Only an hour out of Melbourne CBD you will find two adjoining areas of astounding
beauty, the Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges.
Between these two areas there are wineries, orchards, and market gardens rising
up to the Dandenongs where there are tall mountain ash trees, ferns, plants and beautiful waterfalls.
The Yarra Valley is famous worldwide for its wines.
Visiting such wineries as Ainsworth Estate Vineyards & Winery, Domaine Chandon
Vineyards & Winery and McWilliams Lilydale Vineyards & Winery you will find some world class wines.
And, the good thing is, you will not have to spend your life savings to sample some and take some home!
Whilst in the Yarra Valley a visit to Healesville Sanctuary is a great experience.
This sanctuary specialises in native animals and other than Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo,
it is the only place to have bred that wonderful creature, the platypus.
With over 78 acres of natural bushland there are many paths taking the visitor
past the habitats of dingoes, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats.
There are well over 200 species of native birds. A place well worth the visit, especially with (little) children.
Healesville is a great tourist spot. Healesville sits in the center of the food and wine region of the Yarra Valley. Its famous Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary contains over 200 species of animals native to Australia. There is plenty of Healesville accommodation to choose from, but given it is such a tourist-puller, make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
The Yarra Valley is one of those beautiful areas that gives you a holiday feeling as soon as you get there. Yarra Glen is a real little tourist town, situated in the heart of Yarra Valley. It is a great place to go for a romantic weekend away or even for a bit of a longer holiday. In terms of accommodations, Yarra Glen provides a wide variety to pick the right place to stay .
There are many other places of interest to visit in the Yarra Valley such as the historic homesteads, orchards and trout and yabby farms.
Visiting the Dandenong Ranges will take you into lush green mountains where there
is spectacular scenery. The drive up there is beautiful in itself.
But while there, you can visit quaint craft shops and wonderful
little eateries in the towns of Olinda and Sassafras.
Accommodation is plentiful from camping facilities, country style, bed and breakfasts and motels.
If all the sightseeing is not enough you might like to try trout fishing, ballooning, golf, take a joy
flight from Lilydale or try archery at Launching Place.
For the more adventurous there are Tagalong Adventure Tours that include abseiling, canoeing and caving.
And of course no trip to this area would be complete without a ride on
"Puffing Billy", an old steam train that take you on a trip from Belgrave to Emerald
and back through some amazing forest areas.
Whilst visiting the Dandenong Ranges National Park and Sherbrooke Falls
you may be lucky enough to see lyre birds and other beautiful birds.
You can also visit the William Ricketts Sanctuary where you can see an
amazing collection of Aboriginal sculptures.
Located 44 kilometers east of Melbourne city, Olinda is a settlement that is located at the top of Mount Dandenong. It has become renowned for its scenic views and antiques, handicraft, and art galleries. Olinda is rich in culture as the Wurrundjeri people lived in this area during the past. Olinda is a real little tourist town, so there is plenty of accommodation to choose from.
Gardens of the Dandenongs
The Dandenongs have many beautiful gardens and National Rhododendron Gardens are a
sight to behold. Set on 40 hectares the gardens blend in with the mountain ash trees.
For water gardens you can't go past Alfred Nicolas Gardens with use of water features and
Tesselaars Tulip Farm is an amazing sight in spring.
Katandra Gardens hosts a diverse range of Australian native plants.
The Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges have so much to offer, be it the wineries, the gardens, the native fauna or just the adventure of the place.
such close proximity to Melbourne, it is no wonder that this area
attracts so many visitors all year round not only from Melbourne but from all
over Australia and the rest of the world.