Photo: View of some of the splendid vineyards
Come visit Yarra Valley. Renowned Australian wineries, wonderful hiking and bushwalking experiences and lush green forest scenery.
North East of Melbourne, about an hour’s drive lies the Yarra Valley, surrounded by the The Great Dividing Range and the Dandenongs.
Settlement in the early 1860’s makes Yarra Valley one of Australia’s oldest wine regions. This area has been winning international medals for its fine wines since 1889, and there are over 30 wineries.
Many have cellar doors where you can sample their vintage and some have restaurants to complete the food and wine trail experience.
Families will enjoy a visit to the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary. Home and treatment centre for injured native animals, many are released back to the wild while others from the more endangered species are encouraged to stay and breed.
The lush forests of The Great Dividing Range are filled with giant ferns predating dinosaurs, the tall trees making driving through the area an enjoyable and leisurely experience. There are waterfalls along the way and lots of places to just enjoy the scenery.
Melbourne’s answer to the Sydney Blue Mountains, the Dandenongs reach over 2,000 feet. Lush canopies envelop the Mountains due to the generous rainfall.
For the adventurous, be sure to explore at least one of the National Parks in the area, Ferntree Gully, Sherwood Forest and Doongalla Reserve.
There are numerous short and long hiking and bushwalking trails. Listen for the lyrebirds, skilled imitators of almost any sound.
At Belgrave, The Puffing Billy Steam Railway is another great family day. Ride the 25km journey on Australia’s oldest preserved railway all the way to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook.
You can enjoy a first class travel and dining experience on the Puffing Billy. Many of the wineries have excellent dining as well, offering you a chance to sample the freshest of local produce and of course their tasty wines.
There are numerous restaurants in the area, as the Yarra is known for its culinary excellence. Street café’s offer Australian as well as international fare.
Take an Epicurean Food and Wine tour and meet some of the people behind the wineries.
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There are quite a few hotels to choose from, from the budget to 5 star. Private apartments are also a great way to stay and of course there are plenty of motels. Also B&Bs, charming guesthouses and self-contained cottages. Regional travel packages are available.
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Photo: Golf at The Sebel Heritage
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