If you enjoy bushwalking or just want to go for a gentle stroll, there are many walking tracks throughout the Dandenongs. Along the tracks are scenic views, native flora and fauna and waterfalls. There are designated tracks for all fitness levels and the cool mountain elevation affords spectacular panoramic views. There is abundant native birdlife, including crimson rosellas, kookaburras and the superb lyrebird. Discover the Olinda or Sherbrooke Falls or enjoy a picnic at the various picnic grounds. For the brave there is also the 1000 steps from Fern Tree Gully to One Tree Hill.
At Tour the Valley we do things differently to best suit you - we have no minimum numbers for our tours, you can create your own day out, and for those of you who are time poor, we offer half-day tours too, still ensuring you see all that YOU want to see. After more than 10 years, our local knowledge runs deep, so we can take you to all the regions best kept secrets: from the newest wineries, to the best boutique cellar doors, the most glorious gardens to delicious farm-gate producers. Add a Tour to your stay by contacting Tour the Valley on 03 5962 5940/0418 142 326. Tell them you are staying at a Valley Ranges Getaways property for extra special treatment!
A must see garden made at the top of The Dandenongs where a maze of stone walls and jewel like garden rooms are set within woodlands of magnificent and historic, cool climate trees. Some 20 garden compartments are threaded through glorious 80 year old European beech, magnolias, maples and a collection of Himalayan tree rhododendrons, all beautifully grown and a testament to the lush, moist soils of the Dandenongs. The garden is highlighted by glorious herbaceous borders which focus on two of the finest Japanese weeping maples to be seen anywhere in the world.
Get some Perspective & Escape the noise and pressures of the concrete jungle. Head out on a romantic drive and enjoy the stunning views over Melbourne. Get lost in the SkyHigh Maze, visit Percy The Possum’s House, the Australiana Tree and Giant’s Chair. Enjoy the unparalleled vista from the SkyHigh Bistro or fire up a public barbecue, spread a rug and picnic on the elevated viewing terrace. Take a leisurely walk through the gardens and visit our special Secret Garden.
Enjoy a self-guided tour, strolling through 40 hectares of scenic botanic gardens or a picnic by the lake and take in stunning views of the Australian Alps. Photograph the native birdlife and brilliant floral scenery. During the Spring Floral Festival held annually from August to November visitors can enjoy a series of undercover floral displays, including the largest undercover display of daffodils in the Southern Hemisphere. The garden has a gatehouse, gazebos, grassed picnic areas and toilet facilities for people with limited mobility.
Walking amongst the objects shelved and arranged in Mangana feels like a journey through the old-world. Sourced from India, France, The Americas, and other remote pockets, each piece has been carefully selected for its beauty, charm and timelessness. The range features scientific and maritime instruments, leadlight lamps, sheepskin footwear, Pre-Raphaelite prints, high-quality furniture reproductions, jewellery, and other quality-crafted objects—an exclusive collection that has evolved over Mangana’s thirty-year heritage. It’s a wonderful place to bring international visitors, to discover useful objects you never knew existed, to speak to our knowledgeable staff, and to discover a fascinating object to add style and interest to your home.
Designed to take advantage of the steep slopes, the terraced gardens of Pirianda are distinctive for their combination of botanically important trees, shrubs and perennials with an over storey of large blackwoods and mountain ash towering over the natural fern gullies. The garden is particularly beautiful in autumn when the trees change colour to the many hues of orange, red and yellow. Enjoy magnificent views and tranquil walks, bird watching, photography and picnicking on the lawns at Pirianda Gardens.
One of the hills most famous attractions, step into another world at The Cuckoo. Decorated with the charm of a Bavarian chalet, The Cuckoo is a 400 seat licensed restaurant serving an abundance of food in a traditional smorgasbord with an amazing range of cakes and pastries made fresh daily. Enjoy live entertainment daily and our famous Floor Show including the slap dance and yodeling equal to any in Switzerland or Bavaria. Always fun, always welcoming, with first class friendly service!
