawks, hares, rabbits, and even the occasional goat! Warm clothes and enclosed shoes are required on this one-kilometre all-terrain two hour walk around this famous Pipers River vineyard property.

Please note: As a member of ABTA, Silver Travel Advisor take animal welfare seriously and all animal experiences referenced in this article are carefully managed to ensure the highest standards of welfare, conservation and education.

How to win a case Audrey Wilkinson Hunter Valley wine

Please note: this prize draw is now closed.

Comment below and tell us which Aussie animal you’d like to see in its native homeland down under and why.

A winner will be chosen in early December 2022.
The competition closes on 30 November 2022.

Please note: by commenting below and entering the prize draw you consent to your email address being shared with Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia who will contact you on one occasion with more information about their offerings.

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137 Responses

  1. I’d love to see a platypus in the wild.
    Years ago on my one visit to Australia I saw one in captivity, which was sad, so I’d love to see one living free.

  2. I’ve met Big Bubs the wombat at Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth, Australia. She is gorgeous. But I would love to meet a wild wombat too.

  3. I would love to see koalas and wombats. There are a couple of reasons why – firstly, I was so upset to see what happened to many animals in Australia in the awful fires that happened a couple of years ago. I felt so helpless and distraught and particularly remember the koalas as they were given a lot of publicity on UK TV – the images remain with me to this day. My nephew, who lives in Melbourne, shared a reliable link on FB to make donations to help the recovery programme and I felt that was one way I could help.
    The second reason is because of a TV programme that used to come on Children’s TV way back in the 60s called Tingha and Tucker, Koala Bear puppets, who appeared with their friends Willy the Wombat, Kiki the Kangaroo and Katie the Kookaburra. The presenter was known as Aunty’s Jean. I adored that programme as a child and all these years later still think of the characters very fondly.

  4. I have a soft spot for the Kookaburra. First as a result of the song, learned as a Girl Guide and sung with great enthusiasm at camp fires. Then the first time I saw the bird itself, during a trip to Australia. We were camping out in the bush and, apart from their song, what endeared the birds to me was the fact that they catch snakes and keep their numbers under control. Snakes are NOT my favourite Aussie creature!

  5. Wouldn’t it be great to meet a Koala? Firstly because they look so cute and cuddly, almost like a teddy bear. But also because they are just such “Zen” animals – they always look totally chilled out and content. What’s their secret? Can you learn it by gently gazing into its eyes and hoping that the solutions will suddenly pop into your mind?

  6. In the zoo on the Hamilton Islands we saw a wombat which we fell inlove with. Would love to see one in the wild.

  7. My friend in Perth sent me a photo of kangaroos on the beach at Lucky Bay, so I’d like to be lucky and see them there too one day!

  8. A koala . My Australian family tell me that they are now an endangered species which is so sad and of concern. When I was a little girl ( late fifties) my Aunt went out to Australia on the £10 deal and, after two years, brought me back a koala muff which I have to this day.

  9. I’ve fond memories of cuddling a wombat when I was young – so think I’d like to go back in time and do that again!

  10. I’d like to see a Numbat
    The likes of which you’d wonder at..,
    It’s pointy little nose
    So delightful in repose
    it swaggers through the bush
    Tail high and totally unrushed.
    An exquisite little creature
    Who would surely want to meetcha!

  11. I don’t think I have ever seen a platypus so that is what I would love to come across. It looks really strange with its duck bill and webbed feet. Apparently, it can sleep for 14 hours a day and live for 17 years! Their pelts are both warm and waterproof, so I imagine early settlers used to hunt them although they would have had to watch out for the venom which it delivered from a spur on its heel! They are not very big so it would have taken a number of pelts to make a cloak or coat! Platypuses are not an endangered species, but they are in the “Near Threatened” status. There are believed to be 300,000 left in the world and they are mainly in Australia. The only captive ones are in San Diego Zoo.

    I just might get to see one as my cousin lives in Eastern Australia where they are mostly found. So, Wagga here I come!

  12. As a child I loved saying “duck billed platypus” it always sounded so exotic and I thought I was very grown up that I had actually heard of one. It’s something that has never left me. However,, in my Silver years I still have never seen one in the flesh so that would be my choice. As an aside when my niece was a baby someone bought her a comfort toy and it was “Platypus”. She still has it and she’s 28 now!

