Founded in the mid 1800s, this sweet little town was born after a rail line was built through it to service the surrounding goldfields. The gold may have long since dried up, but Healesville now lives in some of the state’s best wine country.
Healesville is one of my favourite places to get away to. It’s a little over an hour out of Melbourne’s CBD, making it far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet, but not so far that it’s a hassle to get to. And now that Victoria is opening up again, it’s the perfect time to go and explore for a night or two.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK:
– Innocent Bystander Winery
Amazing wine, pizzas, cheeses, breads and pastries. It’s not cheap, but it is quality.
– Mocha & Lime
Gorgeous little café that serves up a tasty brunch, it’s simple food done well. They also cater extremely well for special diets, including gluten free and vegan options. Bonus points for the floor to ceiling bookshelves at the back of the café where you can browse second hand books while you wait for your coffee.
– Healesville Harvest
A personal favourite of mine – incredible sandwiches using the very best ingredients, and a cake cabinet that’ll make your jaw drop. And yes, those lamingtons are as good as they look.
– Beechworth Bakery
Duh. This place is an institution in Victoria, as anyone who’s ever been on a road trip will know. Bottomless cups of tea, freshly baked bread, golden-crusted pastries, and a fireplace for winter visits. Perfect.
WHERE TO SHOP:
– Healesville Jewellers
My favourite jewellery shop in the world. They do they most beautiful pieces with precious stones, and they’re very reasonably priced. They also do a lot of one-off pieces, and can adjust ring sizes on site.
A gift and homewares boutique where you can find some seriously unique trinkets. Brass globes, antique-style wooden desk sets, leather notebooks, llama jewellery dishes, and everything else in between.
– Verso Books
I’m a sucker for a good independent store. Verso stocks new releases in fiction, beautiful books in arts, gardening and cooking, and a brilliant collection of children’s books.
WHAT TO DO:
– Take a drive our to the Redwood Forest in East Warburton
Once you’re done walking and eating your way around Healesville, head out to the Redwoods. It’ll take you around 40 minutes to drive there, but it is more than worth the effort. Just make sure you bring an extra layer of clothes – it’s always quite a bit cooler in there tucked away under the trees.
– Visit the weekend market
Because everyone loves a good market! You can pick up some absolutely brilliant little treasures there, too, if you have time to dig around a little…
– Stop at the Yarra Vallery Chocolaterie on the way home
Because their chocolate is a thing of beauty. You can select a box from their Great Wall of Chocolate (I recommend the Tantalising Toasted Coconut Slice), watch the chocolate artists at work through the giant kitchen windows, grab a light lunch or dessert and enjoy the views from their gardens…