8 Sep. 2021
Grab your besties, your sister, mum, or any of your favourite people and jump in the car for this indulgent trip to the Dandenong Ranges. It’s the perfect spot for a celebration, hens’ weekend, Mother’s Day treat or just some quality time to connect with the gals.
Got a diverse group? No problem. The region has something to offer the most pampered princess, the foodie, the retail queen as well as the adventurer.
Maria Melbourne is the Mexican-inspired brekky fiesta you need to start your Girls Day Out, situated in the heart of the Upwey township.
Pretty in pink and picture perfect, Maria has a dining option for any weather. Sunny morning? Their courtyard is perfect to devour Chilaquiles (breakfast nachos) amongst the cacti. Weather a little cooler? Their indoor dining area is warm and spacious, ready for any size group.
With a delicious menu (featuring it’s own vegan section), quality Industry Beans coffee and a cocktail list to boot, a Maria Melbourne brekky will kick start your day in the right way!
Psst. We even hear that they may be launching a bottomless brunch in 2022!
From here, venture into nearby Sassafras and Olinda, each with their own boutique shopping village. Shop small as you support local makers, designers and artists and discover unique and handmade items you won’t get in the city, from locally-made artworks to homewares, fashion, gourmet goods, antiques and more.
Treat those weary shopping feet with an afternoon at one of Olinda’s indulgent day spas. Both Elle Naturale and Nourish Day Spa offer a range of treatments for individuals or as a group package. Spa parties, a speciality at Nourish Day Spa) are a great way for the girls to unwind, relax and connect.
What better to way keep the relaxation going treating yourself to some of the best local wines? With so many wineries in the nearby Yarra Valley, the best place to try a little of everything is at Olinda Cellars. This boutique bottleshop offers one of the best selections of local wines as well as tasty vintages from around the world. They regularly host guided tastings, wine dinners and special events so check their website to see what’s on. Here you can sample some of the regions finest drops and stock up on all your favourites so you can continue enjoying your time in the Dandenong Ranges from home.
Travel time: This day trip will have you on the road for just on two hours visiting Sherbrooke, Sassafrass and Olinda.
Make a weekend of it:
If you’ve got an extra day to spend, book in for an overnight at any one of the region’s boutique accommodation options. The region has a variety of options from luxury to quaint bed and bed and breakfasts to suit any budget or style of travel.
One the morning of your second day, skip breakfast and head straight to Montrose for a morning high tea experience at Mary Eats Cake. It’s also a popular choice for special events such as engagement celebrations, baby and bridal showers and birthdays. Morning and afternoon teas here are all about the fluffy scones, French-inspired pastries and desserts as well as gourmet teas and a maybe glass of sparkling too.
From Montrose, it’s just a short drive to Warratina Lavender Farm where you can stretch your legs by wandering around this beautifully fragrant and spectacular 10-acre farm. Make sure to take a peek into the lavender drying shed. Here lavender grows year-round, but from November to January it’s in full bloom and harvested. Make a stop in the retail shop and treat yourself to some body products or even gourmet goods such as lavender mustard, lavender honey and herbal teas.
From here, it’s time to hit the farmgates to stock up on all the amazing local produce and artisanal goods made in the region. Depending on what’s in season, you can choose from blueberries, cherries and fresh strawberries or apples and chestnuts. Self-pick fruit farms are scattered around region in Olinda, Silvan and Wandin. Alternatively, grab a copy of our U-Pick Trail guide for some excellent recommendations on where to find all the best spots as you make you way back to Melbourne.
Travel time: Adding on an extra day will have you on the road for just under 3 hours round trip, depending on the farm gates you choose.