Over the spring and summer months, The Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges come to life with a wide variety of events and happenings that are not just a great day out for you but your dog too. While any day’s a great day to bring your dog out for an adventure, these specially designed events offer an exciting way for every member of your family (two-legged or four) to enjoy the region.
Puffing Billy Dog Express
Just like your dog loves to hang its head out the car window and take in all the smells, a day on the Puffing Billy Dog Express will be the bestest day for your goodest boy.
Visit Puffing BIlly’s website for upcoming special dates where passengers and their four-legged families can travel on a special Lakeside to Gembrook service, beginning at Emerald Lake Park, with plenty of walking tracks and trails for families and dogs to explore before boarding dog-friendly carriages at Lakeside Station.
Up to two pooches per family can come along on the 40-minute journey through Wright State Forest, over three historic timber trestle bridges – including the tallest on the entire line at 60 metres long and 15 metres high – and past Cockatoo and Fielder station as the train climbs towards Gembrook.
Once in Gembrook, passengers and dogs alike have ample time to play in the adjacent J.A.C Russell Park and wander through the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, making it an afternoon not to be missed with your family, friends, and furry pals.
Dog Day Out at Warrantia Lavender Farm
Look out for October, when Warratina's dog event will allow you to bring along your favourite canine companion dog for a day all about them. Expect ‘Best in Show’ and agility competitions, specialised training classes, a doggy market full of beautiful gifts for your pup, professional pet photography sessions and even a pamper area for your furbaby.
Book either a morning or afternoon session and with your ticket, you can also enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch or an afternoon tea at Warrantina. There will also be a doggy menu available! You’ll also get access to the incredibly photograph-able Warrantina, try lavender ice cream, grab a natural treat for your pupper, participate in competitions and more.
Pooches & Pinot
Every day is special for dogs in the Yarra with Pooches & Pinot, a VIP wine tour for up to six people and two dogs. Book in your big day out, and Pooches & Pinot do the rest.
The team at Pooches and Pinot collect your group from your door within 75 km of the Yarra and take you on a half or full-day tour. Depending on which you book, tours include a variety of tastings at some of the area’s best pet-friendly wineries, including gin and cider tastings and lunch.
All the organisation and driving are done so you can relax and enjoy your private tour, with a drop-off at the end of your day back at your door.
Pups will surely get the VI-Pooch treatment with plenty of adoring pats and their hand-embroidered P&P bandana and enjoy treats during the day (with permission).
Dogs get their bed/blanket in the Mercedes tour van, plus a set belt/clip, gourmet dog treats, a water bowl and fresh water, and a tennis ball for the off-leash walk that's part of all full-day tours. Participants also get photos of their day out afterwards.
No need to wait for a special event; book anytime.
Yarra Valley Plant Fair & Garden Expo
They are held for both the autumn and spring seasons in Wandin, the Yarra Valley Plant Fair & Garden Expo. Open to visitors and their pups, participate in a wide variety of talks, demonstrations and more. Dogs are welcome on a lead.
The Herb & Chilli Festival
Also held in Wandin each March, the Herb & Chilli Festival is a two-day festival of all things seasoned and spicy. The festival has delighted thousands of visitors since 2012 with exciting demonstrations, talks, tastings, competitions, music and dance. And, of course, your pooch is welcome to attend on a lead.