You’ll find art, antiques, local produce, vintage clothing and lots of little treasures in villages and towns throughout this region.
Antiques: the three main areas are Sassafras, Olinda and Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges; Yarra Glen, Healesville and Warburton in the Yarra Valley; and the Mornington Peninsula villages of Flinders, Moorooduc and Tyabb.
Art, craft and homewares: art thrives in the Dandenong Ranges villages of Olinda, Upwey and Sassafras. In the Yarra Valley, there are studios and galleries in most villages, particularly Healesville. On the Mornington Peninsula, check the galleries at Red Hill (especially for hand-blown glass and hand-painted tiles), Mt Eliza, Flinders and Sorrento. On Phillip Island, look for art in Mingara Gallery and The Gallery at Cowes Cultural Centre, and find beautiful jewellery in the Bridgeview Arcade in San Remo.
Local produce: pick your own luscious berries and cherries at fruit farms in Silvan in the Dandenongs and Red Hill/Main Ridge on the Mornington Peninsula. The markets are excellent spots, as are villages near produce-growing areas. In the Dandenongs, try the villages of Sassafras and Silvan. In the Yarra Valley, Healesville and Yarra Glen. On the Mornington Peninsula, Red Hill, Balnarring, Merricks and Sorrento.
Main streets: larger villages and towns offer the most extensive main street shopping. Healesville in the Yarra Valley; the villages along Mt Dandenong Tourist Road; Cowes on Phillip Island; Hastings on Western Port Bay and just about all the Port Phillip Bay villages, particularly Mornington, Sorrento, and Mt Martha.