Day 9: Yarra Valley to Melbourne

Driving Time: 1 hour

No trip to the Yarra Valley is complete until you make your way into a tiny basket, and start floating through the air. The hot-air balloon rises at dawn to provide amazing 360 views of the sprawling vines below. Around an hour later, the balloon slowly descends into a vineyard for a breakfast of sparkling wine and just-picked produce.

Leave the Yarra Valley with a good stash of wine and local produce and start the leisurely drive back to Melbourne. Leave plenty of time to explore the stunning Dandenong Ranges, home to towering forests, magical fern gullies and colourful native birds.

One of the best ways to take in the surrounding forest is aboard the Puffing Billy – an original steam locomotive and one of Victoria’s most unique attractions. The open-air carriages provide passengers with an up-close and personal view into the lush surroundings.

Cruise out to Mount Dandenong and spend a few quiet hours in the peaceful surrounds of William Ricketts Sanctuary. Located in a ferny glad, the sanctuary is home to more than 90 evocative sculptures, many of Aboriginal people, which lie half-hidden in the trees, rocks and undergrowth of the native forest.

Melbourne awaits just a short drive away from the sanctuary and the world’s friendliest city can’t wait for your return. This itinerary is just the beginning when it comes to exploring Victoria, Australia. For more travel suggestions, please head to our Visit Melbourne website!

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