50 great reasons to visit Warrandyte
by Laura Doguet, Scott Podmore
8th February 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.