Low Cost winter activities for these school holidays.

Snowy Mt Donna Buang Picture: ON FILE

by Gabriella Vukman

When it comes to school holidays, don’t let the winter season put a dampener on the fun. There are a variety of activities throughout the Yarra Valley and Ranges that never fail to put the ‘win’ in winter holidays.

From swimming and fishing to hiking and exploring the snow, our fabulous local areas have much to offer.

Visit the snow at Mt Donna Buang.

On the outskirts of Warburton, Mt Donna Buang marks an easy visit to the snowy slopes. As the road winds up and up, gaining altitude, speckles of white abruptly begin to litter the ground and surrounding forest. Before long, blankets of snow encompass the flora and fauna at the top of the mountain.

Spend the day frolicking through the flakes, having snowball fights or watching over the valley from Mt Donna’s 21m tall viewdeck tower.

Immerse at Knox

Spanning across Knox for the duration of June and July, Immerse is a two-month long arts and culture event for all ages.

Enjoy light galleries, interactive art, music, dance and performing arts among other items at a range of different weekly destinations.

Puffing Billy Lights

Witness the Dandenongs’ famous steam engine Puffing Billy lit up on its journey from Belgrave to Gembrook. Departing from Belgrave at 6pm daily, book a ticket or rug up and head down to Menzies Creek station to witness the brilliantly coloured trains puff by.

Trout fishing at the Ferntree Gully Quarry, Emerald Lake or Little Yarra River.

With the Victorian fishing association topping up trout supplies at the Ferntree Gully Quarry and Emerald lake each school holidays, winter can be a wonderful time to dip your rod in and have a crack. Warburton, Launching Place and behind the Yarra Junction oval also make great spots to fish the Little Yarra river for brown trout and rainbow trout.

Winter Hikes

It is easy to forget that it is possible to walk in the rain. With a multifarious assortment of walks, trails and atmospheres, winter hikes in the Valley and Ranges are a magical way to get out of the house and explore nature.

The 50.5km O’Shannassy aqueduct trail, starting in Millgrove provides a winding, shady glimpse of the ferny forests and grassland farms of the Upper Yarra Valley. Whether you decide to embark upon the whole 50km journey or duck in for a section, the walk showcases the Valley’s many facets.

Water activities

You don’t have to keep your togs locked away this freezing winter. With a heated wave pool in NarreWarren and a water slide at Knox, school holidays in the winter season are also excellent for some warm, watery fun.

Ferntree Gully Library

A wide variety of activities for all ages are on offer at the Ferntree Gully Library. From cookies, hot chocolate and winter craft afternoons for kids to table top board games for adults, this library can cater for any age group.

Enjoy the wintery activities the Yarra Ranges and Valley have to offer this School holidays.