If you’re looking for somewhere that’s close to Melbourne but feels much farther from the city than it actually is, you can’t go past the Yarra Valley. An easy drive just under an hour from Melbourne, getting to the Yarra Valley is easy and once there, you may not want to leave the rolling farmlands and vine-strung hills. Travelling by car is great as the roads are good and easy to navigate, plus the dazzling scenery and potential stops along the way are best enjoyed at your own leisure.
Finding your way around is much easier than you think and there are actually a number of routes that you can take, meaning you’re never really lost, just on the scenic route. If you’re looking for something relatively direct, take the Easter Freeway from Melbourne and continue along the Eastlink tollway, exiting at the Ringwood Bypass. Turning left, enter the Maroondah Highway and follow it through Ringwood and Lilydale to Healesville. Once you reach Coldstream, exit the Maroondah Highway and enter the Melba Highway, following it all the way to Yarra Glen.
Just 50km east of the Melbourne CBD, you can also get to the Yarra Valley by again taking the Eastern Freeway however another route is to exit at Nunawading and turn right onto Springvale Road. From here you’ll make a left onto Whitehorse Road and follow it until it becomes the Maroondah Highway. From there, you can follow the directions above. However, if you’re really after a scenic route then the alternative is to take the Eastern Freeway and take the Burke Road North exit, following Burke Road to Upper Heidelberg Road and onto Metropolitan Route 44. From there, hear towards Eltham and follow Main Road to Kangaroo Ground, turning right onto Yarra Glen Road.
If you must be without a car, there are a number of rail services that run from Melbourne to the nearby stations at Hurstbridge, Lilydale and Belgrave as well as a variety of buses and charters that offer services between the towns.