Finding Yourself in Healesville

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WIN THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE! Find yourself in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges with an ultimate weekend getaway for two people. We’ll be flying you direct by helicopter with Microflite from Melbourne CBD to the Yarra Valley, where you’ll be staying for two nights in private luxury.

Start your first full day with a sunrise balloon flight with Global Ballooning Australia, then explore the spectacular Dandenong Ranges.

You’ll get to explore the wineries, farm gates and breweries on an exclusive tour with Yarra Valley Transfers, lunch at TarraWarra Estate before being flown back to Melbourne by Microflite helicopter.

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Melbourne is a great place to live. There are so many things to do in this city – live music, sport, festivals, exceptional food, arts and culture. Between work, family and our social lives, we find ourselves rushing from one place to another. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges for a two-day mini-break to explore this diverse region on our doorstep. During our stay we have enjoyed some of the region’s finest wines, lost ourselves in the beauty of the Cool Climate Garden Trail and ate the best gelato in the state.  Every encounter exposed us to new and old experiences, which helped us relax and fall for the region again.  We particularly fell in love with Healesville all over again, a township of amazing natural beauty and access to exquisite foodie experiences; a rare event in many regional towns. 

Healesville  seems to be the  heart and soul of the Yarra Valley and an excellent place to base yourself.

Here are tips for a visit to Healesville.

We stayed in boutique accommodation at Botanica Editions, a soothing and relaxing contemporary holiday house specifically designed to engage the five senses. This is the perfect place for people looking for a rejuvenating and sensory escape. Botanica Editions is remodelled to the highest standards.  We loved that we were enveloped by nature from the moment we stepped into the place. The owners have left nothing to chance; the chic kitchen has everything you could want, but why cook when you can head into Healesville for a delicious meal. The house features a sliding glass door which opens out into a relaxed outdoor/indoor area.  If you are so inclined you can visit the garden and harvest herbs and seasonal produce or just sit and enjoy the port wine magnolias, honeysuckles and the aroma of French tarragon. The birds serenaded us awake in the mornings, we heard kookaburras and blue wrens, and appreciated the orchestra of frogs in the billabong. 

 

If you really want to unwind, let someone else do the driving and contact YV Transfers. They’ll pick you up from Melbourne and deliver you anywhere in the Yarra Valley. Their operators are very experienced and are happy to tailor tours to suit your interest. We had a great day with Orson who owns YV transfers, he knows everyone and was able to share some of his favourite local spots. We had a great time visiting wineries on the James Halliday Handpicked Yarra Valley trail.

The main street of Healesville has a fantastic mix of eclectic shops, cafes and food stores. You can easily spend the afternoon exploring the street. We were drawn into Morris Brown a converted spare parts store filled with a fantastic assortment of home and gift wares, new and vintage clothing and ways to pamper yourself in the bath. The place is wonderfully bespoke.

Crumbz Craft is the place to activate your creativity. The shop is filled with books, patchwork and embroidery supplies and craft kits.  The owners are passionate about supporting the local economy and view their classes as a way of continuing the tradition of introducing craft to new generations. What better way to spend a few hours on your weekend away than enrolling in a class and getting your craft on. 

Watching a silversmith ply their trade is not something you can do everyday. We loved the quality of the bespoke pieces at Silvermist Studio. The gallery is located in the heart of Healesville and offers an exquisite array of jewellery, glass designs and paintings. Tim Peel established the gallery because he has a dream every Australian should be able to afford original art. 

While Tim was working on a wedding ring, he looked up at us and said, "We are creating the tales and histories of families' futures."  His work and passion for his craft was captivating.

You don’t have to leave Healesville to sample the delicious wine and food. Here is a list of our favourite places to visit.

Sweet Olive is a stunning delicatessen and wine bar. You’ll find an impressive selection of cured meats, specialty cheeses, Italian pastas, local wines and lunch specials. You can even take your time here and enjoy local wine and tapas. 

The World Loves Melbourne fell in love with the gelato at Gelaperia. The store’s owner having learned his trade in Florence, Davydd Marrie brings with him a high-level of artistry to gelato and sorbetto making. We will be coming back here for a day trip, the gelato was that good. 

For a bit of nostalgia stop into YV Refreshments café, its located in the decommissioned Healesville railway station. By day you can enjoy sweets, smoothies and a killer sausage roll. By night, if you plan your trip right you could enjoy one of their hugely popular dumpling nights. 

Kitchen & Butcher offer fresh produce in overdrive. You will want to load-up and bring goodies home. The stock is curated by Sophie Classon, who spent 11 years working at Richmond Hill Larder before making a change to Healesville. Come here for an enticing array of cheeses and antipasto selections, smoked salmon, trout, slow roasts, pork and fennel sausages, grass fed Black Angus and their popular duck burgers. 

For dining, theHealesville Hotel is one of the best dining experiences in regional Victoria. It's worth a drive from Melbourne to stay and dine. Head chef Zoe Birch makes most things from scratch including sourdough bread, cultured butter and pickled vegetables. The kitchen draws on the inspiration of its own garden. The menu changes regularly to present the best product of the season. At the moment you can delight in Zoe’s house made pickles, cauliflower cheese croquettes, smoked fish pie, slow cooked pigs jowl and corn fed maltose duck breast.

The great thing about Healesville is the quality of everything. From food to wine, retail therapy, mountain hikes, cider and beer, or just time out in the great outdoors. It was great to be reminded of how much is on offer in the Yarra Valley and its comforting to know just how easy it is to get there.

Tags: Travel, Win