Yarra Valley, Dandenongs and The Ranges - In this region full of beautiful villages,you can drive through tall mountain ash, stop at a winery for lunch or head up to the hills for some cross country skiing.
Dotted throughout the Dandenong Ranges there are quaint villages, including Olinda, Gembrook, Belgrave, Emerald and Sassafras, home to some of Melbourne’s best gardens and famous for its Devonshire cream teas.
The valley looks like a scenic postcard everywhere you look. Sleepy farms, national parks, rolling green hills and brilliant wineries make the Yarra Valley a rural wonderland, and yet all of it is less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne.
Australia’s premier wildlife park is situated in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Koalas, dingoes, kangaroos and the unique platypus are just a few of the 200 species of wildlife flourishing in this beautiful bushland environment. New is the Tassie Devil Playground, where visitors get close-up views of young Tasmanian Devils as they play and explore - a rare chance to see a creature that is threatened with extinction in its home state.
Amongst the other attractions there is the fabulous Australian Wildlife Health Centre, which provides an inside view of a real wildlife hospital including the emergency room, the operating theatre, diagnostic laboratories and rehabilitation areas. The Behind-the-Scenes Tour is an exclusive small group tour that reveals the day-to-day operations of the Sanctuary and provides access to off-limit areas such as the Reptile House, Food Preparation Room, Nocturnal House and Veterinary Centre.
The Yarra Valley is home to some of Victoria’s most famous wineries. The region is regarded as one of the world’s finest cool-climate wine districts, producing award-winning sparkling chardonnay and pinot noir from internationally renowned and boutique vineyards.
Wines can be sampled at more than 50 wineries that are open for cellardoor tastings year round. See more about Yarra Valley Wineries.
Besides the great wine, the Yarra Valley produces gourmet foods of the highest quality. Intimate cellardoor cafés, outstanding restaurants, fresh fruit farms and orchards, dairies and produce markets sit comfortably among the valley’s famous vineyards.
The task of discovering the Yarra Valley gourmet delights has been made easier by the popular Yarra Valley Regional Food Trail.
Bright blue signposts dotted throughout the landscape lead to more than 100 epicurean hideaways, from cheesemakers and trout farms to organic vegetable growers and orchards.
Linking the Yarra Valley with the mountain areas around Marysville is the road known as the Black Spur. Famous for its heady scenery of spectacular tall forests, the Black Spur winds its way up the Great Dividing Range, bordered by immense mountain ash trees.
Visit the rainforest gallery with its spectacular observation platform and rainforest walkway on the southern slopes of Mt Donna Buang. Take the scenic drive to the summit on Mt Donna Buang for snow play in winter and great views from the look out tower.
Enjoy cross-country skiing and tobogganing at Lake Mountain. Drive the world famous Black Spur between Healesville and Narbethong, and see luxuriant rainforest on the Beeches Walk on Lady Talbot Drive near Marysville.
Access: You can gain access to the park at Warburton, Marysville and Healesville. Nearest town or city: The 80km drive from Melbourne via the Maroondah or Warburton Highways takes between one and two hours. The park stretches from Healesville to Warburton and beyond to the headwaters of the Yarra River and north to Marysville. Some public bus transport is available. Distance: 80km drive from Melbourne Approximate drive time: 1 hour. Information Centre: To find out about the many walking trails and activities within the park contact:
Warburton Visitor Information Centre: Phone: +61 3 5966 5996
Healesville Information Centre: Phone: +61 3 5962 2600
Marysville Information Centre: Phone: +61 3 5963 4567
Every year, the entire region is home to an eclectic collection of festivals and events. From colourful community festivals with that country feel, to live outdoor music concerts featuring big name artists, to fast paced rallies that appeal to every motor enthusiast every motor enthusiast.
There really is something for everyone in the Yarra Valley or Dandenong Ranges, where the seasons often dictate the timing of events throughout the year.
Yarra Valley Winery Tours - Relax and enjoy the wineries of the Yarra Valley on daily small-group public tours, private tours or exclusive tours where you choose the destinations! Four to five tastings plus a gourmet lunch at a picturesque vineyard are included in all tours and pickup can be arranged from Melbourne CBD or the Yarra Valley.
The Australian Wine Tour Company is a wine tour specialist providing expert guided tours of Victoria’s stunning wineries. Join the daily, small-group Yarra Valley Tour, which includes tastings at four wineries, a delicious lunch, afternoon tasting platter and a glass of bubbly.
Or take an exclusive private tour for up to six people in a luxury vehicle to either the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula. Both public and private tours are hosted by real wine enthusiasts who can educate you about Victoria’s cool climate varietals.
Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty throughout the valley, on one of the many walking or cycling trails, from a hot air balloon drifting over the vines, or while teeing off on one of the scenic but challenging golf courses.
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