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Nature

Easy nature walks to help you unwind and breathe fresh mountain air abundant in the Yarra Valley. Close to the Botanica Editions studio in Healesville, these are some of our daily favourites.

Badger Weir one of the most magical forest walks with beautiful fern gullies and crystal clear mountain streams. 

Local Secret: the Lyrebird track along Badger Creek is a fairytale wonderland, perfect for childlike adventures and cleansing rejuvenation.

Maroondah Reservoir Park is a beautiful example of 1920’s engineering, combined with large English style landscaped parklands featuring exotic plants that merge with the surrounding native vegetation and Watts River.  Many Yarra Valley walking tracks begin from within this garden. 

Local Secret: if you are early risers, you will find an early morning stroll is likely to be quite solitary other than a friendly mob of kangaroos and the fresh fragrance of lemon-scented gum to keep you company

Warramate In addition to one of our best Wineries producing excellent Shriaz, this is the location of a beautiful micro-mountain range hugging the drive into the Yarra Valley. An easy walking track taking in Briarty Hill and the Yarra River.

Toolangi Tall Trees Trail, including patches of Cool Temperate Rainforest.  Massive trees, several hundred years old.  Home of the threatened Barred Galaxis, Leadbeater’s Possum and Sooty Owl.  A local secret because it is just that little bit further afield from the popular Yarra Valley parklands.  Australian Poet, C J Dennis made Toolangi his mountain home for many years where he created the magical Singing Gardens.

Fernshaw, Morleys Track Victoria’s tall Mountain Ash are the world’s tallest flowering plants and are protected within Melbourne’s water catchment area. Morleys walking Track is one exception where you can get up close and personal with these majestic giants of the forest.

Worawa Aboriginal College Care for Country, Koala Browse Plantation, Polytechnic buildings all make up the education, culture and wellbeing centre of Worawa.  Local Secret: Private experiences can be organised by appointment.

Donnellys Weir Begin walking the 5000+km to Cooktown on the Bicentennial National Trail, through some of Victoria’s most beautiful State forest.

Healesville Sanctuary Australian nature park and zoo great for young and old. 

Local Secret: remember to book your tickets ahead of time especially the Close-Up experiences

Nurture

We are really fussy when it comes to nurturing therapies given we have practised in Natural Medicine for over two decades. 

Our personal Yarra Valley recommendations (and therapists) are below and remember to book any of these extraordinary healers well ahead of your arrival in the Yarra Valley.

OneSpa RACV Country Club.  Beautiful spa suites overlooking Mt Riddell, known as Gumeril, to local traditional owners.  Experienced therapists and quality products make OneSpa a deeply nurturing experience.

Local Secret: The Club, always a private Members-Only destination, has just opened the OneSpa and some Dining experiences to Yarra Valley visitors. If you are a bath lover, you must explore one of the private water-therapy suites.

Miss Josie's Beauty Parlour  Paying homage to an era when ladies took their beauty regimes seriously, Miss Josie's is a 1950s styled beauty parlour.   Miss Josie (Jo) provides personalised beauty treatments along with one of the most nurturing relaxation massages you will find in the Yarra Valley and she is our own Botanica Editions skincare therapist.

Belinda Aquilina Remedial and relaxation massage therapist doesn't give justice to the depth of a 'massage' with Belinda.  We wanted to keep Belinda to ourselves, but we have been sharing her with our Botanica Editions guests for the last seven years so we have finally decided to release this secret to the world.

The Nourish Space Heather Smith is one of the best Clinical Nutritionists we have worked with.  Her forensic mindset to get to the root cause of the condition sets her apart from others  As a knowledgeable Yarra Valley local and passionate food lover, a series of sessions with Heather working with Food as Medicine will turn your Yarra Valley visit into the beginning of a healing transformation.

Worawa Aboriginal College Dreaming Trail is part of the cultural and environmental landscape of Worawa.  Experience the Bush Tucker Garden as a source of food and nutrition as well as their medicinal qualities.

Shop. Retail therapy is a wonderful way to nurture your soul.  Morris Brown, Silvermist Studio, Verso Books, Crumbz Craft, Midnight Flowers and Sharps, and Miss Spelts Wholefoods are all fun places to explore in the main shopping precinct of Healesville.  There is also a wide range of Opportunity and Charity stores offering a selection of treasures to be discovered and a short drive as you explore the Yarra Valley, The Providore @ Meletos is a favourite of ours for a last-minute gift destination, a short 7-minute drive from Healesville.

