Travelling along the Maroondah Highway through Coldstream and just beyond “Coombe Cottage” you begin to get another feeling of “The Valley”, sending you spirits soaring. Another world…… and it all lies before you, spread out like the feast of delights that it truly is. A world that beckons with the promise of dreams about to be fulfilled.
You are now entering the home of some of the area’s more well known wineries with their superlative restaurants. Equal to anything that you would find anywhere in the world. Vineyards stretch beyond you as far as the eye can see.
The majestic backdrop of misty blue hills is sure to invite you onward, crossing over the winding Yarra River, and one must choose whether or not to stop off at some of these fascinating winery restaurants. Or shall you push on towards the next village, Healesville, the home of the renowned Healesville Sanctuary?
Here, also, is the home of the Yarra Valley Visitor Information Centre, housed in the historic Old Court House. Drop in and stay awhile, the courteous and knowledgeable staff and volunteers will attend to your every need.
Take the opportunity to relax and be totally pampered in a day spa or visit art galleries and potters’ studios where you can actually meet the artists, potters or silversmiths and then partake of fabulous al fresco eateries and popular, trendy hotels. All of these feature the mouth watering delights of local produce. The well known jeweller’s shop window display deserves serious perusal…… as does the adjacent lolly shop.
Or, maybe, you would prefer to enjoy rose, strawberry, gerbera and alpaca farms. Stock up on fresh farmgate produce. Or perhaps just get lost in the Maze. You could take a fabulously scenic drive to Toolangi, home of our famous poet CJ Dennis and visit his historical Singing Gardens. And the magnificent Museum of Modern Art at Tarrawarra is not far away. Don’t forget to drop in to one of the three markets held in Healesville throughout the month!
There is so much to see in this picturesque village of Healesville, savour your time here, enjoy an ice cream or a milk shake as you sit and watch the rest of the world go by. Oh, and of course, the world class Healesville Sanctuary is something not to be missed! Or you could indulge yourself with a trolley ride on the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway. The many and varied accommodation venues urge you to stay for a romantic night or two and then, refreshed you can meander on your way.
Continuing along the Maroondah Highway past the Maroondah Reservoir Park, you begin the winding climb up the breathtakingly beautiful “Black Spur”, flanked on both sides by towering, majestic Mountain Ash intermingled with superb examples of the ancient tree ferns. You travel up and over the lower vestiges of The Great Dividing Range through Narbethong to the mystic mountains of Marysville. While Marysville was devasted in the Black Saturday fires of February 2009, visitors are urged to visit the existing businesses to ensure their continued sustainability. Marysville is open for business and ready to welcome you! It is also the gateway to the Winter Wonderland of Lake Mountain.