Got a car full of kids and need to get them out of the house?
The Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges are ideal for your next road trip family adventure. Whether it’s a great day out, a weekend away or enjoying the school holiday break, you’ll find plenty of activities with kid-friendly restaurants and cafes and family accommodation to make it enjoyable for everyone.
Leave Melbourne in the morning and make your way to Healesville Sanctuary, where you can spend the morning interacting with more than 200 species of Australian animals in their natural surroundings. There are also educational and interactive shows the kids will love, keeper talks, parrot feeding and close-up encounters with koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, dingos and a range of other wildlife. Close-up encounters allow families to truly experience what it’s like to look after these native animals. The purchase of these unique encounters also supports the sanctuary in continuing its conservation and rehabilitation work. They’re educational, memorable and most of all, fun for everyone.
Following your morning at the Sanctuary, grab lunch at the Sanctuary Harvest Café, a kid-friendly spot serving a menu that the entire family will enjoy but also uses locally sourced fresh produce.
Make an afternoon pit stop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, not just for the sweets but to give the kids a glimpse into the sweet world of chocolate making. Throughout the year, 45-minute Junior Chocolatier Classes are held in a special, kids-only area. The classes can be booked online in advance and include a lesson on making chocolate from one of the chocolateries very own chocolatiers. They also get a personalised badge, chef’s hat and apron, graduation certificate and take-home treat.
Following your chocolate experience, let the kids loose to burn some energy in the ample outdoor area before you’re back in the car for your journey home.
Travel Time: From Melbourne, this one-day adventure will take about 2.5 hours of drive time round-trip.
Start the day by discovering all that Warburton has to offer in an epic outdoor experience. Your next Warburton adventure awaits with Warburton Adventure Company. They offer half-day, full-day and multi-day adventures in caving, abseiling, mountain biking and river sledding every weekend and throughout the school holidays, and private and custom tour experiences by booking. There really is something for everyone.
Continue experiencing a bird’s eye view at SkyHigh Mount Dandenong and take in some spectacular views of Melbourne from 630 meters up, Victoria's highest natural viewing point. Refuel at the family-friendly on-site restaurant, then spend the afternoon getting lost in their hedge maze, searching for hidden sculptures. Kids can also get their passports stamped as they make their way through the maze to become a maze masters. You’ll also find lush gardens for a picnic and imagination-inspiring attractions such as ‘Percy the Possum’s House’, the Giant’s Chair and the Wishing Tree.
Travel time: Adding these exciting activities to your weekend will have you on the road for roughly 3.5 hours for the entire round trip.