Explore Healesville Sanctuary
Healesville Sanctuary is one of the three zoos which form part of Zoos Victoria which focusses on creating a safe space for native Australian animals. Playing an integral part in initiatives nationwide to protect several endangered species, it allows visitors to see this process happening in real-time along with regular presentations with the creatures.
Healesville Sanctuary, Badger Creek Rd, Healesville, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 5957 2800
Weave your way through Hedgend Maze
Perfect for a day out with the kids, Hedgend Maze has it all with a cryptic hedge maze, a mini-golf and Frisbee golf course, as well as an area to search for old bones in the Fossil Dig. With special events all year long, it is always a place which will keep the imagination and curiosity alive.
Hedgend Maze, 163 Albert Rd, Healesville, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 5962 3636
Experience the Healesville Horse Races
The Healesville Amateur Racing Club is more of a day-long trip out with friends, but you can stop by for a race or two, a snack or a flutter during one of the many meetings they have through the summer season. Their next major meeting is on Saturday, the 21st of November.
Get some fresh air at Maroondah Reservoir
Maroondah Reservoir Park provides great views of Maroondah Dam along with casual walkways through the park or surrounding forests and enough shade to enjoy a packed lunch. During the rainy seasons, you can also watch the spectacular water forced through the spillway.
Maroondah Reservoir Park, 466 Maroondah Highway, Healesville, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 8627 4699
Any of the several local wineries
It is hard to pick one ultimate winery, as they all bring something special to the table, whether it be fresh local food or the finest Yarra Valley wines. For instance, Rochford Wines lies just out of town and also hosts musicians in the regular concert event A Day on the Green. However, there are constant tours from winery to winery throughout the summer season.
Rochford Wines, 878-880 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 5957 3333
Taste what is on offer at Herd Bar and Café
Found at the start of the main stretch of Main Street, Herd Bar and Café can cover you all day. You can rock up for a breakfast made from local ingredients and a coffee sourced from overseas or have a moderately priced feast with a variety of international and home-grown beverages. Regardless, Herd is always a friendly and warm place to visit.
Herd Bar and Café, 177 Maroondah Highway, Healesville, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 5962 7677
Fly over the town in a balloon
Nothing captures the scope of Healesville and the surrounding Yarra Valley quite like the view at a few thousand feet in the air. Many companies, such as Global Ballooning or Go Wild Ballooning have packages which include breakfast and accommodation along with an exhilarating launch above the trees.
Global Ballooning Australia, 173-175 Swan Street, Richmond, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 9428 5703
Go Wild Ballooning, 621 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 9739 0772
Four Pillars Gin
Four Pillars Gin distills and sells its own gin right in the heart of Healesville, plus gives you the opportunity to watch the process in motion with booked masterclasses and tasting. Quickly growing in size and popularity, the team at Four Pillars create their own ‘ginnovations’, including their award-winning Orange Marmalade and Breakfast Negroni Gin. Bookings are essential.
Four Pillars Gin, 2A Old Lilydale Road, Healesville, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 5962 2791
Rest and recover at Piaf Day Spa
If you are looking for a relaxing day out to reconnect with nature, the Piaf Day Spa is only a hop, skip and a jump from the main part of town. Bordered by the life of the national park, enjoy a massage, facial or body treatments and a day of luxury.
Piaf Day Spa, 711 Don Road, Healesville, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 5962 2797
Join the locals at Healesville Hotel
The Healesville Hotel is the perfect blend between the rustic and the contemporary. Now in its 14th year, it is renowned for its charcuterie or selection of cold meats, including Spanish salamis and homemade terrine. With a brick exterior, a wooden interior and a spacious beer garden out the back, it offers a wide selection of fresh and local food and wine and is a welcoming place for a casual Sunday lunch.
Healesville Hotel, 256 Maroondah Highway, Healesville, VIC, Australia, +61 (03) 5962 4002
By Matthew Sims
Matthew is a recent Monash University graduate with an enthusiasm for writing about the past, present and future of film, television and the arts world in Melbourne. Based in the Yarra Valley, he loves fresh food, a good time out with friends or going for a run.