Bendigo Epicurean

Straddle the centuries as you explore Bendigo’s bountiful past as a beneficiary of gold rush riches and its vibrant contemporary culture as a centre of art and culinary excellence.

Join your local host and journey through Bendigo’s glorious streets with the opportunity to meet the city’s passionate food heroes who showcase gourmet local produce and hear stories of how this gold-rush city has produced some of Australia’s favourite foods.

Visit intriguing venues such as Mister Grimsby Coffee, The Good Loaf and Indulge Fine Belgian Chocolates, before getting hands on in a gnocchi making session with lunch and a glass of local wine.

As for the afternoon, visit Australia’s oldest working pottery – Bendigo Pottery to see an expert potter at work before your chance to take to the wheel to throw your own masterpiece.

Prior to departing for Melbourne, browse quality ceramic tableware, antiques, and collectables at the Pottery centre.

Make an enquiry


Highlights

  • Meet local artisans and enjoy tastings on a tour that explores the city’s famed “foodie” culture
  • Gnocchi making session with lunch and local wine
  • Hands on pottery lesson at Australia’s oldest working pottery

Inclusions

  • Private tour hosted by an expert local guide
  • Hosted Foodie tour of Bendigo
  • Gnocchi making session with lunch
  • Pottery lesson
  • Luxury vehicle with bottled water & travel snacks

Commence

08:00am from your Melbourne hotel/address

(Available Tuesday – Saturday)

 

Duration

Approx. 8-hours

 




King Valley & High Country

TRAVEL KING VALLEY’S PROSECCO ROAD TO THE PICTURESQUE GOLDRUSH TOWNS OF VICTORIA’S HIGH COUNTRY


DAY 1: KING VALLEY, PROSECCO ROAD & ITALIAN HOSPITALITY

Meet your local guide in the lobby of your Melbourne hotel (08:30am) before departing on your four-day tour of the King Valley and High Country.

Your first stop will be Pizzini Wines located on what is known as ‘Prosecco Road’ in the heart of the King Valley. This family owned and operated winery specializes in the production of Italian wine varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and of course Prosecco!

Meet your host then journey amongst the vines to learn firsthand how the Pizzini vineyard has evolved and why certain sites are more suited to particular varieties or wine styles than others. From the vineyard head to the winery barrel room for a tutored tasting of current and back vintage wines. In true Italian fashion, enjoy a sumptuous grazing platter with estate wines for lunch overlooking the vineyard.

As for the afternoon, continue to sample wines at neighbouring King Valley vineyards such as Chrismont and Dal Zotto Wines before transferring to your accommodation for the night, Lancemore at Milawa.

This evening is yours at leisure with the option to dine at Restaurant Merlot or perhaps utilize the in-house room service.

DAY 2: EXPLORE THE QUAINT TOWNSHIP OF BRIGHT AND THE HIGH COUNTRY

Today we journey deeper into Victoria’s High Country to explore the picturesque and historic village of Bright.  Located on the Ovens River and surrounded by mountains, Bright has long been a popular getaway offering something special in every season.

Upon arrival in Bright, hop on a bicycle for a ride taking in scenic views on a rail trail from Bright to Porepunkah (e-Bikes available if preferred). Take in the mountain views, break for an espresso at the quaint Rail Trail Café. Further down the trail the team at Feathertop Winery will share insights to the Boynton family’s favourite picnic spots amongst the vines. Select your preferred location then explore the grounds while your vineyard service angels prepare your picnic lunch.

Returning to Bright, explore the township and its stunning riverside setting.  Foodies may wish to sample locally made chocolates, enjoy an ale at the friendly Bright Brewery, or gin tasting at Reed & Co Distillery.  Alternatively embark on the easy one-hour Canyon Trail which meanders along the banks of Ovens River and takes in two swing bridges. Your guide can assist with arrangements.

Departing Bright, venture on to historic Beechworth, arguably Australia’s best-preserved gold mining town.  The evening is yours at leisure. Blessed with wonderful dining options, consider The Ox & Hound Bistro for something special, the Empire Hotel for warm hospitality and elevated pub fare, or pizzas and ale at Bridge Road Brewers.

For the next two-nights you will rest in comfort at Freeman on Ford, Beechworth.

DAY 3: BUSHRANGERS & THE GOLD-RUSH IN HISTORIC BEECHWORTH

Don’t let the graceful, gold-rush-era architecture and friendly folk of Beechworth fool you. The town was a hot bed of revolutionary fervour when the Kelly Gang roamed the countryside and were frequent guests of Her Majesty at Beechworth Gaol. Incensed with the brutal behaviour of the Victoria Police, Ned Kelly reputedly threatened to declare Victoria’s north-east a republic before his capture, conviction, and execution in 1880. Life is calmer these days, with Beechworth ruled by food and wine producers rather than bushrangers and the constabulary.

Following breakfast, join a local historian who will bring to life the stories of the gold-rush and infamous Kelly Gang on a private walking tour of this town steeped in history.

The afternoon is yours to continue to explore the town’s heritage boutiques, antique stores or visit the famed Beechworth Honey for a tasting. For the energised, walk to Woolshed Falls, home to thousands of miners during the height of the Gold Rush in the 1850’s.

