Tucked away in the northeastern Yarra Valley and an hour’s drive from the Melbourne CBD, Healesville boasts various culinary and natural delights. Representing a merging point between the ancient land and the modernity of man, it is a town which is constantly active. The town is surrounded by mountains, forests and rolling hills dotted with wineries, fruit and berry farms. Join us in planning a relaxing, yet enjoyable trip through Healesville.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.