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An Adventurous Day Trip in Yarra Valley

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by Mon's Adventure (subscribe)
Documenting roadtrip adventures and foodie outings. See more at!
Published September 8th 2016
Yarra Valley is known for its green, mountainous views and of course, its wineries.

I'm not a big wine person yet Yarra Valley is only a short drive away, so I decided to explore it differently.

Essenza Cafe: 189 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville
First stop was brunch along Healesville's strip of shops on Maroondah Highway. There are several cafes and shops and we stopped by Essenza for some Italian-influenced cafe fair.

essenza healesville
The Fagioli

We enjoyed the weekend sunshine and I ordered the Fagioli - butter beans, tomato onion sugo and grilled goats cheese ($14.50). It turned out to be similar to a baked eggs dish - not complaining, as I love baked eggs!

essenza healesville
Latte and iced coffee

Meanwhile, my friend had a breakfast burger, which was fairly average but the sunshine and coffee had us in a good mood.

Steavenson Falls: Falls Rd, Marysville
Unfortunately, not everything in the Yarra Valley area is close, but Steavensons Falls has been on my list for a few years. We made the most of the weather and drove 40 minutes to see the spectacular drop.

steavenson falls
The spectacular falls

steavenson falls
The surrounding scenery

There is a viewing platform at the base, not far from the carpark and it provides the best view. Since we were there, we also decided to take the walk to the top of the falls. The view is not as breathtaking but the spot is calm and relaxing as you sit near steady streams of water and take in the fresh air.

steavenson falls
The top of the falls

Cathedral Range State Park: Cerebus Rd, Taggerty
Drive further out from Marysville and you'll reach Cathedral Range State Park also known as the Cathedral Ranges.

It's popular for its hikes, its mountainous and rocky terrain as well as its difficulty. I decided to go with a short hike, the Canyon Track, a hard hike estimated at 30 minutes to the top of Sugarloaf Peak.

cathedral range state park
Exploring the tracks

About 90% of the climb was at medium difficulty - it involved some steep climbs and scrambling over rocks, but nothing too strenuous.

cathedral range state park
A steep ascent

We also fit in some geocaching (a global treasure hunt) on our way up.

cathedral range state park
Geocaching/hunting for treasure!

However, towards the end there is a spiderman-like climb between two rock wedges and then the slope is quite steep after that. I was a little scared to continue to this slope and didn't feel mentally prepared for it. Some lovely passers-by told us it wasn't that bad and even offered to accompany us to the top.

cathedral range state park
The park scenery

We told them we would be ok and that we were going to pause for a moment to decide whether to continue or not. In the end, we turned back. I felt a little defeated but also determined to build up my confidence and return to conquer my fears.

cathedral range state park
Taking a break to enjoy the view

For a list of popular hikes in the park, see the Parks Victoria Park Note here.

Innocent Bystander: 336 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville
After a long day in the sunshine, you can always drop by to have a taste of the famous wine or for a bite at the popular Innocent Bystander.

Not only do they do great wine, but they have a popular Moscato available in twist cap bottles.

innocent bystander
Their popular moscato

In addition to that, they do some delicious, small pizzas. The venue is reasonably casual as it's located in the town centre of Healesville, so don't feel like you have to dress up.

innocent bystander
Great pizzas

So there you have it - a day spent in the Yarra Valley region. You can enioy it even if you're not a wine person and there's plenty of activities for those who enjoy the outdoors.
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Why? To have an adventurous day exploring the Yarra Valley
Where: Healesville, Marysville, Taggerty
Cost: $15-$30
Your Comment
Sounds like the perfect day out. Great article, Mon!
by Gerii Caulfield (score: 2|386) 1432 days ago
I would love to see the falls and walk for a bit in the area but I think even what you did manage is beyond me.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7970) 1427 days ago
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