Dinner this evening will be at Provenance, one of Australia’s most esteemed regional restaurants. Housed in the former Bank of Australasia building, Provenance’s reputation is as high as the soaring six-metre ceiling in the dining room. Chef Michael Ryan’s abiding fascination with Japan finds expression in a menu that marries Australian produce with exquisite Japanese flavours.

DAY 4: SCENIC RETURN TO MELBOURNE VIA THE YARRA RANGES

Farewelling the High Country, return to Melbourne along the scenic route travelling through the agriculturally rich and picturesque central Victorian countryside. In the foothills of the spectacular Cathedral Range we stop at Buxton Trout and Salmon, Australia’s first commercial trout farm where fish have been reared for over 50 years. The gravity fed water supply originates from the pristine snowfields of Lake Mountain providing the perfect place to grow a clean, natural food. Join a private behind-the-scenes tour of the farm and sample their famous Mountain Ash Smoked Trout, premium hand-milked salmon caviar before dropping a line and catching your own lunch.

Our journey continues along one of the most ethereally beautiful drives in the state. The Black Spur cuts through the forest landscapes of the verdant Yarra Ranges. Savour the fragrance of the Australian bush as you gaze up at the immense mountain ash trees scattering sunlight on the cool understorey of green ferns below. From here it is just a quick hop step to central Melbourne where your journey of Victoria’s King Valley & High Country concludes (Approx. 06:00pm)

Whats Included

  • Expert local Driver/Guide
  • Luxury vehicle
  • Pizzini experience with lunch
  • King Valley wine tastings
  • Bicycle & helmet hire
  • Lunch at Feathertop winery
  • Private walking tour of Beechworth
  • Dinner Provenance Restaurant (Excl. beverages)
  • Buxton Trout & Salmon Farm experience including Lunch

Make an enquiry




Ballarat & Sovereign Hill

The jewel in the crown of the Goldfields region, a visit to Ballarat with its remarkable Victorian architecture and open-air museum Sovereign Hill, feels like stepping back in time over 150 years to the incredible upheaval of gold rush fever.

Established in 1838 on the shores of Lake Wendouree as a humble sheep station, Ballarat’s fortunes were transformed just over a decade later with the discovery of gold.  Your guide will introduce you to the gripping tales of triumph and tragedy that followed.  This rich history comes to life at Sovereign Hill, an outdoor museum that replicates 1850’s life, complete with costumed characters depicting gold diggers and blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and candlestick makers.

In keeping with the historic theme, lunch is an inspired feast of locally sourced produce paired with fine wine in the superb glass roofed gallery at Craig’s Royal Hotel, Australia’s legendary gold rush-era hotel

After lunch admire the magnificent architecture funded by the great wealth drawn from the ground while wandering Ballarat’s wide streets before a visit to the intimate Ballarat Wildlife Park offering the opportunity to feed friendly Kangaroos and view Koalas, Dingos and other cuddly Australian animals.

Make an enquiry


Highlights

  • Visit Sovereign Hill – Australia’s largest open-air museum depicting life in 1850’s Ballarat soon after the discovery of gold
  • Pan for real gold in Red Hill gully
  • Lunch at the historic Craig’s Royal Hotel
  • Meet Australian animals at Ballarat Wildlife Park
  • Explore the historical city of Ballarat and it grand architectural heritage

Inclusions

  • Private tour hosted by an expert local guide
  • Entry to Sovereign Hill
  • Entry to Ballarat Wildlife Park
  • Lunch with beverages
  • Luxury vehicle with bottled water & travel snacks

Commence

09:00am from your Melbourne hotel/address

Duration

Up to 9-hours




Daylesford & Macedon Ranges

Reignite your imagination with a visit to the rural landscape of the Macedon Ranges and historic village of Daylesford. Only 90 minutes from Melbourne, these regions are blessed with crisp mountain air, fertile volcanic soils and purifying mineral springs resulting in the production of some of Australia’s most highly prized artisanal product and premium wines.

Begin your journey to the Macedon Ranges with a visit to a place of great mystery and natural beauty, Hanging Rock.  Your guide will familiarise you with the curious story behind this rocky outcrop as depicted in novelist Joan Lindsay’s unnerving classic “Picnic at Hanging Rock”. Enjoy a personalised wine tasting at a leading winery before a relaxing journey through countryside to the quaint village of Daylesford, the heart of Australia’s ‘spa country’.

Nestled by a glistening lake and surrounded by towering gum trees and thick bushland, Daylesford is a peaceful escape replete with artists’ studios, cafes, and antique stores. The town’s heritage streetscape bursts with character, from the bluestones erected by early Swiss-Italian migrants to the historic legacy of the gold rush era.

Indulge in Daylesford’s award-winning Lake House restaurant for an unforgettable gourmet experience. Under the culinary directorship of industry doyenne Alla Wolfe-Tasker, the kitchen works magic with seasonal ingredients sourced from the finest small-scale local suppliers. Fare including rare-breed pork, grass-fed beef, freshwater fish and goats’ milk cheese is hand-delivered daily.

