Less than 45 minutes north-west of Melbourne lies the suburb of Sunbury which is renowned for its native wildlife, geological marvels, award-winning wineries and historical significance. Not only is Sunbury the birthplace of cricket’s most sought trophy—The Ashes, but the region is also home to The Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Goonawarra Golf Club as well as other attractions making it a great day trip destination.
The Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre
Start your day at The Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre in Toolern Vale, only 35 minutes from Melbourne. Set on 40 acres, this conservation park is home to more than 35 pure alpine dingoes which are bred to preserve their future. Run by Lyn Watson, the sanctuary hosts open days and takes group tours and visitors via appointment only—allowing you come face to face with these incredible predators and their pups without the crowds of a typical zoo.
Australian politician James Johnston planted the first vines at CraigLee in 1863 and more than a century later current owner Pat Carmody re-established the 10-hectare vineyard. Nowadays, the family-owned business is renowned for their award-winning Shiraz and Chardonnay wines. The Cellar Door at CraigLee Vineyard is open to the public on the first Sunday of every month.
Organ Pipes National Park
Less than 15 minutes away from town is the Organ Pipes National Park which features a natural amphitheatre known as the Organ Pipes for their resemblance to a cathedral organ. Formed approximately one million years ago after Mount Holden erupted, the 70-meter basalt columns are an impressive geological formation. Also within the National Park, you’ll find the Rosette Stone and The Tessellated Pavement.
The Victorian Heritage Listed Rupertswood Mansion holds significance as the birthplace of The Ashes. Built in 1876, Rupertwood was one of the largest mansions built in Victoria in the 19th century. In the summer of 1882-83 the estate hosted the English Cricket Team who won the Test match series against Australia. Lady Janet Clarke awarded English captain Ivo Bligh an urn holding the ashes of a cricket bail to commemorate the victory. Today, Rupertswood is owned by the Salesian Society.
Goonawarra Golf Club
Established in 1981, the Goonawarra Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course with views of the Macedon Ranges and the surrounding wineries. Designed by Tony Cashmore, this mildly undulating public course features lakes on six holes. Before you tee off visit the Golf Shop for a friendly chat or drop by Nics Bistro which is open every Friday. The Club can even host your next function with room to accommodate up to 120 guests for a cocktail event.
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.