  13. The stripey little Numbat
    Is something peculiar to wonder at

    His pointy little nose
    So delightful in repose

    You’ll have to be quick to see him
    as he scrapers through the bush ..

    Such a canny little creature
    Bet he could teachya …a thing or two

  14. For me it would have to be a kangaroo, would absolutely love to see them in their own habitat not a zoo.

  15. Koalas are wonderful and cuddliest animals. My wife and I had the opportunity to hold these cute creatures during our tour of the east coats of Australia during January 2020, this also coincided with a wine tour of the Morning Peninsula around the Melbourne area (would recommend this)

  16. I would love to see all of Australia s animals but the elusive platypus is on my wish list. All the footage of the platypus fascinates me.

  17. I would love to see a kuala with its babies because the looks so cute & be able to stroke one.
    Also l would love the chance to go to Australia & see my best friend & neighbour from 43 years as go do fingers crossed

  18. Just has to be the Koala bear, especially after seeing them during those awful fires it was heartbreaking.

  19. The duck billed platypus, so unusual and intriguing. Original specimens sent back to England were thought to be hoaxes, and you can see why.

  20. Has to be skippy the kangaroo would be so nice to see them in the outback and they are such a wondeful animal so skippy lets hope we win!

  21. The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby is now endangered and I would be honoured to meet and make friends with such a beautiful creature. Definitely my first choice although with the many animals and species of birds that Australia has I would have a fantastic time meeting as many as I possibly could.

  22. I would love to meet the now endangered brightly coloured Swift Parrot. This parrot flies to Tasmania from the Australian mainland in Spring to nest and feed on flowering Tasmanian Blue gums. As I am lucky enough to be Mum to a couple of parrots myself and with the surname Swift this would be my ideal meet and greet.

  23. It has to be a Wombat, they are adorable and even the name conjures up a cuddly toy like animal! There is nothing else like it.

  24. I would love to see a Koala was heartbreaking to hear how many died in bush fires and it must have been horrendous for the firefighters (so brave) and the rescue teams.

  25. I know my choice is a bit obvious, a cliché if you like, but the Aussie animal I would most like to see in its native habitat is the koala, which is neither cuddly nor a bear. Their natural habitat is fast disappearing due to the loss of their food source – eucalyptus trees – so I would like to see some in what is left of their native homeland before the only ones remaining are those in zoos.

  26. I remember seeing a boxing kangaroo in a circus when I was young, fighting challengers from the audience, but would love to see one in its natural surroundings. Koalas also fascinate me as they look so cuddly.

  27. I’d love to see a koala as my auntie who emigrated to Australia in 1970 sent me a toy koala for my 9th birthday in 1971 and it seemed such a strange looking ‘bear’.

  28. It has to be the duck-billed platypus doesn’t it? A creature so strange, alien and unique to Australia that I would happily cross half the world to observe its plashy progress through the creeks and billabongs of the land of Oz.

  29. Koalas – There is less than 60,000 Koalas remaining in Australia today and it could be as low as 33,000. So I would love to see them before they disappear completely

  30. Kangaroo every time, very graceful and they look so proud when they are hopping around. Skippy was one of my favourite programmes when I was a little girl and it’s something that stays with you forever.

  31. Duck billed platypus because it is one of the few Aussie animals I have not seen as a living animal

  32. There are many wonderful animals in Australia, but I would love to see a Koala because they are such beautiful animals, very cuddly and affectionate.

  33. A kangaroo since they are so iconic for Australia. They look so cute but can be really agressive if you get too close especially when they got young ones to protect so would just have to observe from a distance 🙂

  34. Would love to see a koala in its natural habitat but would also like to see a duck-billed platypus. I have a pen& ink drawing of one, given to me by a local artist, on my travels in Tasmania over 30 years ago

  35. The koalas as they were almost wiped out in manynplace during all the fires. Also my goddaughter and her hubbynand 3 children live near Melbourne so we could combine it was th visiting them as I have only seen them twice in 8 years when they visited the uk.

  36. Hard to choose but I think my favourite would be the duck-billed platypus. I was given a toy one 50+ years ago by a family friend who visited Australia and am fascinated by them.

