The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges region is perfect for a family day out or weekend away, with myriad attractions for kids and adults alike, and close enough to Melbourne to minimise the amount of "are we there yets".
Some of Victoria's biggest name attractions call Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges home, with Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy having entertained kids and their parents for generations.
The great outdoors
Stop at scenic lookouts for views of farmland and vines. Make a beeline to the forests and gardens and let the kids stretch their legs and run free on safe trails, and enjoy a family picnic surrounded by stunning flowers or towering mountain ash trees. Celebrate the snow season with delightful snow play at Lake Mountain, the closest snowfields to Melbourne.
Call into regional farms to purchase fresh produce and gourmet dairy treats, or let the kids pick their own berries and cherries.
Get up early and survey the region from the sky on spectacular early morning balloon rides.
Linger in the villages
Stay a while and come face-to-face with quirky native animals and friendly locals in welcoming towns and villages.
Soar above the tree tops at this eco-adventure paradise in the Dandenongs, with flying foxes and obstacle courses for the faint- and lion-hearted.
Watch for waking koalas and peek at a joey in a kangaroo's pouch, meet keepers or observe vets in the animal hospital, all in an Aussie bush setting.
All aboard for a ride on Australia's oldest steam railway, through thick forests and lush fern gullies, or travel first class for olden-times romance.
Rediscover Gulf Station, the Yarra Valley's Pioneering Working Farm. Come and meet the Clydesdales, a family of working horses, and Wilbur the...