Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne, and peppered with tranquil settings, stunning scenery and panoramic views, the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges offer the ultimate break away from it all. Culturally diverse, the region is full of unique shopping opportunities, features exceptional restaurants, and is home to internationally-acclaimed wineries; all in all, everything for the perfect getaway destination.
1. Let loose and find time during your break for some good old-fashioned pampering. The region is home to luxury spas and day retreats, offering therapies with a mix of contemporary and ancient rituals. The Piaf Day Spa is an exclusive boutique spa situated in the Yarra Valley, found nestled among lush ferns. For a totally rejuvenating experience, breathe in the fresh mountain air while enjoying an essential chocolate massage or a vanilla cocoon treatment.
2. If you love fashion, especially with a bohemian feel, you’ll be in your element exploring the vintage emporiums and innovative designers in the region, with quirky craft and souvenir outlets completing the experience. Breathe in the heady fragrance wafting from the Warratina Lavender Farm, based at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, and treat yourself to a whole host of products made with the delightfully-scented plants.
3. The Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges is home to national gardens full of vibrantly coloured flowers, forests packed with the world’s tallest hard woods trees, and wild animals in their natural habitat. Why not view the dramatic scenery onboard Australia’s oldest steam railway, Puffing Billy? Soak up the tranquil and deeply spiritual essence of the William Rickets Sanctuary, which draws repeat visitors from far-flung places for its atmospheric surroundings and mystical sculptures.
4. Food and wine are a passion of the locals in the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges, and it shows. Incorporating seasonal produce that is fresh and locally grown, the diverse and impressive culinary delights available in the region are second to none. Visit Copperfields for a unique eating experience: they cleverly offer a venue that successfully combines exquisite fine dining with homely Devonshire teas, all under one roof.
5. The region possesses a strong cultural pulse, with outdoor music events featuring everything from jazz to classical. Creativity permeates the air, with iconic art-work on display in impressive galleries, and craft studios producing hand-made jewellery, sculptures and wood carvings. The Healesville Glass Blowing Studio allows you the privilege of watching talented artists create their stunning work.
Image Credit: Tourism Australia