Around 90 minutes from the centre of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley town of Warburton is a great place to escape to for a day, weekend or longer.
With the Yarra River running through the centre of town and bush-covered hills on both sides, Warburton sits comfortably in the valley.
The former gold rush town has been a favourite getaway spot for Melbournians for years, and there is still plenty to see and do here.
Main Street along the Warburton Hwy is full of busy cafes and boutique stores, popular with those passing through and ideal for a longer, relaxed lunch or shopping jaunt. Also located here is the visitors' centre. Wander down to the edge of the Yarra, cross over at the swing bridge or Brisbane Bridge and enjoy some time out with the ducks.
With bushland in all directions, those feeling more active have a good selection of walks to choose from, such as the 5km Warburton River Walk just off Main St, or the Warburton Trail stretching all the way to Lilydale.
In winter Warburton is a gateway to the snow-covered slopes of the Ranges. Just 20 minutes up the road from town is Mt Donna Buang, a good spot for a toboggan or snow fight, with a lookout tower offering impressive views. Standing at 1,250 metres, you won't find a snowfield closer to Melbourne.
For those staying a night or more there is a choice of accommodation types to suit all tastes and budgets including eco retreats, B n B's and larger hotels.
Getting to Warburton from Melbourne is easy and a pleasure, taking the Eastern Fwy to Ringwood and joining the Maroondah Hwy before reaching the scenic Warburton Hwy.
Warburton really is a beautiful place isn't it! I rode there on my push bike once along the Warburton Trail - an old train line running from Lilydale to Warburton that has since been spread over with gravel. There is a great little bakery at the end of the strip of shops where my friend and I bought pies. We sat by the river, chowing down before our big ride back home. I'm really glad we went there, Warburton is a gem of a place.
By Lisa Williams - senior reviewer Thursday, 2nd of June @ 07:24 am