Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hip and happening

The Yarra Valley is surprisingly close if you live in the north-east - it took us less than an hour to get to Healesville over the Easter break.  Along the way, you can stop off at the Yarra Valley Grand Hotel (owned and run by Melbourne actors Alison Whyte and hubby Fred Whitlock) and check out the antique shops across the road.  There are also numerous wineries and accommodation options as you head towards Healesville.  We went past the Tarrawarra Museum of Art which I'd love to go to next time.  The gorgeous Yarra Valley Dairy too is not far away.

Healesville Sanctuary entrance
As you head into Healesville you go past the Yarra Valley Railway where there is a playground out the front.  Once you get into town, you'll see the Healesville Hotel (run by the Yarra Valley Harvest group) and it's companion Harvest Cafe and Kitchen & Butcher on the main road as well as some pretty cool shops and Giant Steps and Innocent Bystander winery that have all opened in recent years.  Mr Rosanna and I have actually stayed at the Healesville Hotel pre-children (if you don't mind noise and a communal bathroom) after a special occasion dinner at the restaurant.  For a cheaper option, you can eat at the bistro or cafe.  The Yarra Valley Harvest group also now offers luxurious farmhouse accommodation.  The owners are ex-Melbourne and it certainly shows.
Hanging out
The Healesville Sanctuary is also a fantastic day out - the Birds of Prey interactive display where giant eagles fly overhead in an open amphitheatre is one of the best I've ever experienced.  There's also your usual quota of cute and cuddly Australian mammals.  The Healesville Hotel also runs the Sanctuary Harvest cafe if you feel like something a bit more upmarket as well standard cafe fare like pies, chips and great coffee (Genovese).

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