Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Warburton is one of my favourite country towns in Victoria and is a nice day trip from home. For me, being on the Peninsula, it's usually under 2 hours drive, but if you live in the CBD, then it's only 72 km from the centre.
The first thing you will notice before you come into town is the Yarra River on your left hand side and the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail on the right, however, the rail trail does alternate sides.
It feels like you have left the city far behind when you reach this point, as the mountains come into view, it feels cooler and the autumn trees are stunning with bright reds and yellows with the river giving it a peaceful feel.
You will find the river behind the shops, it's a great place for a picnic lunch on the lawn or on the handmade picnic tables that are placed perfectly to take in the view of the river. My kids love the ducks, they look so relaxed as they just float with the flow of the river, and occasionally decide to swim back up river when the kids offer them some bread.
The visitor information centre is a great place to visit, not just for local information it's also full of locally made arts and crafts for sale. Our children loved the Australian animal display which included a koala, kangaroo, wallaby, wombat, fox, echidna and several birds. The display is used to educate school students and international visitors about Australian native and feral wildlife.
I haven't noticed the art gallery within the information centre until now, I think it's a great way of supporting local artists. The ideas behind the designs are amazing, I particularly liked this wooden teddy bear made by a local, it has a sign next to it with photos of all the processes he went through in making it. If I had a spare $450, I would loved to have bought it.
The gallery changes every two months, so if you really like anything in the gallery I suggest you buy it because I am told they sell quickly.
One of my favourite Antique stores is What Nots in Warburton and is directly opposite the information centre. It is packed full of really cool stuff and prices are reasonable. The owner is very friendly and is more than happy to help if you're after something in particular.
Warburton's shopping strip is full of great cafes and gift shops, it is a tourist town but not like Bright or Sorrento, it still maintains a rustic country town feel with lots character and personality. I really like Bright and Sorrento but I think the tourists outweigh the locals in these towns and changes the dynamics of the town.
At the back of the information centre you will find the remains of the old Warburton railway station, this is used as the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail nowadays. On side of the old railway platform each concrete section has a different mural of the towns history and they are very well done.
If you're feeling energetic then Cog Bike Cafe also hire out bikes, kids bike trailers and tag along bikes for a full or half day hire. It would be a great to ride the rail trail. Bike hire for a half day is $25.