Just half an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to around eighty of Victoria’s best small wineries. Wine country starts in outer suburbia north of the Maroondah Highway just before Lilydale (turn-offs are signposted). North of Lilydale, you can check out wineries (again, all signposted) along or near three routes – the Warburton Highway to the east, the Maroondah Highway to Healesville, and the Melba Highway, heading north past Yarra Glen. The handy booklet Wine Regions of Victoria is available at tourist information centres. If you intend to take a few swigs (and can’t find a teetotal driver) it’s best to join a winery tour.Read More
The renowned Healesville Sanctuary is a bushland zoo with more than two hundred species of Australian animals and a refuge for injured and orphaned animals, some of which are subsequently returned to the wild. It’s a fascinating place in a beautiful setting, with a stream running through park-like grounds, dense with gum trees and cool ferns, and 3km of walking tracks. The informative “meet the keeper” presentations are worth joining, especially the one featuring the birds of prey.