Portrait of an artist
Artist Penny Casey has spent her entire life in the South Pacific, but…
The Yarra Valley is where Melburnians like to play. About 60 minutes from the city, the suburbs peter out, replaced by green rolling hills dotted with vines, restaurants, walking trails, farm gates and pretty villages just waiting to be discovered.
Much of Victoria’s best produce is grown here, the cool climate wines are top notch and Sunday lunch is an institution. Of course, no visit is complete without calling into Healesville Sanctuary where you can get up close and personal with koalas, dingoes and platypus.
Once mysteriously hidden behind its giant cypress hedge, Coombe, Dame Nellie Melba’s old estate in Coldstream, is now open to the public. You can explore the century-old 2.8-hectare gardens of Australia’s famous opera singer followed by morning tea, or instead marvel at the Louis Vuitton luggage and opera memorabilia at the small gallery after brunch in the conservatory restaurant. And, yes, peach Melba (named after Dame Nellie) is on the dessert menu. Coombe Farm wines can be tasted at the cellar door. Book ahead for garden tours.
* Read all the story in March 2017 Where Melbourne magazine.