Published 15 April 2020

We know these are strange days built for dreaming. A little rest, a little more reflection and a whole lot of relishing the day when we can all get out and resume our lives. 

Even if you don’t know the when, we can plan for the how! The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges will be ready and waiting for your return.

Bike maintenance 101

Give the cycles in your life a once over with that detail and service you’ve been meaning to do for ages. Your friends at Yarra Valley Cycles are offering home delivery and online purchasing for all parts and products (or call and speak to a real person), and contactless drop off and pickup (if you need an expert!).

Walks with a plan

If your normal fitness program has been interrupted, setting a training goal for post-lockdown will be the one thing getting you through. Take the time to plan a walk/trail run program with a mission! Start where you are and work up to tackle the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk 1000 Steps or Mt Donna Buang vertical climb. We even have a Walks eBook with more than 200 pages of graded walks in the region to help you build your stamina (coming soon!). Map Here.

Where to next for a cycling adventure

Now is the perfect time to plan an overnight cycle trip on one of the amazing trails in the region. Organise your camping gear and trial your packing system. Plan a route including the things you want to do along the way (wine tasting - check, amazing meals - check and more!) and where to camp. There are even friendly tour operators who will be delighted to help you make your cycle tour a reality – who needs Tuscany when you have the Yarra Valley!

Prepare for the next Armageddon

Suddenly we have all the time in the world, and all the fruits of the season to get serious about bottling and preserving. Many of the farmers and growers are offering bulk purchasing opportunities on just-picked local fruit and veg, and there are plenty of online resources to get you started. Ahh the satisfaction of opening the pantry to neat rows of beautiful preserves.  It’s potentially life changing!

Local couch surfing

Catch up on more than 1000 local stories by Yarra Ranges Life TV online. From a weekly mid-week news bulletin, to live music crosses to interviews and insights into the locals and businesses that make the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges so unique, the team at YRLife TV have free content streaming right to your couch.

Put yourself in the frame

Now is the perfect time to go through all the gorgeous images you took on your last trip(s) to the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges and create a photo book, or online digital album to share. Use #visityarravalley and #visitdandenongranges and we might be able to share them too! 

Cook like your favourite chef 

Not only can you source handpicked pantry supplies from the Yarra Valley (CLICK here) you can also extend your cooking repertoire with the help of some much loved foodie favourites. Seville Estate will send you a delicious dinner that you get to finish off with the help of curated recipe cards, and if sweet is your go-to then you can order recipe boxes from the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and make ‘the best’ brownies and more at home. Get the kids involved and you’ve ticked the homeschooling box too. And if it’s ANZAC biscuits you’re craving, we have the perfect recipe right here.

Great art to warm your heart

While you can take virtual tours of some amazing galleries around the world, you can also take a deep dive into the lives of the artists and galleries of the Yarra Valley in a whole new way. Check out TarraWarra Museum of Art’s digital content steam for Flashback Fridays, Makers Mondays and virtual tours of upcoming exhibitions.  At YAVA Artists Gallery and Hub there’s a fresh take on #studiosessions and classes to take at home. View art on the walls and buy online at Art at Linden Gate and watch the progress of artists in residence.

Read a book  - yes it’s that simple

Local authors, local history, local virtual book clubs. There are plenty of ways to fill your heart and mind with the written word. You can order books for home delivery from  Verso Books or see what your local library has on virtual loan. The Yarra Valley Writers Festival is a feast of words with a full day program online, and a range of virtual events to participate in with a stellar list of Australian authors and commentators.

Do a virtual tour to places you’ve never been before  

Interested in the secret life of penguins? Snow leopards make you smile? Watch the world of your favourite animals in real time with livestreaming from Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Plains Zoo. Or spend some time on Google 360 and see what you can find on a virtual ‘click’ cruise of the region. Intrepid exploring from your armchair.

Gumbuya World are livestreaming on Youtube here. Their cheeky Dingoes can now be seen from the comfort of your home on their  brand new LIVE CAM.   Get to know sisters Nara & Kiata (white), Mungi (black & tan), Tallarah (white) &  Yindi (tan)! 

That should keep you occupied for a bit!