Situated in a ferny glade in the Dandenongs, William Ricketts Sanctuary is a place of beauty and tranquillity, due both to the natural setting and the mystical sculptures half hidden among ferns along the pathways. It is a place for quiet reflection and for contemplation of the essence of the vision of William Ricketts. The winding paths and rock sculptures reflect a spirit of place expressed through one man’s dream. Deeply felt connections to the earthly mother and the spirit of the land are explored in 92 ceramic sculptures of people and animals which merge with the natural surroundings.
Inspired by Agatha Christie’s delightful character, Miss Marples Tea Room is a gallery of Miss Marple memorabilia. Styled on the local tea room in the quaint old English village of St. Mary Mead which was the gathering place for all the local Miss Marple identities. It was a hotbed of gossip, and to anyone of an enquiring mind, like Miss Marple, it was a constant source of useful information. Enjoy a traditional menu and of course scones with jam and one of the range of teas.
Burnham Beeches, headed up by renowned restauranteur Shannon Bennett, is on it’s way to becoming the world’s first complete gourmet retreat, harnessed by nature and complemented by human understanding. The state-of-the-art Burnham Bakery and the adjoining Piggery Café are both in full swing and in time, Australia’s longest chicken run will be built plus a 16-cow automated dairy, along with the steakhouse, microbrewery and piece de resistance, the European-style food/hospitality/residential hub that aims to be Australia’s first six-star luxury retreat.
Established in 1929 as part of the historic Burnham Beeches Estate, Alfred Nicholas Gardens has extensive water features with waterfalls and an ornamental lake. The many linking paths through this garden take you beneath a canopy of awesome Mountain Ash Trees. Walk through shady trees down to the picturesque lake, and picnic by the quaint boathouse. In spring, view the flowering azaleas, cherry trees and viburnum. Popular for walks, picnics and birdwatching by the lake. Walks are on gravel requiring a degree of fitness.
This is one of our favourite local markets with over 60 stalls of locally produced, homemade, handmade and homegrown crafts and produce in an outdoor market setting. This is a vibrant country market with hand made and home crafted goods including jewellery, plants, wood crafts and delicious food. Enjoy lunch or just a coffee with a range of choice from the various food stalls. There are markets on most weekends from fresh produce to arts and crafts. See the Villages website for a list of markets in the region.
Trees Adventure is a new, exhilarating eco-adventure in the Dandenongs. It comprises five tree-top obstacle and flying fox courses that weave through the sublime canopy of Glen Harrow heritage gardens. Soar through the forest on an array of flying foxes and take on a series of thrilling challenges. Adventurers move between platforms between 2 and 12 metres in height, across a series of imaginative obstacles. There are easy courses for those scared of heights to ‘black runs’ for thrill seekers.
Come for a ride from Belgrave to Gembrook and experience Australia’s favourite steam train, one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. Built to serve at the turn of the century it now winds through the beautiful Dandenong Ranges and is a great day out. Puffing Billy Railway is now a major tourist attraction and operates every day except Christmas Day, thanks to the tireless efforts of more than 900 dedicated volunteers.
With a total of 8 screens, including an outdoor cinema that operates December - March every year, Cameo Cinemas offer a mix of mainstream, blockbuster and quality art-house movies for discerning audiences. Our main auditorium boasts 309 seats in a classic 1930's cinema. Over summer, the Cameo Outdoor Cinema screens first release films amidst the picturesque surrounds of the Dandenong Ranges.
Burrinja is a vibrant community cultural centre that encompasses arts activities and events, Indigenous gallery, collection and cultural education, contemporary arts gallery, performing arts, artist studios, live music, workshops and café. Burrinja’s function, purpose and programming are built on a multi-element vision that seeks to enable and encourage experiential and extended programs that integrate arts, performance, education and community. It aims to program holistically, engaging multiple art practices and cultural activities within the region.
