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50 great reasons to visit Warrandyte

NOTICE: This post has been updated since its original posting in 2015

 WARRANDYTE is a great place to live or visit.

In 2015, the Diary published a piece 50 great things to do in Warrandyte and even today, this is still one of our most popular pages on our website.

A lot changed in three years, a lot is still the same too.

So, for your reading pleasure, here is the 2018 version of 50 great things to do in Warrandyte.

STAY THE NIGHT

Accommodation isn’t in ample supply in Warrandyte, but that’s not to say there aren’t some great options.

Warrandyte Goldfields Bed and Breakfast, located opposite the Stonehouse Gallery at Whipstick Gully Road.

With four star RACV rating, this B&B offers a self-contained two bedroom apartment which can sleep up to five people.

Situated within the heart of the old township, guests are minutes away from Warrandyte’s history, nature, art or the towns many eating establishments.

Alternatively, Crystal Brook Tourist Park is another excellent option for those looking for something a bit more versatile and spacious.

Whether you’re keen to camp, caravan or reside in a deluxe creek-side villa, Crystal Brook Tourist Park caters for all your needs and desires — minus the expensive price tag!

And it’s on the fringe of Warrandyte in Doncaster East on Warrandyte-Heidelberg Road opposite Beasley’s Nursery.

The popularity of sites like Airbnb have not gone unnoticed with Warrandyte homeowners and a quick search of Warrandyte reveals more than 20 options for the traveller who prefers a more homely vacation experience.

PARTY TIME

Sporting a number of café/bar/pub options and with many of these holding regular “special events” or even live music, a night out is becoming increasingly more popular.

In the centre of Warrandyte there there is The Grand Hotel and its new sister establishment Next Door — which you will find next door, are great options for listening to live music or for bit of a pre-event tipple before heading off to the Mechanic’s Hall the latest offerings be that theatre or music.

At the Goldfields Plaza end of town, check out It’s 12 o’clock Somewhere, or perhaps visit The White Owl for one of their summer evening events when it transforms into The Night Owl

Don’t forget the good old Warrandyte RSL, a favourite for many thanks to its laid back atmosphere up high on the hill in Brackenbury St.

A beaut spot for a game of pool, a drink and a barbecue on the balcony, it’s also a top live entertainment venue the entire family can enjoy with acts on every second Friday night and the last Sunday of every month. 

BEST FOR FOOD & COFFEE

There is no denying that Warrandyte offers a feast for all the senses, especially your taste buds.

From excellent rustic bakeries to exquisite fine dining, Warrandyte has something to satisfy your hunger for every occasion when it comes to food.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, Warrandyte has it covered.

Find yourself in Warrandyte on a weekday morning? Popular options include The RiverView Café, Cocoa Moon and The Warrandyte Café and The White Owl.

If you are after a quick pick-me-up, all these café’s make a great cup of coffee too.

For lunch, Warrandyte has two bakeries, The Warrandyte Bakery on Yarra Street, or Leos Bakery at Goldfields Plaza.

Want dinner? We’ve got it covered.

Indian — Nardee or Indian Affair.

Thai — Vanilla Orchid

Chinese — Mings

The Grand Hotel does some great pub grub with a good selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, or if you are after something more pizza shaped, why not try Bubbas Pizza, Zest — on the site of Red Fox Restaurant or why not head out to It’s 12 o’clock Somewhere.

Warrandyte is also home to two Fish and Chip shops — West End Fish & Chips and Seafood by the Yarra.

For the ultimate fine dining experience, why not book a table at Altair on Yarra Street.

GREAT WALKS & BIKE TRAILS

When surrounded by the beautiful bushland and scenic views that Warrandyte has to offer, the desire to go for a walk or bike ride is almost second nature.

Additionally, the hill-filled and vast landscape of our town also makes for great exercise.

So where do you start?

The tranquil walk along the Yarra River is probably the most loved and frequently used track that Warrandyte contains.

