Published 11 September 2019
Football not your thing? That’s fine. It’s still a great reason for a long weekend and there’s so many ways to enjoy a Yarra Valley or Dandenong Ranges escape, just one hour from Melbourne.
Three days to eat, play and stay without a hint of the oval red ball!
1. Do an art gallery crawl (and do lunch)
There are so many awe-inspiring exhibitions on at the moment. And if you’re clever enough you can combine your visit with a delicious lunch at some of these galleries!
- TarraWarra Museum of Art - The Archibald Prize, a not to be missed national exhibition (where lunch is also art)
- YAVA Art Gallery in Healesville - the Vincent Fantauzzo Face to Face exhibition – just happens to be right next to the Healesville Hotel – which is code for lunch!
- Stonehouse Gallery in Warrandyte – set in an historical chapel, this diverse collection of handcrafted treasures will have your debit card out in no time.
- Manningham Art Gallery – contemporary, local and fun. This gallery recognises the region's rich history in pottery.
- Heide Museum of Modern Art – art, culture and thought provoking beauty plus lunch! Don’t forget to wander the sculpture garden.
2. Walk on the wild side
Run wild in the great outdoors and take in the treats of nature. It’s worth leaving the city for!
- Nature and nature - there are so many trails to walk, run, wander or dash. See our walks and trails on our website for the perfect ‘nurture’ walk. This makes everything better.
- Cherry Blossom Festival – Big bountiful blossom – bring your camera for perfect pictures and enjoy entertainment, food and cherry lovin’ drinks.
- Bushland Explorers at Healesville Sanctuary – winter is done and it’s time to get out of hibernation mode. Curiosity, magic and giant butterflies for the whole family.
- Take a walk by the Yarra River Reserve in Warrandyte – River walks for all abilities. Stroll along the banks, and gulp in the bucket loads of fresh air - completley free of charge!
3. Tasty testing
You simply cannot come to the Yarra Valley and not attempt this trilogy of taste sensations
- The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery – taste the chocolate, eat the chocolate, buy the chocolate to take home (or enjoy a delicious choccy desert in the café)
- Taste a Gin paddle at Four Pillars Gin – with four different styles of gin (and mixer) you can discover the very best version of your ‘gin’ self. Learn how gin is made and explore the botanicals that make gin unique.
- A cheese platter or tasting at the Yarra Valley Dairy – their award-winning range will be a winner with you too.
4. Take the kids for a day of flat out fun
Fun parks are for everyone. Take the kids (and take yourself) and enjoy some family bonding time that may just have you squealing.
- Funfields Theme Park - So much to do in just one day, and if the suns out have a swim and splash too!
- Gumbaya Park - four worlds to explor...and rides galore.
- Kinglake Forest Adventures - get up high on the ropes course, or down low on the mountbike trail.
- SkyHigh on Mt Dandenong - children's festival with free activites all school holidays.
- Other great play parks can be found throughout the region. Try Federation Playspace in Warrandyte, Eltham North Adventure Playground, the brand new Olinda Playspace and the Yarra Glen Playpark.
5. Learn something new
School’s out but learning is always cool and this long weekend is an opportunity to try something completely new.
- Bottle your fruit picks at Rayner’s Orchards – pick the fruit you love and preserve it for your home pantry.
- Make your own Paperweight at Healesville Glass Blowing
- Wine masterclasses and tasting paddles can be enjoyed at more than 90 cellar doors across the region. The cellar door is your number one source for information about all things wine, and you might even find yourself learning direct from the winemaker!
What football game?