  37. Love koalas but would love to see all the different parrots and parakeets of Australia

  38. It’s just got to be the Koala! The photos and videos of injured Koalas during the firestorms earlier this year must resonate with anyone who watched them; I’m glad the rescuers efforts were rewarded with so many saved.

  39. I’d love to see a Platypus – such and amazing amalgam of an animal – got to be seen to be believed

  40. A QUOKKA ….so cute and they smile 😀 Related to a wallaby/kangaroo…. Would love to see them in their natural habitat in Australia! ( Even the name is great & one of the best Scrabble words too ! ) What’s not to love ???

  41. AS Australia has some of the most poisonous snakes in the world I would love to see some as I have a love hate relationship with snakes. Hopefully not in the wild, it would have to be at Steve Irwins zoo near Brisbane.

  42. A kangaroo. Having toured Australia during our ‘Round the World’ adventure 20 years ago we saw many kangaroos from the comfort of our coach so the opportunity to get up close would be amazing.

  43. I would love to see many native aussie animals in their native homeland including the koala which I recall treasuring, as a youngster, a lovely koala brooch which someone bought me as a present. It felt like my adopted pet.

  44. I love robins. To see scarlet robins in their natural habitat would be wonderful. A British Christmas card icon any time of the year. Love it.

  45. We’d very much like to see koalas in the wild, having seen them in zoos in England and in Sydney. A lot of work went into saving them from the forest fires and we’d love to see and find out more about how that on-going work has been able to restore them to natural habitats.

  46. Meerkat and lemurs, mostly because I’m fascinated by how they would actually look and behave when I’m up close. I find small hairy animals so cute.

  47. I would love to meet a koala bear, because as an only child aged about 6, after dad had died, Mum used to go visit her friend, who had 2 daughters, the youngest of which, aged about 8, used to read me stories from her book called Kandie, who was a Koala. Eventually she even gave me the book because I loved the Koala named Kandie so much. I have not ever met a real kandie and it would mean so much if I could. Thankyou for listening.

  48. It’s got to be the laughing Kookaburra – who doesn’t the recall the song we learnt at school?

    “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree ….”

  49. Simple a Kookaburra, only in Australia could you have a bird such as this. There so very special 🙂

  50. I would love to see an enormous flock of budgerigars – it must be such a wonderful colourful sight, as they fly in to drink at a pool or trough, with that iconic, atmospheric twittering.

  51. Thankfully I spent some time in Australia nearly 30 years ago and saw lots of native animals including kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, snakes, red back spiders and kookaburra. The one scary one I didn’t get a chance to see was the Cassowary.

  52. I’d like to see a big, red kangaroo! So Aussie! So different! These animals epitomise the indigenous, Australian, wildlife to me.

  53. For this I had to stop a
    And think about it proper
    Cos what I’d really like to see
    I wanna see a Quokka.
    They really are amazing creatures
    With some rather peculiar features
    I wanna get up close to see them smile
    The happiest animal in the world by a mile.

  54. Would be an awesome experience to witness kangaroos in their native habitat very aweinspiring unbelievable experience to share also with friend or family

  55. A little Numbat, not a Wombat but a Numbat.
    A dainty creature with a cute pointy nose, short hair with tiger like stripes and a short tail that swings as it walks. I’ve seen them occasionaly on wildlife programmes and find them fascinating . I’d love to see how smooth that beautiful hair is and give one a cuddle

  56. A wombat, fell in love with wombats watching a children’s TV show years ago. That was a puppet called Willie, would love to see a real one finally!

  57. I’d love to see an orange bellied parrot, they are really rare in Australia and on the list of endangered species.
    It would be just fabulous to have my paints on hand and capture the vibrancy of this beautiful cresture

  58. Well, that’s a tough one. Australia has so many animals that I’d love to see from the cassowary to the koala, but there’s a bird I’ve wanted to see and hear ever since I saw Maggie Fitzgibbon on stage in London way, way back in the 60s. She sang a song then about the laughing Kookaburra and although I know the bird doesn’t actually laugh, I tried to find it, but without success, on my visits downunder. So, yes, let me see and hear the Kookaburra and remember the late, very talented Maggie Fitzgibbon, who brightened up the London stage in the days when we had to rely on USA productions while we waited for our own musical talent to burst forth and blossom.

