The state’s varied topography and temperate micro-climates lend themselves to wine-making, thus you’ll find some of Australia’s best gourmet experiences in the verdant Yarra Valley and peaceful Mornington Peninsula.
The Yarra Valley lies east of Melbourne and is best known for cool-climate wines such as pinot noir and bubbly, while the Mornington Peninsula to the south-east harbours diverse landscapes supporting disproportional varieties of grape including pinot and chardonnay. The two regions are a foodie’s paradise, veritable patchworks of orchards, vineyards and free-range farms. With so much excellent food and world-class drink about, visitors can expect a wealth of acclaimed restaurants.
Both the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula are year-round destinations with wide-ranging – if contrasting – appeal. Wildlife enthusiasts will love the thriving native animal sanctuary at Healesville – in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Marine life are the stars of the show in the waters off the Mornington Peninsula – cruises depart regularly from pretty Sorrento in search of fur seals and wild dolphins. The Yarra Valley’s Lilydale-Warburton rail trail provides lovely rural scenery and a series of interesting historical stops en route. The Mornington Peninsula, on the other hand, offers beaches to suit every type of beach-goer and is home to the country’s first geothermal resort.