Nourish

The Yarra Valley is famous for food and wine.  While there are many, many places to visit here, this is simply a boutique selection we love to share with our family and friends when they visit.  While it may still seem like a long list, we can assure you it is still the shortlist!

Stones of the Yarra Valley Whether it is the intimate restaurant space of The Stables, a luncheon in The Barn or the local produce menu offered for lunch and dinner at Meletos' Cafe, there is something to suit your occasion every day of the week at this iconic Yarra Valley venue, as is the Stones urban winery, No.7 Healesville in the heart of town.

Other special occasion dining we enjoy with family and friends when they visit include Tarrawarra Estate, Seville Estate, Attica Summer Camp, Levantine Hill, Oakridge, Dominque Portet, Coombe the Melba Estate, Yering Station, Graceburn Wine room, and our 'go-to local pub', Healesville Hotel & The Cellars where Chef Jarrod Hudson is cooking up the most amazing ~ Yarra Valley-Thai fusion ~ food with local ingredients, we have absolutely no need to leave town. 

For a few relaxed options ....

My Little Kitchen A great choice of locally sourced, healthy menus including our favourite, The Garden Menu. Breakfast and lunch each day and importantly, open early for your Toby's coffee fix each morning.

River Street Organic Market Every Saturday morning you will find a range of locally grown, seasonal produce at the River Street Farmers Market.  Timbarra Farm, Chum Creek coffee and Stone & Crow cheese are a few of the local providers passionate about their lovingly created produce.

Habituel / Giant Steps  Great bakers (the best breakfast muffins in town), good coffee, great staff and the Giant Steps pop-up cellar door upstairs. 

Nature's Cake Prepare to add a couple of curves to your body shape.  With Faith the most amazing cake-maker and Darren a wonderful coffee-maker, it's easy to go back for seconds each day.

K&B Kitchen & Butcher Country butcher, delicatessen, bakery, charcuterie and fresh local produce for all your needs in preparing a quick meal at your Yarra Valley Home for the weekend

Yarra Valley Dairy Delicious, local handmade cheeses with tastings in the 100-year-old milking shed.  Great value purchases for bulk buys of the famous Yarra Valley Feta by the bucket.

Barrique Wine Store  A great selection of Yarra Valley wines and others from around the world makes for an easy last-minute dash to grab a quality bottle of wine that complements a meal at your Botanica Editions Handpicked Accommodation suggestions.

Wombat's Chai a rustic cafe, with a small selection of organic produce if you miss the Saturday morning organic market in River Street.  Tasty food & Monica makes an excellent coffee.  A relaxed place where you will find the locals hang out.

Mocha & Lime Heather makes excellent coffee and there is always generous serves of good food at this casual café.  Mocha & Lime often have fun, live music playing on a weekend and consistently offer amazing, wholesome food and happy (couple of hours) from 3pm on a Friday afternoon.

With Yarra Valley Food and Wine there is always a new restaurant, boutique cellar door, or chef experimenting with something new and creative and vibrant in the Yarra Valley. 

For over seven years, guests at Botanica Editions ~ The Willow House and Habitat House enjoyed curated personal food and wine experiences including in-house dining with their own Personal Chef. 

If you would like help curating a special occasion, finding that perfect location for a memorable experience, or to connect with your Yarra Valley Personal Chef, feel free to contact us.   

We still here working on our Next Edition and have a number of Top Secrets we are happy to share.

Create

TarraWarra Museum of Art  – Immerse in the beauty and considered design of this first privately funded, publicly owned art museum. Beautiful modern architecture that frames the landscape as nature's art from multiple angles in this beautiful gallery.  The restaurant and cellar door at TarraWarra Estate are also one of our finest.

YAVA Gallery and Arts Hub a contemporary creative space in the heart of Healesville hosting inspiring exhibitions and workshops by a blend of visiting and Yarra Valley artists.  This is where you will be able to meet many of our local artists when they are not busy in their own studio.

