Quick Guide: Yarra Valley's Nillumbik and Manningham
While I thought I had explored Yarra Valley extensively, there are two parts of the region that were my areas less travelled. They're called Nillumbik and Manningham and they are closer than you think.
Located only 30-40 minutes from inner Melbourne, minutes past Eltham, these lush green pockets are perfect for day tripping. Escape the hustle and bustle without the journey time.
I explored the gorgeous region ideal for culture lovers. Follow this itinerary for exploring Yarra Valley’s Nillumbik and Manningham regions including three venues that are not to be missed.
Day itinerary: Yarra Valley’s Nillumbik and Manningham
Romantic, gothic and otherworldly, Montsalvat appears to be from a European fairytale. There’s no surprise it’s a top wedding venue and photography location in Melbourne.
Montsalvat was created by artist-founder Justus Jörgensen. As Australia’s oldest continuously active artists’ community, it offers art classes, studio places and short-term residencies to a wide variety of artists, experienced and aspiring. Inspired by villages of France, Jörgensen built Montsalvat out of clay, stone and remnants of Australia’s architectural heritage; for example the larger bay window in the Upper Gallery from the Victorian Insurance Building and the wooden uprights in the Barn Gallery, which in a previous life were timbers from the Wollongong wharf.
Montsalvat is a place to reenergise and contemplate. Whether it's wandering through the acres of rambling gardens, exploring the nooks and crannies of the old walls, or having a coffee at the cafe, one can loose hours here.
What’s on: Nillumbik Contemporary Art Prize (runs until July 21)
Fondata 1872 is a delightful respite from the busy city. Set in the heart of Kangaroo Ground, overlooking the rolling hills of Nillumbik, the gateway to the Yarra Valley, it’s the perfect spot for a delicious meal.
Rustic and contemporary in both setting and menu, Fondata offers city style with country hospitality.
We enjoyed an antipasti platter of salumi, tomato arancini, semidried tomato, fior di latte, cornichons, artichokes & beetroot feta dip and a local glass of Pinot Noir.
For mains we had pan fried barramundi served on pumpkin, pancetta & pearl barley, and grilled 250gm beef fillet, crushed kiplers, slow cooked onions & jus. Both meals were cooked to perfection and substantial in size which the hungry at heart would be pleased to hear.
Fondata 1872 is the perfect spot for a short drive out of the city, a celebratory lunch or even a wedding!
150 Eltham-Yarra Glen Road, Kangaroo Ground. Yarra Valley 3097
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN ART AND SCULPTURE AT HEIDE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
Heide is one of my favourite modern art galleries. From world-class exhibitions including the current Mirka for Melbourne exhibition (running until August 25) plus the sculpture park and cafe, there’s always something to see and do.
Heide began as the home of John and Sunday Reed in 1934. The founders then opened their home to like-minded individuals such as artists Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, John Perceval and Danila Vassilieff. Their home turned into a sanctuary which provided a space for artists, writers and intellectuals to gather and promote discussion, creation of modern art and literature.
Today Heide is still a hub of activity for modern art lovers young and old: a place to explore, relax and discover.
7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen VIC 3105
If you’re looking for a day trip out of Melbourne, take a short drive to discover Nillumbik and Manningham just minutes from your doorstep.
In partnership with Yarra Valley Tourism.