Visit Victoria Day 2: Dandenong Ranges, On Puffing Billy, Olinda, Sassafras, Miss Maple’s Tea Room, Yarra Valley, Domaine Chandon, Sebel Lodge Hotel and Balgownie
The beauty of self drive is it is cheaper and you get to see more of the places. Self drive off Melbourne city is popular among tourists but for Malaysians, do remember to get your International Driving license at JPJ offices.
Self drive in Victoria is safe and easy. After checking out from our hotel, we drive out of the city to some of the interesting places in Victoria.
The Dandenong Ranges
The Dandenong Ranges have been a favourite escape for Melbournians since the boom times of the 1880s when members of Melbourne society would board a train at Flinders Street Station and slowly travel east to enjoy the peace, pure air and pristine forests of these Ranges. Taking tea in “the Dandenongs” became a custom, as did a lazy picnic under a shady tree, a bush walk through the forests of mountain ash, gums and ferns, and a night or two in a guesthouse. Not much has changed except the Dandenongs are now accessible to everyone.
Wild parrots feeding is very popular here. Today I spotted 3 different types of species of parrots at the Dandenong Ranges. Although they are wild, they are friendly.
Puffing Billy Steam Railway
Puffing Billy Steam Railway is a genuine relic of Victoria’s early rail days. It is Australia’s oldest steam railway and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The vintage steam train hauls passenger carriages through the Dandenong Ranges from Belgrave to Lakeside Station, via Menzies Creek and Emerald, a distance of 13km. A round trip takes just over two hours.
Well, we didn’t do the two hours ride. We stopped at the Lakeside Station after an unforgettable ride from more than half an hour. I experienced many train rides around the world but never experienced a train ride like this. This is highly recommended.
Puffing Billy Steam Railway Address and Contact:
Old Monbulk Road
Belgrave VIC 3160
Tel: (03) 9757 0700
Olinda and Sassafras
Olinda is a small town in Victoria and you can park your car and have a brisk walk around. The landscape of the town is different than the concrete jungle in the city.
After taking a short pit stop in Olinda, we drove to a nearby town of Sassafras.
Sassafras is always been a popular weekend destination for city dwellers since the area was first settled in 1894. Close to Melbourne, Sassafras village has maintained its original charm, attracting visitors to its cafes, restaurants and tea rooms, specialty shops, quality boutique accommodation, antique shops and scenic drives to national parks and gardens.
Sassafras has always been a popular weekend destination for city dwellers since the area was first settled in 1894. Close to Melbourne, Sassafras village has maintained its original charm, attracting visitors to its cafes, restaurants and tea rooms, specialty shops, quality boutique accommodation, antique shops and scenic drives to national parks and gardens.
Lunch At Miss Marple’s Tea Rooms
Located in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Miss Marple’s Tea Rooms offers an exciting menu that is sure to satisy the most discerning palate. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s delightful character, the Tea Room is a gallery of Miss Marple memorabilia.
The restaurant is packed. Thank goodness we made a reservation or else we could have been waiting for hours. You can find “English” food here and remember to order their signature scone.
I enjoyed the hospitality and the food especially the iced chocolate.
Miss Marple’s Tea Rooms Address and Contact:
382 Mt.Dandenong-Tourist Road
Sassafras VIC 3787
Tel: (03) 9755 1610
Located only 45 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, the Yarra Valley feels a million miles away, with vast rows of vines, mountain ash forests and enough local produce to feed the hungriest hordes. Get up close to some Aussie icons at the Healesville Sanctuary, immerse yourself in Australian art history at the stunning Tarrawarra Museum of Art, or simply indulge in some of the best cool climate wines Australia has to offer with a tasting at one of over 40 cellar doors.
Yarra Valley is beautiful as we drive around the roads and enjoyed the landscape of this place. Remember to wind down the window, smell the air and get the breeze of the wind.
Domaine Chandon is the Australian winery of French Champagne giant Moet & Chandon. This winery exudes style and provides one of the valley’s most serene experiences. Sample some of the country’s finest sparkling wines in the Green Point room as you soak up the sun and view the picturesque scenery.
The winery tour is fantastic. We were given a brief tour for the whole actual process of the wines. It was an eye opener.
Domaine Chandon Address and Contact:
Green Point, Maroondah Hwy
Coldstream VIC 3770
Tel: (03) 9738 9242
Fax: (03) 9739 9241
Sebel Lodge Yarra Valley
Sebel Lodge Yarra Valley is a boutique hotel within The Heritage Golf and Country Club. At the gateway to the Yarra Valley, The Sebel Lodge offers personal service in a relaxed atmosphere. The spacious guestrooms and suites are stylishly appointed and offer full hotel services and facilities. Hotel guests have access to the golf courses and the recreation club of the Heritage Golf & Country Club.
Sebel Lodge Yarra Valley Address and Contact:
The Heritage Golf & Country Club
Chirnside Park VIC 3116
Tel: (03) 9760 3333
Dinner At Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa offers 65 elegantly appointed spa suites, each with picturesque views over the vineyard and the undulating hills of the Yarra Valley. An a la carte restaurant and pampering day spa complement this accommodation, which also has a conference and function centre.
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa Address and Contact:
Melba Highway and Gulf Road
Yarra Glen VIC 3775
Tel: (03) 9730 0700
We did so many things in just a day and it was fun. You can really do plenty of things when you drive around by yourself and not restricted by anything at all.
Check out my other Visit Victoria days experiences by clicking the link below:
Visit Victoria Day 8: Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, Coffee Tour, Shark Walk, Victoria Market and Chinatown
Visit Victoria Day 9: Gold Class Limousines and Goodbye Australia