I'm in Melbourne often enough - so why not write a bit about some places I've seen :)
Published November 17th 2015
A real hidden gem off the highway between Melbourne and Geelong, the township of Lara is about an hour drive from the city centre. Lara is a historic rural town that in recent years has undergone significant development to make it a beautiful place to visit for an ideal weekend getaway. Without losing its country charm, Lara now has new housing estates and a newly established shopping village and recreational park that make it perfect for the community and families
While visiting this delightful town, there are many things to do as a family, a couple, or even on your own. When the sun is shining in Lara, the good times will certainly rain down. Here are the top three ways to pass a day in Lara.
A new cafe in the new Grand Lakes Estate, Millar's has the perfect balance of indoor and outdoor pleasantries. Overlooking the pathways around the lake and sloping hills, Millar's is truly picturesque. Enjoy a tasty coffee, a tempting sweet slice, or a delectable panini from the counter. Breakfast is served on menu until 11.30am and lunch follows after, sure to please any appetite.
2. Hike to the top of Flinders Peak at the You Yangs
What makes Lara absolutely iconic is the remarkable You Yangs Regional Park, surrounding the town with stunning hilly views. The You Yangs has many bush walks around the park that are dog friendly and family friendly. A real favourite for locals and visitors is the Flinders Peak walk, starting at the Turntable car park. There are a few steep steps involved, but the wonderful scenic views along the way and the lookout point at the top providing unbeatable views of this rural delight make it totally worthwhile. What better way to catch your breath than taking in sights of bright canola fields and views extending to Corio Bay.
3. Visit Serendip Sanctuary
Just down the road from the You Yangs Regional Park is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary where native birds, emus, and kangaroos live in peace and harmony. Stroll through the wetlands and through the bird houses were you can see unique Aussie birds enjoying their lives. Across the paddocks are countless emus and kangaroos loving their free range lifestyle and blending in perfectly to their natural surroundings.
Growing up in Lara in the 1990s, it is rather special to see the changes happening in my little hometown. From a population of less than 7,000 when I was growing up to a town that has now doubled to 14,000, this gorgeous town hasn't lost its rural community spirit and feel. After spending a year abroad and returning to my small town, I feel truly blessed to have the privilege to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding Lara. I only hope to share my town with visitors and tourists from all corners of our country and the globe.