Yering Station is known for its quality wine and magnificent restaurant set within stunning architecture and landscaped gardens. The Rathbone family’s passion for visual art complementing their premium food and wine is one of the Yarra Valley’s best secrets.  Explore the installed works throughout Yering Station and keep your ear to the ground for invites to the rotating exhibitions displayed in the Cellar door and Matts Bar. 

The Memo in Healesville will host many excellent art exhibitions as well as live performances. Check out Yarra Ranges Culture Tracks online updates for a full schedule of events.

GARDEN ART

As passionate Landscape Designers, our create list would not be complete without sharing some of our favourite (along with Botanica Editions, Next Edition) Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges garden spaces to enjoy.

Definitely Coombe the Melba Estate (Coldstream) for garden tours of Dame Nellie Melba's private garden. Alowyn Gardens (Yarra Glen) for a variety of garden spaces.  Cloud Hill, Alfred Nicholas Gardens, Lotus Gardens and Rhododendron gardens all found within the fertile soil the Dandenong Ranges.  Tarrawarra Museum of Art hosts the most beautiful landscaped parklands and sculpture walk to complement the stunning building architecture (and of course fine dining at Tarrawarra Estate).

Local parkland and natural bushwalks mentioned in Nature include Maroondah Dam parkland gardens and Badger Weir.  Both very casual and rambling, but great for the imagination.  And Lubra Bend is also another beautiful private garden where an advanced booking is required.

Top Secret

So you made it all the way through our long, short-list!

CONGRATULATIONS.

However, visiting the Yarra Valley wouldn't be complete without meeting the makers of some of the worlds finest wines.

Artisans with such deep respect for the land, they seamlessly merge with treasured terroir and roll with the seasons to create alchemy through their love of winemaking.

Planning with the full list of Yarra Valley vineyards can become quite overwhelming. Instead, for a rich and personal experience, away from the crowds, we like to keep our recommendations simple with this boutique group of small wineries.
 
The Maddens Lane group of wineries is a must.  Remember, most places require Cellar Door bookings during these COVID-times.
 
Maddens Rise - Emma at cellar door has the most beautiful soul.  Make time to 'wine graze' with Emma's signature hospitality and prepare yourself to enjoy one of the most personalised and relaxed wine tasting adventures you are likely to experience.

Yarra Yering - one of our older and finer boutique wineries as winemaker Sarah Crowe holds true to Dr Bailey Carrodus's founding legacy.  Yarra Yering is worth visiting for one of the most unique tasting experiences in the Valley.  Often we take Botanica Editions family and friends to Dr Bailey’s Yarra Yering where fiesty wine tasting 'arguments' have been known to break out.  No two people in our party ever seem to experience each wine in the same way making Yarra Yering the perfect venue for healthy debate.

Pimpernel  hidden, private and wines that are quirky enough to challenge your senses, intellectually and emotionally.  Cardiologist, Dr Mark Horrigan has created a wine similar in style to Dr Bailey Carrodus', Yarra Yering.  This is a fun place to stop on the Maddens Lane, Briarty Road, Hill Road boutique circuit.

Medhurst for a relaxed setting with beautiful architecture and a kitchen offering a wonderful grazing menu to complement any wine tasting. We love this place so much we often host Botanica Editions family birthday parties there.

Squitchy Lane Vineyard - just a little further along from Medhurst Winery.  A small vineyard with great wines and possibly our best-kept secret found along a quiet country lane.

A few other must-visits, simply for a Yarra Valley personal experience 
 
Tarrawarra Estate (for wine + architecture + art + food + landscape) + Payten and Jones (a couple of great local guys who have been supplying restaurants for years and now with their own Cellar Door opposite Four Pillars Gin Distillery) + Seville Estate (for the private tour + progressive tasting) + Dominique Portet (for the Piet Oudolf inspired gardens + expansive cellar door + Petanque court for the family) + Graceburn Wine room (not only for the great wine and easy food, but also for the classic Edwardian building that was the home of our father+grandfather's Healesville motor business for years).
 
And for something extra special, contact us for our TOP SECRET.
 
The Yarra Valley's newest private Vineyard Room for an exclusive experience and where you will find us hosting some of our NEXT Botanica Editions.
 
Botanica Editions Yarra Valley | Your Botanical Retreat... rejuvenating and sensory.
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