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Overview

Family activities

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'.

Big-name fun

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.

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Family activities

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Local produce

Buxton Trout & Salmon Farm

A visit to Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm is a great fun day out for the whole family. Young kids through to grandparents can all be thrilled by...

Skiing

Lake Mountain Alpine Resort

Lake Mountain is Melbourne's closest and most affordable alpine resort, offering a mountain of fun all year round. From June to September, Lake...

Parks & gardens

Hedgend Maze

Explore a beautiful 20 acres of stimulating, fun filled activities for all ages at Hedgend Maze, offering a creative environment that stimulates a...

Wildlife, zoos & farms

Healesville Sanctuary

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.

History & heritage

Puffing Billy Steam Railway

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.

History & heritage

Gulf Station

Gulf Station began in the 1840's as part of a 25,000 acre run known as the Gulf. The Bell family began their lives here in the late 1840's and the...

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Outdoor activities

Snowplay

Head off for premier cross-country skiing and snowplay just a stone's throw from Melbourne at the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges snowfields.

Nature and wildlife

Wildlife and zoos

Encounter curious Australian animals in regional national parks, or get up close to your favourite creatures at the famous Healesville Sanctuary.

Nature & wildlife

National parks and reserves

Gain perspective in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges' national and state parks, with their spellbinding fern glades and majestic trees.

Outdoor activities

Walking and hiking

It's easy to get active in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, with a range of tracks and trails to suit all abilities in parks and gardens.