Have you ever wondered how the pioneers of the Yarra Valley lived a 100 or more years ago? Take a trip back in time, to Mont De Lancey and an authentic recreation of pioneer life that will engage and entertain you and your family. Wandin's earliest brick homestead and its gardens have been fully restored and you can even meet some of the descendants of the pioneer families who will bring local history alive as you tour this award-winning heritage attraction in the beautiful Yarra Valley.
Spend a fantastic day with farmer Len or his son Cameron. Experience the joy of picking and eating some of the very best stonefruit the area has to offer! Freshly picked fruit is available every day and during daily Fruit Tasting Tractor Tours, U Pick is also available. We have fruit available every day of the year and the types of fruit depend on the season. Your farm experience will include all aspects of fruit growing, picking, packing, handling and growing methods and of course eating as much of our fabulous fruit as you can. You can also take some home with you. There are also yabbies in the dam (fresh water crayfish) if you wish you may catch a few.
From small beginnings, over the years the Lavendar Farm has gradually expanded & now not only has over 10,000 lavender plants but caters for Tourists from around the world. The lavender grown on the farm is used both for culinary uses in cooking and for craft & household purposes. The lavender is harvested by hand using a traditional sickle. The harvested bunches are then brought to the Drying Shed where they are hung to dry before being stripped on the stripping machine. The stripped lavender is then sifted three times to remove unwanted leaves, sticks & dust. This is a very busy period & a great time to visit the lavender farm from November to early February.
There are two parts to our dairy - the cheese factory and our cheese shop. The cheese factory uses the freshest cows milk provided by the neighbouring dairy farms and goats milk delivered regularly from the Gippsland region where the natural environment and pastures are more favourable for farming goats. The majority of our cheeses are fresh and soft in characteristic, made in distinctly Italian and French styles; however our mature cheeses have become an important part of our production and range. All the handmade Farmhouse Cheeses are available for tasting and purchase in the store alongside a range of carefully selected regional produce and local wines.
Take a trip to the picturesque Yarra Valley where this stunning architect designed Chocolaterie is a sweet feast for the senses. They welcome you with free chocolate tastings, displays of thousands of premium chocolates and European chocolatiers at work handcrafting our creations. Delight in the experience of tasting, seeing and indulging in quality products in our spectacular showroom and café nestled amongst sweeping valley vistas. Ice creams, decadent sweet treats and a light lunch await in our café while our expansive lawns, orchard and sculptures are the perfect place for children to play and explore.
Healesville Sanctuary is one of Australia’s most loved tourist attractions and the best place in Victoria to see and interact with native Australian wildlife. The Sanctuary is committed to fighting wildlife extinction and offers visitors the opportunity to come close up to unique Australian animals in a stunning bushland setting. Each day, we offer opportunities to hear our expert keepers talk about the animals in their care and the conservation work being done for various species.
With an enviable reputation as one of the world's great food and wine regions, you'll discover cafes and restaurants, art galleries, markets, nature walks, bustling villages and a multitude of attractions scattered throughout the Yarra Valley region. Drive down one of the three key touring routes, the Melba, Maroondah and Warburton Highways and begin a tour of discovery. Join an organised tour to get the best cellar door experience as the winemakers love you to talk about their wines and the winemaking process while you taste the day away.
TarraWarra Museum of Art is one of the cultural jewels in the Yarra Valley providing visitors with a relaxing and enjoyable experience comprising of both stunning architecture and a wealth of modern and contemporary art to absorb. It is the first privately funded, significant public visual arts museum to be set up under the Australian Government’s philanthropic measures announced in March 1999. TWMA operates as a not-for-proit institution, with a charter to display Australian art from the second half of the twentieth century to the present day.
The best way to see the Yarra Valley. Let the breeze usher you in a hot air balloon along corridors of grape vines and over the Yarra River as you take in breathtaking views of mountains that surround the spectacular valley. Our Pilots live in the Yarra Valley so what better way to learn about the region than seeing it from a birds eye view! With extensive knowledge from the pilots and crew, who live and breathe hot air ballooning, you will experience the beauty of the Yarra Valley like never before!