Escape from the world in the picturesque Yarra Valley. There's plenty to see and fo from premium food and wine expereinces, hot air balloon rides, and the lush green landscape of the Dandenong Ranges.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Melbourne, take the Eastern Freeway and continue onto the Eastlink tollway. Take the Ringwood Bypass exit, turn left onto Maroondah Highway and follow the road through Ringwood to Healesville. At Coldstream, leave the Maroondah Highway and turn onto the Melba Highway to Yarra Glen.
Take a train to Hurstbridge, Lilydale or Belgrave. Various bus companies run services between towns and villages in the region. For detailed timetable information, contact Public Transport Victoria on 13 16 38 or visit PTV.
We sat down with Andrew Marks, owner of Melbourne Gin Company and Gembrook Hill Vineyard to find out the best spots of the region. His knowledge of the region stems back to 1983 when his parents, Ian and June Marks established Gembrook Hill vineyard. Since then, Andrew now has his own wine business, The Wanderer Wines, opened in 2005, and most recently in 2013, he launched The Melbourne Gin Company based at Gembrook Hill.
A lazy weekend drive followed by a lunch or dinner is a relaxing way to get away from the city. While you grab a bite to eat, make sure to enjoy a drink from The Independent Gembrook, The Ranges Hotel Gembrook and Forest Edge.
Gembrook also has some great spots for coffee and cake. Spencer's Store on the main street is a popular spot.
Here's some other great places to grab a drink from and the best time to go:
A Menu in Four Movements
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Tipo 00, Melbourne