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Knock on a few cellar doors

Short break holidays are good for your wellbeing, allowing you to clear your mind and de-stress, and what better place to do that than Melbourne's sprawling vineyard-laden backyard, the Yarra Valley? Many holidaymakers day trip from Melbourne city, popping into a few wineries along the way to sample local drops, while others choose to extend their stay with a long weekend drinking in the beautiful green and gold landscapes. Only an hour away from the bright city lights of Victoria's capital, the Yarra Valley is a different world where the only things on your to-do list include relaxing, exploring the region's natural assets and treating your palate to delightful regional flavours.

Fly into Melbourne and hire a car to make your way to the Yarra Valley, setting up base in Healesville, Lilydale or Yarra Glen. Whether you choose to stay at a boutique bed and breakfast, eco retreat or historic guesthouse, your views will almost always be spectacular. Spend the weekend out and about with walks through surrounding National Parks, spoiled for choice with nature reserves, lakes and scenic lookouts at your doorstep. If you're planning a weekend in the Yarra Valley, you will most likely want to knock on a few cellar doors during your visit from big name labels like De Bortoli to a number of smaller producers who are happy to take you through the art of grape growing.

Sweeping around the eastern side of Melbourne, Yarra Valley's sister, the Dandenong Ranges, are also famed for their scenic beauty. The Dandenongs are blanketed in lush rainforests dotted with misty gullies and waterfalls – the ideal setting for a short break from Melbourne. While the many rainforest retreats cater to relaxation, nature lovers are taken care of with outdoor adventures like zip-lining across the canopy of a heritage garden.

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