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Experience The Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley Countryside
The Yarra Valley Countryside
Under an hour's drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is perfect for a getaway to recharge the batteries and enjoy breathtaking scenery. There is so much to do in this beautiful region of Victoria, also known as one of the worlds great wine growing regions, and famous for its pinot noir and sparkling champagne.

There are plenty of locals who also flock to this area to enjoy a weekend away. The blue ranges, massive trees, rivers and valleys all combine to create an irresistible escape from the frantic city life. Set aside at least a minimum of two days here to take in the scenery and enjoy the countryside. There are pretty towns nestled in the rolling hills of the valley waiting to be explored, and so many fine foods and wines to sample.

This is an ideal campervan hire Victoria destination, with so many routes to take and incredible campsites. Some of the best camping spots in this region can be found at Kinglake National Park, Cathedral Ranges State Park and the Yarra Ranges National Park. The best towns to camp here are Warburton and Marysville, which are an ideal base to visit the surrounding attractions.

Follow the Mt Dandenong Tourist Road and you will arrive at one of the most sought after regions in Victoria, the Dandenong Ranges. Ideal for a weekend retreat, the majestic forests, amazing gardens and panoramic views of the Yarra Valley are the most distinct drawcards for tourists. Home of the Rhododendron, the gardens go on and on and will lead you to art galleries and cosy cafés. There is even a local Puffing Billy which will take you through old villages and through incredible scenery. There are kilometres of walking tracks also featuring the Thousand Steps and The Sherbrooke Forest.

Further down the range is the town of Healesville, which is known for its extensive Sanctuary wildlife park. It is home to a myriad of birdlife, and boasts over 200 species of animals such as the platypus, Tasmanian devil, dingos, echidnas, koalas, emus and wombats. There is also a fascinating 'Birds of Prey' presentation that will give you a greater insight into the peregrine falcon and the wedge tailed eagle. Healesville is also known for its yearly Grape Grazing Festival and Yarra Valley Tourist Railway.

Another welcoming town is Yarra Glen which is located in the heart of the Valley and hosts many award winning wineries. There is plenty to do here, such as walk the eighteen kilometre Sugarloaf Reservoir Park, relax at the Immerse Spa and Winery or even enjoy a balloon flight over the valley to enjoy the sunrise.

Not far away is Marysville. This is a beautiful town also known as the gateway to Lake Mountain. It comes alive in every season, especially spring with its picturesque cottage gardens and oak trees lining the streets, and winter when the snowfields beckon avid skiers to enjoy the slopes. Steavenson Falls is a magnificent attraction, known as one of the highest waterfalls in Victoria. Lady Talbot Drive is perfect for a picnic lunch surrounded by eucalyptus forest followed by a rainforest walk. The Cumberland Scenic Reserve features the tallest tree known in Victoria, known as 'The Big Tree', and the Cora Lynn Falls are also worth a visit.

Warburton is one of the most attractive towns in the entire valley. It is also known as a health retreat and welcoming for all desiring a complete break from the pressures of life. With forests, rivers, wineries and plenty of activities and attractions, make sure this is on your list of places to see.

The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail is popular for cycling or walking enthusiasts, and there is a shorter walk to Lala falls. The Mt Donna Buang Rainforest Gallery offers a fantastic treetop skywalk which is a great way for all ages to see the beautiful rainforest. There is even a night tour to the Upper Yarra Reservoir Park. There are plenty of walks which begin close to town and into the Mountain Ash forests. You will certainly leave here feeling fit and rejuvenated.

For some it would be enough to enjoy the views of the sun setting accompanied with a glass of local wine, browsing the boutiques and enjoying a visit to the wildlife sanctuary. Others seeking outdoor adventure will love the treetop skywalk, cross country skiing at Lake Mountain or abundance of cycling and bushwalking tracks. For whoever is blessed to visit this abundant region, the outcome is still the same. They will return home relaxed and more than likely planning a return campervan hire trip.

Jenny Brewer 2007

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