An insider’s guide to Australia’s Yarra Valley region
Make sure you stop by the town of Healesville. It is a friendly “awww shucks” kind of place – wire baskets filled with local produce spill on the pavement outside shops, and locals seem to have permanent smiles on their faces. Look out for Kennedy and Wilson Chocolates: their range of the sweet stuff will make you abandon any diet. Their barista serves Toby’s Estate coffee, by far the best in the area.
Located at the end of the town, the massive complex of Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander is part winery, part coffee shop, part restaurant - and it sure is popular. Expect to wait up to two hours for a table on weekends. Wood-fired pizzas keep the punters happy, and White Rabbit ale and Giant Steps wine add to the merriment.
Head straight to the TarraWarra Museum of Art before visiting its winery. This not-for-profit gallery has a revolving collection of Australian art as well as special exhibitions, such as the Archibald Prize 2012, and concerts in the grounds.