Home to some of Victoria and Australia's best local produce and wine, with plenty of stunning scenery to boot, the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges should top the list of every travel-loving food fan.
The region around the Yarra River is at the heart of Victoria’s wine industry; world famous drops are produced across these fabled vineyards, and between the cellar doors and local restaurants, there’s no shortage of incredible food and drink on offer. Pair that with beautiful vistas, interesting attractions and plenty of adventure and you have all the makings of a trip of a lifetime.
Ready for a gastronomic roadtrip of gargantuan proportions? Pick up your Melbourne car hire and get ready to eat your way through the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges with our guide.
There’s no shortage of stunning landscapes at Wilsons Prom, and one of the best ways to take it all in is from the summit of Mount Oberon. Leave the comfort of your car rental at the foot of the mountain and get ready to climb – the hike takes roughly two hours and is suitable for most climbing abilities, with some steeper patches and bushwalking along the way. It’s worth the effort – from the viewing platform at the summit you can see and incredible vista, soaking in the striking contrast of land and sea.
The stunning Alfred Nicholas Gardens distil the beauty of the region into one place – wander through the paths and see mountain ash trees, flowering azaleas, cherry trees and viburnum all in full bloom. The soft waterfalls, lake and quaint boathouse only add to the garden’s appeal; it’s the perfect place to stop for a picnic packed full of local produce and enjoy the sounds of nature.
After migrating from Southern Italy to Australia, the De Bortoli family set up their first winery in the Riverina region of New South Wales in 1928. Today, De Bortoli is one of the most established names in the game, and the award-winning cool climate wines produced at their Yarra Valley winery attract visitors from all over the world. The restaurant and visitors' centre puts the best of the region on display. Stop for a while and sample wines, indulge in fresh local dishes, discover perfect pairings in the cheese room and wander the beautifully manicured grounds that surround the restaurant.
Australia’s first ever steam train arrived more than two centuries ago and today offers visitors a glimpse of the past as it winds through some of the most stunning landscapes in the Dandenong Ranges. Departing from Belgrave, you can see the Sherbrooke Forest, Port Phillip Bay and Menzies Creek from the window before stopping in Lakeside and making off again towards Gembrook
Work off all that food and wine with the 1000-step climb of the Kokoda Track and you’ll be rewarded at the top with some stunning views. Built as a tribute to the Australian Soldiers who followed the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in World War II, there are plaques along the way depicting the lives of those who fought, along with local fauna like tree ferns, manna gum and blackwood. The route itself is just under 3km and can be found in Dandenong Ranges National Park near Mt Dandenong at the Ferntree Gully Rangers Office.
Feeling peckish? Prepare to fill your boots (literally) at the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges when you pick up a cheap car rental in Melbourne!