Travel through the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley wine region on a full-day tour from Melbourne. Have morning tea and see spectacular native birds in the rainforest of the Dandenongs, then ride the historic Puffing Billy Steam Train through Sherbrooke forest. Head to nearby Yarra Valley for an afternoon in Victoria's famous wine region. Enjoy three tastings at premium wineries and have the option to include a 2-course lunch paired with wine. Your knowledgeable guide shares informative commentary throughout the day.
Leave Melbourne in a comfortable air-conditioned coach and head 25 miles (40km) east to the Dandenong Ranges, where steep valleys, rushing waterfalls and a rainforest full of mountain ash trees cloak the 2,000 feet (610m) high mountains.When you arrive in the Dandenongs, stop in at Grants Reserve for a traditional Aussie billy tea with crackers, vegemite, and lamington cake. Enjoy your tea and the fresh mountain air, then step outside to feed colorful native birds, including the crimson rosella, pink-chested galah and sulphur-crested cockatoo. Birdsong can be heard throughout the region.After Grants Reserve, continue to Belgrave where you board the Puffing Billy Steam Train, a century-old steam train in mint condition. Relax and soak up the scenery as your train chugs along a mountain track through the heart of the rainforest between Belgrave and Menzies Creek. Travel through Sherbrooke Forest and over the old Trestle Bridge, getting great views of Port Phillip Bay as you approach Menzies Creek.Switch from the train to your coach to make the 1-hour journey to the Yarra Valley. Victoria’s premium wine growing region, the Yarra Valley is known for cool climate varietals, especially chardonnay and pinot noir. You can also expect to find sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, riesling, cabernet sauvgnon, shiraz, and merlot varieties as well. As you approach the Yarra Valley, see magnificent scenery including the Great Dividing Range. Your first stop takes in Rochford Winery, with the option to enjoy a delicious 2-course lunch accompanied by a glass of their premium wine. If you do not book the included lunch option, you can order à la carte at the winery or bring your own lunch. After your meal, continue to two other wineries where you savor the wines and learn about the vineyards and winemaking process. In the late afternoon, after visits to three vineyards for tastings, relax on the drive back to your Melbourne hotel.