If you are looking for a few days of wine and roses, then you can’t better a holiday far from the madding crowd in Monbulk in the Dandenong Ranges.
Forty-seven kilometres east of Melbourne, Monbulk is set in timbered hills notable for their tulips, roses, fruit and both fruit-based and traditional wine. Tessclaar’s Bulbs and Flower gardens host an annual Tulip Festival which runs from mid-September to mid-October when you can glory in millions of tulips, daffodils, freesias, ranunculi, hyacinths and anemones in full bloom. Rose fanciers can get their fill at the Roses Galore nursery which also offers barbecue facilities in a garden setting. The Monbulk Winery is open weekends and public holidays for tastings of its kiwi fruit and regular grape wines, while the main stream Five Oaks Vineyard offers weekend and holiday visitors tastings and BBQs. Silvan Reservoir Park in the Dandenong foothills is just one of a chain of tranquil bushland retreats where visitors can work up an appetite on the walking trails through cypress pine, spruce, liquidambar, maples and eucalypt forest before settling down to a picnic or barbecue lunch.