Another family-friendly track is the scenic and isolated Main Yarra Trail, where you can begin your journey from Beasley’s Teahouse and ride or walk your way towards the city.

For keen mountain bike riders however, the fire trails of fourth hill present a greater challenge.

There are some great walking trails to be found the The Pound and there is a very scenic walk from Black Flats to Jumping Creek Reserve, which can be accessed from Tills Drive.

North of the river, the Koornong Linear Reserve, off of Osbourne Road is a hidden gem as well as some nice walking an swimming spots at the end of Bradley’s Lane and The Boulevard.

Parks website is a good place to start, but also check out the Runners of Warrandyte Facebook group for advice and inspiration.

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES & INFORMATION

Warrandyte is famous for its rich history of gold mining, Indigenous roots and influential art culture.

Thus, our town has many attractions and places of interest that truly make it a special place to live and visit. For those with an interest in Warrandyte’s history, it is imperative that you visit the Warrandyte Historical Society — a small gallery that aims to preserve and celebrate the town’s past.

Follow your historical lesson with a venture down Whipstick Gully, the home to the gold mines in their original form.

Whilst you’re at it, be sure to be on the lookout for the distinctive Warrandyte listening poles. With a push of a button, listeners are taken back in time through story and song.

In addition, Warrandyte’s secondhand bookshop, Yarra Cottage Books, offers a unique, cultural experience as it showcases rare texts and first editions of books — what you might find will surprise you.

If arts and crafts are what you seek, check the Stonehouse Gallery.

Of course, we can’t have a Warrandyte and surrounds travel guide without mentioning the Information Warrandyte in Yarra Street to find out so much more on what to do and where to go.

FISHING & SWIMMING

Swimming, fishing and kayaking are the ideal outdoor recreational activities in Warrandyte, given that the Yarra River is practically on our doorstep.

The trick is to know the best spots to do so to ensure your safety.

In terms of swimming, Pound Bend is a location loves by locals who enjoy a splash.

Don’t forget your inflatable tyre and picnic — why not make a day of it?

Great fishing spots on the other hand require a bit of insider info.

Try your luck at the end of Alexander Road as there are a plenty of good spots along the river there.

Alternatively, you might find success along the river behind Stiggants Reserve, or behind the bakery where the rapids are.

If you’re lucky, you can catch Macquarie Perch, Murray Cod, eels and carp — sometimes sized 60 – 70cm believe it or not!

Be careful to remember your crocs (not the reptile variety) or water shoes though, as rocks in these areas can be sharp.

ONCE A YEAR

Warrandyte’s annual festivities present the perfect opportunity for locals to unite and for visitors to get a taste for our town’s contagious community spirit.

To get the ball rolling, the annual Warrandyte Pottery Expo celebrates and exhibits the best pottery and craft from the greatest Australian and international ceramic artists.

The expo takes place on the last weekend of February along the banks of the Yarra River.

Arguably the biggest event of the year, the Warrandyte Festival in March, is always a hit and arguably the best community festival in Australia.

Don’t miss the extravagant parade on Yarra Street, the much-loved duck race along the river and the tension-filled billy cart derby.

Not to mention great quality stalls and excellent live, local music all weekend long.

The Run Warrandyte Fun Run in the first weekend in March is a great family event from run/walkers to serious runners and the new “bushy” course is not to be missed.

Why not check out the The Stonehouse Gallery’s Teapot exhibition in August, run for its second time in 2018, this is fast becoming a regular artistic event on the town’s calendar.

DAY TRIPS WITHIN HALF AN HOUR

Warrandyte is central enough that a multitude of great day trips to nearby suburbs are reachable within half an hour. In fact, Melbourne’s CBD itself is only 40 minutes away straight down the Eastern Freeway.

For a more local adventure, however, take a drive to Eltham which is only 10 minutes northwest of Warrandyte.

Check out the Eltham War Memorial Park, which commemorates Australians involved in conflict.

It is certainly worth a visit to grasp a bit of history, pay your respects and admire the superb views.

