Yarra Ranges & Nillumbik

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The ‘lungs’ of Melbourne

Less than an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik region is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Boasting areas of significant native vegetation, forested mountains, rural valleys and waterways, this region makes up a critical part of Melbourne’s water supply catchment.

Set in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, the natural environment of the Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik region is one of Melbourne’s greatest assets – helping to provide the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soils that grow our food, and the habitats that are home to indigenous wildlife.

The Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik region are some of the most environmentally important areas in the Port Phillip and Western Port Region, including the Mountain Ash forests of the Dandenong Ranges and Central Victorian Highland – home to iconic species such as the Powerful Owl, the Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater’s Possum.

The richness of the region’s agriculture has made it an important food production area for Victoria. It was Victoria’s first wine growing district with a history stretching back 170 years and is known as the birthplace of Victoria’s wine industry.

It also supports a range of other horticultural activities including nursery plant production, flower growing and orcharding. Livestock grazing especially for beef cattle breeding and fattening is the dominant agricultural activity in the areas of cleared pastures.

The region is a popular destination for local and international visitors alike who are attracted to the national parks, State forests, recreational trails and well known attractions such as the Puffing Billy Railway and the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik areas are also of high cultural significance to the traditional custodians, the Wurundjeri people who share spiritual connectedness to the land.  For at least 40,000 years, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people have been the traditional custodians of this land. Evidence of their rich cultural heritage and deep spiritual connection to this country can be found throughout the region.