If you’re into wineries, good food and quaint villages, you’ll find your little slice of heaven in the outer east of Melbourne. There’s some lovely drives that can be done in a day, so make sure you mark these down as must-sees.

Healesville: Only about 60km from the CBD of Melbourne, Healesville is in Yarra Valley country and is notable for its wonderful wildlife sanctuary which is home to many Australian native animals including koalas, Tasmanian Devils, kangaroos, a variety of birdlife, reptiles and much more. It’s idea for picnics too. The township of Healesville is also a great base from which to launch nearby winery trips at Domaine Chandon and Rochford Wines. Getting to Healesville from Melbourne is a breeze – just follow the Eastern Freeway out for half an hour, turn right onto Springvale Rd and not far away is Maroondah Highway which takes you straight there.

Yarra Glenn: In the heart of food and wine country, this little township can’t be missed for all its charms, and magnificent wineries including Tarrawarra Estate, De Bortoli and famous Yering Station for some sweeping views of the Yarra Valley and a chane to take home some tasty cheeses and wines. Only 50km east of Melbourne’s CBD.

The Dandenongs: A train called Puffing Billy, majestic gardens, and the wondrous tall trees and ferns of the national and state parks are the highlights of the beautiful Dandenongs, and don’t forget the little, quaint townships such as Olinda, Emerald and Sassafras for morning tea and a browse in antique shops. Less than an hour from Melbourne. It gets a bit windy up in the Dandenongs, but nevertheless, it’s a terrific drive. Very hilly, as opposed to the wonderful flat cruising around Healesville and Yarra Glenn.