  59. I just love the Mistletoebird. They are so cute and so colourful. When I see a robin, it reminds of the Mistletoebird.

  60. I’ve always loved Koalas for as long as I can remember but have yet to see one in the flesh. I long to hold one and cuddle it though I’ve been told they are quite hard and rough and not as cuddly as they look.

  61. Koalas as I have the small cuddly one my brother brought me back years ago and I would love to see them for myself, amongst many other things in Australia while I am there, thank you. (I don’t think they like wine though!)

  62. It has got to be the koala. They were on television a lot whilst growing up and I learnt so much about them. They are so peaceful and like most animals, don’t have a bad bone in their body. Seeing their plight during wildfires breaks my heart. They have got to preserved.

  63. I would like to be able to see the nocturnal Tasmanian Devil. Sadly these wonderful and unique species are on the verge of extinction. I would consider myself very fortunate to see these amazing creatures and hope they will grow in number.

  64. The one I most want to see is the Moloch horridus or Thorny Devil. It looks fierce, like a dragon, with spikey skin to deter predators. It is named after the Caananite god Moloch – a horrible king who drank the blood of human sacrifice. This tiny wee lizard has some amazing characteristics, such as camouflage, ( change colour to blend into their surrounds, appearing mostly grey, red, orange or yellow) and they have a “false head” on their shoulders (useful when being attacked by enemy). Far more interesting than my home-loving kitty cat!

  65. I choose the Koala because I was so moved to see these beautiful creatures cling on to life after their terrible suffering in the recent fires

  66. During a visit to Tasmania I would like to see a Thylacine (Commonly known as a Tasmanian Tiger or a Tasmanian Wolf) – but since they are extinct I would settle for a Tasmanian Devil, the largest carnivorous marsupial after the extinction of the Thylacine.

  67. Aren’t koalas one of the most representative animals of Australia, apart from kangaroos of course? Cuddlesome, incorporating the image of the eucalyptus tree, suffering from wildfires and floods, but coming back into the fold. No, the original, intriguing Duck Billed Platypus takes number one spot here!

  68. Definitely a koala, they need protection and support to survive and thrive.
    A wonderful unique animal.

  69. I think a wombat would be my animal of choice since seeing one cuddling a lady on TV, I was hooked on the cute creatures though would like to see them in their own habitat and the only chance is to travel to Oz which I doubt I’ll ever do now but I could dream through the bottom of a wine glass!

  70. I would love to see koalas in their natural habitat as they are so cuddly looking and seem to look after their young so well.

  71. I’d love to meet a Koala Bear😊 I never did when I was there 22years ago☹️ they are beautiful bears and would love to hold one and have my photograph taken!

  72. Flying fox….great to see at sunset before a lovely glass of wine! What could be better?

  73. I want to see a koala up a tree living free in the wild preferably munching on a eucalyptus leaf with a baby clinging to its front or back and a kangaroo hopping past. What could be better than that?

  74. Koalas as they remind me of a bear I had 70 years ago & now we both move at the same pace.

  75. I’d love to see kangaroos in their home environment as they are such an iconic part of Australia.

  76. a duckbilled platypus even the name is so amazing to see one alive and swimming would be amazing.

  77. A kangaroo – but not just any kangaroo, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. Growing up in the sixties and seventies, the TV programme featuring Sonny and his crime-fighting best friend, gave me a weekly glimpse into a totally different way of life and animals I’d never seen in Yorkshire! Having written this, I now realise that for the rest of the day I am going to be singing:
    ‘Skippy, Skippy,
    Skippy the bush kangaroo
    Skippy, Skippy
    Skippy, our friend ever true’.

  78. Now that is a difficult decision as there are so many wonderful animals from the cuddly Koala to Kanga with Roo and not forgetting wombats, possums and the Tasmanian devil … But what I really would like to see is the Duck Billed Platypus. They are such weird looking animals and I remember learning about them in Zoology 50 years ago as an example of a egg laying mammal. I’ve been intrigued by them ever since.

    1. Definitely the koala as it’s the cutest animal and would be cool to meet it in person 😀 🐨

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