An hour north east of Melbourne, you’ll find eclectic Hurstbridge Village within rural Nillumbik Shire. Here, boutique farmers toil the soil alongside active artists in the Upper Yarra Valley.
Catch the train from Melbourne beneath a native canopy to sample their handiworks and delights on the first Sunday of each month at the Hurstbridge Farmers Market (excl. January).
Then, feast upon hand-made delicacies at one of the many local cafes in town. Or find the perfect cut for your next celebration from a traditional butcher.
TOURING TOWN VIA THE HURSTBRIDGE HERITAGE TRAIL
This old railway township’s history is well intact and beautifully celebrated on the Hurstbridge Heritage Trail.
Taking in 30 sites and through beguiling storytelling, it charts the lives of locals from settlement to the mid-1900s. Including the township’s namesake and his fatal brush with notorious bushranger, Robert Bourke.
Heritage photos provide eerie context to the displays, which culminate at the Hurstbridge History room in Allwood House.
A GENUINE FARMERS’ MARKET
Among the treasures at Hurstbridge Farmers Market are fresh fruit and vegetables, locally-pollinated honey, freshly-pressed oil, home-made soaps, and exquisite alternative fashions.
Stallholders are vetted to ensure they’re local producers or registered farmers for a genuine experience.
NILLUMBIK OPEN FARM DAY, MARCH 22, 2020
Don your galoshes for a fun, festive day among the orchards and paddocks within Nillumbik Shire. Farm tours, animal encounters, demonstrations, farmer Q&A, product tastings will entertain young and old.
Storm local vineyards, browse a commercial native nursery, feed a nosey alpaca and more.
NILLUMBIK ARTISTS OPEN DAY, MAY 2&3, 2020
Artists have long-claimed the hills as a hideaway for creative endeavours. You can admire their works on display at the local galleries year-round. Or hang out till late May this year, when they collectively open their doors.
You’ll meet artists like Tim from from Tread Sculptures. Tim also opens up his studio gallery once a month, in neigbouring Bend of Islands.
HURSTBRIDGE WATTLE FESTIVAL, AUGUST, 2020
Commemorate Hurstbridge’s railway history aboard a steamy on your way to the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival, hosted in August this year.
Admire the wattles lining Diamond Creek on your way to the Hurstbridge Main Street and the festival precincts. Last year, the Hurstbridge Bowling Club captured this great clip of the train pulling in and the local festivities.
MONTSALVAT, A SHORT DRIVE
Home your artistic passions under the watchful eye of resident artists within the enclave at Montsalvat, in neighbouring Eltham.
A towering Tudor mansion commands respect amid sprawling 12-acre gardens, with a chapel and artist workshops. The colony was established by artist Justus Jorgensen in 1934 and features many original dwellings still in tact.