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3 Reasons to Find Your Self (February 5, 2018)

The Yarra Ranges Tourism curated '3 Reasons to Find Your Self' newsletter has a digital distribution list of over 20K and is shared through our social media channels that are cumulatively close to 70K – and always growing.

The following content will also be collated and sent to our own media contact list, the Trav Media network plus Visit Victoria.

Relevant deals and offers attached to the content will be received as a positive 'add-on' and promoted through social channels.

Download the PDF version here

In line with the priorities outlined in our Strategic Plan, there will be preference given to Mid-Week activation and product that creates connections with the First Generation Immigrant  markets.

The early 2018 themes and material deadlines are as follows:

1. Material Due: January 29

  • High Teas
  • Late Check-Out Accommodation
  • Family Owned Dining (Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner)
  • Exceptional Valentines Day experiences
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images per inclusion


2. Material Due: February 2

  • Golf Experiences + extra experiences that your club offers
  • Outdoor Adventure that is high adrenaline
  • Family Friendly Top Trail - if you're on it and have something new to talk about please send through
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images per inclusion


3. Material Due: February 21

  • Events being held from March 2018 - June 2018 - large and small. The more unique the better. Preferably include a booking link in your material
  • Gardening Workshops
  • Cooking / Preserving classes held in unique environments.
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images + booking links where required


4. Material Due: March 2

  • Restaurants with kitchen gardens
  • Harvest drinking - what does your winemaker/ brewer/cider maker suggest we should be getting into?
  • Long table or 'shared platter' dinners and lunches
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images per inclusion


5. Material Due: March 21

  • Fireside dining
  • Stays with a working open fire
  • Alternative Taste Trail - if you're on it and have something new to talk about please send through. Highlight wine that suits the season.
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images per inclusion


6. Material Due: April 6

  • Cider + Ale Trail - if you're on it and have something new to talk about please send through.
  • Seasonal beers and ciders + food match
  • Restaurant or B&B special recipe's with inspiration from the orchard
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images per inclusion


7. Material Due: April 18

  • B & B's that offer an onsite home-cooked breakfast
  • Art and Craft workshops
  • Mid-Week stay deals
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images per inclusion


8. Material Due: May 4

  • Stays that are in 'hideaway' style settings and possibly 'off grid' or no wifi
  • Activities & Experiences that are nature based
  • Cafes and restaurants near a walking or bike trail for visitors to 'refuel' at whilst out
  • Material: 300 words + 3 high-quality images per inclusion

Please email information to:

Download the PDF version here

Leigh Harry joins Yarra Ranges Tourism Board

Industry Leader Joins Board of Yarra Ranges Tourism

18 January 2017

Yarra Ranges Tourism is pleased to announce Leigh Harry will be joining its Board from January 2017, as a Skills Based Director.


Leigh has a long history in the tourism industry and many of our Partners will recognise him from his previous roles as CEO of Tourism Victoria and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. During his career he has held a number of significant Board roles in the Tourism and Business Events industry at a state, national and international level.


Leigh’s career experience includes roles in both the private and government sectors, and he holds a Commerce Degree with honours in accounting.


“I have held a long connection to the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges tourism industry. Owning a small property in the region for many years, combined with my career experience has provided me with a privileged opportunity to get to know many of the regions operators and I look forward to playing an ongoing role in supporting their growth.” Mr Harry said.


As the official regional tourism organisation for the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Ranges Tourism is structured as a not-for-profit organisation governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Leigh joins existing skills based, Industry Partner representatives and local government appointed Directors of the Board.


Yarra Ranges Tourism Chair, James Robinson said Leigh’s appointment brings a new dimension of knowledge and experience to the organisation.


“We are delighted to welcome Leigh to the Yarra Ranges Board and look forward to the wealth of industry expertise and leadership he will bring to tourism in the region” said James.


“Leigh’s skills compliment those of our existing Board extremely well as the organisation continues our focus on delivering our new Strategic Plan to grow the visitor economy of the region, with the positive support of Industry Partners, Yarra Ranges Council and Visit Victoria”.

Official Regional Websites VisitYarraValley and VisitDandenongRanges pick up best commercial website accolade in the Australian Web Design Awards

We couldn’t be happier that our web team were recently notified that our regional websites have been acknowledged nationally as winners!

The Australian Web Awards 2016 showcase outstanding work by Australian web designers and developers. Their purpose is to promote their industry, to champion web standards, to acknowledge excellence and to provide marketing advantage to companies working at the highest level.

We were up against some extremely professional competition so to have won is such a testament to the hard work and focus our whole team have applied to creating excellent websites for our region and our partners to utilise. The process of assessment was very rigorous.

To all of you that have contributed through updating your listings, writing blog pieces, professional input and continuing to partner with us through the development stage – thank you. It’s terrific to be a part of such a collaborative region – we look forward to more good things to come.

Yarra Ranges Tourism Announces CEO Appointment

The Chair of Yarra Ranges Tourism, Mark Lucas has announced the appointment of Simon O’Callaghan as its new Chief Executive Officer.


The Yarra Ranges Tourism Board decided that now was the right time for a full-time CEO and undertook an extensive recruitment search.


“Simon was chosen following a competitive selection process from a strong field of candidates. His experience in tourism, marketing, digital and governance activities, his energy and collaborative leadership style along with his commitment to and support for the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges over many years all contributed to his appointment” Mr. Lucas said.

“Simon is an exceptional leader with extensive experience. His track record of delivering community outcomes and economic development in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges over the past 13 years has been first rate.”


Simon has been a member of the Yarra Ranges Tourism executive team and Chief Operating Officer since 2013.


Outgoing CEO Julie Sampson said “Simon is a brilliant colleague, I am personally delighted to be handing over the reins to such a hardworking and talented leader.”


Mark thanked Julie for the tireless work she has provided to the region during her time at Yarra Ranges Tourism. Julie will still be in involved with the organisation on a project basis into the future, which is fantastic for the region, given her passion and tourism marketing experience.


Julie has led the organisation in a part time capacity for the past three and half years and has successfully worked with the Board and industry to raise the profile of the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. Julie’s local knowledge and the depth of industry experience has been pivotal in the recent successes achieved by the team at Yarra Ranges Tourism.


Commenting on his appointment, Simon said, “I am honoured and excited to have been selected to lead Yarra Ranges Tourism in its efforts to grow the visitor economy of the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges.

“We have a great region with dedicated and passionate tourism operators. The organisation has a positive strategy that has yielded terrific results over recent times. It is important that this success continues and we further develop this by working together to build a dominant force in tourism within Victoria. Having always loved a challenge and hard work, I am extremely confident this will continue with the dedicated team we have in place.

“I am determined to maintain the momentum created at Yarra Ranges Tourism that builds on the unique experiences and quality visitor offerings which resonate with the market, but we must continue to be innovative and evolve” said Simon.


Mark Lucas
Yarra Ranges Tourism

About Simon

Starting his career in small business, Simon is an experienced leader with over 20 years in Government, Private and not-for-profit sectors. His formal qualifications include a Master of Business and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Simon is a long-term resident of the region with his wife and two sons.