Along similar lines, Montsalvat of Eltham is a beautiful artist colony where you can take a walk through the scenic gardens, capture some photographs of historic buildings and follow up with lunch at their own café/restaurant.

A trip out to the Yarra Valley is also a must, landing right on the half hour mark from Warrandyte.

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or a chocoholic, the Yarra Valley has something for everyone.

The wine region is exceptional, with plenty of outstanding wineries waiting to be discovered.

The immensely popular Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery is also recommended, and serves as the ideal location for the kids. Not to forget other commendable nearby wineries, including Rob Dolan Wines. Excellent food and exquisite wines – what more could you ask for?

MARKETS

To the delight of avid market-goers, there is no shortage of vibrant, atmospheric markets within the area.

Naturally, the crowd favourite of our Facebook community is naturally the one and only Warrandyte Market, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month.

Check it out for amazing local produce, arts and crafts, plant life, homewares and excellent food and drink.

When the Warrandyte Market isn’t on, there are still plenty of options nearby including the monthly Park Orchards Farmers Market on the third Saturday each month. Popping up every Saturday, the St Andrews Market is certainly worth a visit for its cool, hippy vibes and unique buys.

Thank you to the following people who made suggestions as well as those who contributed anonymously:

Ashlee Hughes, Cara Harwood, Karin Walford, John Luttick, Angela Davies, Debbie Hodgson, Peta Ann Dibb, Grant Egan, Kaz Meady, Danae Barnes, David Schwarzer, PeteandMel Mac and Wendy Snowball.

 

Merry Christmas

Anderson’s Creek Primary School Grade Sixers Jordan, Tayah, Alicia C, Roxy and Alicia H get into the Christmas spirit at the school’s annual Christmas carols night. The Warrandyte Diary wishes all our readers a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year! The Diary returns in February.

Spooky cute

Halloween hit the streets of Warrandyte again this year as all sorts of creepy crawlies, witches, monsters, vampires, black cats and even female teenage mutant ninja turtles converged on homes for a trick or a treat.

Sarah and Rosie set about giving everyone a fright before bewitching one and all with those wickedly delicious hypnotic big browns … and demanding some treats!

Second river crossing

WARRANDYTE could have a second Yarra River crossing before the end of the year with VicRoads to review the town’s ability to cope in a worst-case scenario bushfire emergency.

Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith last week announced VicRoads would work with Emergency Management Victoria to create a traffic management model as party of a multi-agency review – including Victoria Police, the CFA, Melbourne Water and local councils – with a particular focus on Warrandyte Bridge with considerations to widen it, as well as looking at improving water accessibility for fire brigades.

In February a fire destroyed three Warrandyte homes giving locals a stark reminder of the vulnerability of the environment we live in. The bridge has always been a concern given it is the only route for locals who live north of the Yarra requiring a southern evacuation.

“Two Disaster Plan (Displan) boxes will be installed at both sides of Warrandyte Bridge, containing equipment needed to assist with traffic management during emergencies,” Mr Smith said.

“Our No.1 concern during an emergency is the safe evacuation of people, and these simple solutions will greatly assist Victoria Police and other emergency response teams manage an evacuation.

“The boxes will contain two-sided multi message signs and 40 ‘witches hats’ which could be used to provide drivers with advance notice to prepare for changed traffic conditions.

“The peak danger period for bushfires in the Warrandyte area is nearly upon us, so these measures are not only welcome but also a timely reminder to people in the Warrandyte area to be prepared.

In addition to the Displan boxes, new folding traffic management signs on both sides of Warrandyte Bridge will be installed and road diversion plans for the broader region were being reviewed and finalised.

“I’ve been speaking with VicRoads staff and the aim is to have all of these measures finalised and implemented by the end of the year.”

Residents are reminded of the importance of having a solid fire plan throughout summer. Visit http://warrandyte.org.au/fire/ for news, suggestions and more information on how you can be better prepared.