Melbourne’s favourite weekend playgrounds are just one hour from the city! World class wineries, glorious views, walking tracks by forest and streams, the home of “Puffing Billy”, the National Rhododendron Gardens, Healesville Sanctuary, arts, crafts, gardens, Devonshire teas and more. Immerse yourself in a region where tall trees and ancient mountain ranges of the Dandenong Ranges meet the vineyards and world class wineries of the Yarra Valley. An hour’s drive from Melbourne, you’ll find a timeless sanctuary in this place of beauty, where stylish restaurants, quality produce and boutique accommodation are in harmony with village life, open gardens and Australian wildlife in its natural habitat.
The Yarra Valley is recognised as one of the world’s great wine growing regions. Some 55 wineries offer cellar door tastings and sales. Many have restaurants serving gourmet food and fine local produce. You can take to the skies in a hot-air balloon before gently descending into a vineyard to enjoy a breakfast of sparkling wine. At the Healesville Sanctuary, you will find Australian wildlife such as dingos, kangaroos, wombats and the elusive platypus.
Parks, gardens, native fern forests and nature trails define Dandenongs and The Ranges. Climb aboard Australia’s oldest steam train, Puffing Billy, and travel through thick forests and lush fern-filled gullies. At William Ricketts Sanctuary wander amongst rocks and fern gardens dotted with clay sculptures of Aboriginal figures. In spring visit the region to see breathtaking displays of millions of tulips, freesias, daffodils, and rhododendrons. Look out for bird life at the Alfred Nicholas Gardens, home to a stunning blend of native and exotic trees, waterfalls and a picturesque lake.
This region is also richly endowed with some of the most beautiful natural countryside in Victoria. See towering trees, verdant valleys pristine rivers and beautiful snow covered mountains near Marysville and Warburton.