Your afternoon might include a visit to the rustic Lavandula Swiss-Italian Farm, a local winery or browse Vincent Street’s charming galleries and boutiques before returning to Melbourne through picturesque countryside.

Make an enquiry


Highlights

  • Visit mysterious Hanging Rock and learn of its Aboriginal significance and the eerie happenings fictionalised in Joan Lindsay’s classic novel Picnic at Hanging Rock
  • Enjoy wine tasting at a leading Macedon Ranges winery
  • Lunch at the renowned Lake House – one of Australia’s finest restaurants
  • Explore the quaint town of Daylesford, visit the Convent Gallery, or Lavandula Swiss Italian village

Inclusions

  • Private tour hosted by an expert local guide
  • Lunch at Lake House Restaurant (Your choice of menu)
  • All wine and/or produce tastings
  • Luxury vehicle with bottled water & travel snacks

Commence

09:00am from your Melbourne hotel/address

(Available Friday – Wednesday)

Duration

Up to 8-hours




Melbourne Laneways & Waterways

Snaking its way through the heart of the Melbourne, the sepia-coloured Yarra River is one of the stars of the Melbourne Laneways & Waterways tour. Before you take to water, first celebrate the city’s unique laneway and market culture.

Begin your tour with a visit to the Queen Victoria or South Melbourne market, each offering insight into Melbourne’s famed liveability. Wander bustling meat, fish, and dairy halls sampling fresh oysters, artisanal cheeses and pastries, or browse unique, locally designed merchandise.

Take in the vibrant Arts precinct, Flinders Street Station and the grand Victorian civic buildings of Spring Street before setting off on foot to explore Melbourne’s labyrinth of laneways and arcades. Browse the boutiques of Block and Royal Arcades, admire Hosier Lane’s urban art scene or simply take a moment to soak up the Continental energy and atmosphere of Centre Place.

Step on board your private cruise, sit back and enjoy lunch with a glass of Australian sparkling wine as you glide along the Yarra River. Marvel at the magnificent skyline from a very different angle, with the gleaming new Docklands precinct, Federation Square and the Royal Botanic Gardens as your dramatic backdrop.

Melbourne laneway tours are a great way to explore the city and coupled with a cruise on the Yarra River Acacia’s Laneways & Waterways tour is the perfect day out for visitors to Melbourne.

Make an enquiry


Highlights

  • Produce tasting at the bustling Queen Victoria or South Melbourne Market (Tuesday – Sunday)
  • Uncover street art and hidden gems in Melbourne’s vibrant laneways precinct
  • Private river cruise taking in the sights of Melbourne including Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Royal Botanic Gardens, Southbank, Docklands and more
  • Cruising lunch of gourmet sandwiches, cheese and fruit platter served with Australian beer, wine and soft drinks

Inclusions

  • Private tour hosted by an expert local guide
  • Private river cruise (Approx. 1-hour)
  • Light lunch with beverages
  • Luxury vehicle with bottled water & travel snacks

Commence

10:00am from your Melbourne hotel / address (Start time is flexible)

Duration

Approx. 5 hours




Melbourne City Private Tour

Melbourne offers magnificent riches for the curious willing to lose themselves in bustling markets and hidden laneways.  Join your local guide to uncover surprises from manicured botanic gardens and city beaches to intricately detailed Victorian arcades and graffiti daubed city walls.

Begin your tour with a visit to the Queen Victoria or South Melbourne market, each offering insight into Melbourne’s famed liveability. Wander bustling meat, fish, and dairy halls and sample fresh seafood, artisan cheeses and pastries, or browse unique, locally designed merchandise.

Explore the bayside playground of St. Kilda with expansive views and exotic buildings such as the Palais Theatre and Luna Park. Stop for an iconic postcard photo with the colourful bathing boxes lining the foreshore of Brighton Beach before returning to central Melbourne via the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit and the Shrine of Remembrance to take in panoramic views.

View Melbourne’s vibrant Arts precinct, Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and the grand Victorian civic buildings of Spring Street then set off on foot to meander through Melbourne’s labyrinth of laneways and arcades. Browse the boutiques of Block and Royal Arcades, admire Hosier Lane’s urban art scene or simply take a moment to soak up the Continental atmosphere of Centre Place.

Make an enquiry


Highlights

  • Melbourne’s icons of Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, Royal Exhibition Building, and The Shrine of Remembrance
  • Highlights of Melbourne’s street art scene
  • Enjoy fine coffee in Melbourne’s vibrant laneways and arcades
  • Produce tasting at the bustling Queen Victoria or South Melbourne Market (Tuesday – Sunday)
  • Bohemian St Kilda and the cake shops of Acland Street
  • Colourful Brighton Beach bathing boxes

Inclusions

  • Private tour hosted by an expert local guide
  • Morning or Afternoon tea
  • Luxury vehicle with bottled water & travel snacks

Commence

09:00am (Morning) or 01:00pm (Afternoon) from your Melbourne hotel / address (Start time is flexible)

Duration

Approx. 4 – 5 hours