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

Silver Shadow arrives early morning in Melbourne, Australia.

This morning, 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.

Puffing Billy crosses a trestle.

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  • Hi Ralph

    A short time ago you asked for ideas for excursions in NZ ports. I live in Wellington NZ and so I could help you with Wellington. You may have already made your choice of course. However, if not let me know and I can make some suggestions.

    My biggest hope is the weather is kind. The Shadow’s last visit saw the most appaling weather known to man!

    I am actually booked on the Shadow myself in Alaska late May and I’m really looking forward to my first sailing on her.

    With kind regards


    PS I’m technically inept so I don’t know how to email you any other way! Hope this is ok

    • Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for the note. We are meeting someone who works with New Zealand’s official tourism entity when in Wellington. She reached out to us. I wish you a pleasant cruise on Shadow in Alaska. And that’s for the wishes for good weather for us! Best regards, Ralph


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