School holiday activities in Nillumbik

Published on 30 March 2021

A nest of greenery containing colourful Easter eggs.

It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy the school holidays in our beautiful Shire, and there are plenty of activities, programs and events happening around Nillumbik to suit every interest.

You can find out more about individual activities by visiting the website links provided.

Easter Weekend Fun

The Diamond Valley Railway at Eltham Lower Park is fundraising for The Royal Children’s Hospital, offering special Good Friday Appeal rides 4-8pm on Friday 2 April. During the holidays, the railway also runs on Wednesdays in addition to the usual Sundays. All tickets must be booked online. 

Eltham Leisure Centre is holding special events for the 2021 Good Friday Appeal, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Expect face-painting, hopscotch, mat-surfing and loads of other fun, 8-11am.

In addition to a Good Friday morning Elite Fitness Eggstravaganza class at 9.30am, Diamond Creek Community Centre is also fundraising by contributing all new membership start-up fees to the Good Friday Appeal, through 5 April. Book the group fitness class at their website if you’re a member, or pay on the day ($10).

Another event for locomotive lovers: The Easter Model Train Expo returns to Diamond Creek for another year. Marvel at the locomotives on display at Community Bank Stadium on Saturday 3, 9.30am-5pm, and Sunday, 10am-4pm. A huge LEGO city will star among the creations and layouts on display. Entry fees apply.

The Easter Bunny will be hippity-hopping his way to Montsalvat on Easter Sunday, 4 April, from 10.30-11.30am. An Easter Treasure Hunt will take place 10am-4pm, along with arts and crafts activities. Entry fees apply.

While you’re there, be sure to catch the Art in the Time of COVID-19 exhibit which closes on Sunday 4 April. More than 40 artists from across Australia have created works that reflect on their pandemic experiences.. Montsalvat is open Thursday-Sunday (excluding Good Friday).

Programs and workshops

Eltham Leisure Centre and Diamond Creek’s Community Bank Stadium will be hosting Team Kids school holiday programs Tuesday 6 April to Friday 9 April and Monday 12 April to Friday 16 April. On-site activities range from dance workshops to carnival clowns, and excursions to Healesville Sanctuary and the movies are on offer. Bookings essential.

Learn new skills while having a ball at Living & Learning Nillumbik. The Panton Hill Centre will host a LEGO building workshop, suitable for kids aged 5-12. Spots are currently available for the workshop on Monday 12 April, 3-4.30pm ($15).

Nature Journaling with a Difference will also take place at the Panton Hill centre. Aimed at kids aged 6-12 years, the workshop takes place Thursday 8 April, 10-11.30am ($30).

Yarra Plenty Regional Library has planned some terrific children’s and youth programs over the Easter break. Kids aged 3-12 can head to Eltham Library for Rainbow Snake Nature Craft on Thursday 8 April, 11.30am-12.30pm. Teens and youth can take advantage of the creative writing and zine program on offer: Write Life, Make Art. This workshop takes place on Wednesday 7 April, 1-3pm at Eltham Library.

Dream of being a musician or in a band? A pop-up recording studio is coming to the Eltham Sea Scouts Hall on Thursday 8 April and Friday 9 April. Songs will be professionally mixed and mastered by Montville Lane and sent back to you as a digital file. Nillumbik Youth will also send your tracks to Universal Studios and radio stations for professional feedback! Be sure to fill out an expression of interest form online if you’d like to take part.

Keep an eye on Nillumbik Youth’s Facebook and Instagram pages during the school holidays for Friday Freebies! Vouchers for fun activities in and around Nillumbik will be on offer. 

Eltham Playhouse will also be open through the school holidays, operating 9am-2pm with limited availability for children aged between three months and 6 years. Phone or email the playhouse for program details and availability. 

Sports scene

Prepare your putting pose for some competitive fun at Yarrambat Park Golf Course, which is running its School Holiday Junior Golf Program on 6, 8, 13 and 15 April.

The Australiana-themed mini golf range Goanna Golf is also a great option for family fun. Yarrambat Park Golf Course is open daily throughout the school holidays.

Tiger Cubs Sports is offering free trials over the school holidays at Diamond Creek’s Community Bank Stadium. Tiger Cub Sports aims to educate children aged 3-5 about the FUNdamentals of movement. Key skills to support sport, dance, gymnastics and other physical recreation activities will be taught. Trial clinics will be held 8, 9, 15 and 16 April. 

Get gardening

Work on your green thumb by planting vegetable and herb seeds at home. Now is the perfect time of year in our region for planting seeds such as carrots, parsley, lettuce, potatoes and peas. Stop by one of the four new Home Harvest seed libraries around the Shire and see what’s on offer to grow for free. Find them at Eltham Library, Edendale Community Environment Farm, Hurstbridge Community Hub and Nillumbik Shire Council.

Fun at the farm

Edendale Community Environment Farm will be open daily throughout the holidays, including all of Easter weekend. 

Wander through the sustainably grown vegetable gardens complete with compost bins and a bathtub worm farm to get ideas on what you can do in your own garden. Be sure to go and say hello to the farm animals, including alpacas, sheep, goats and chickens.

You can enjoy the spacious lawns for a picnic or visit Café Eden for coffee, milkshakes and delicious snacks.

Take a walk

Lace up your walking shoes and take in the fresh autumn air while exploring one of the many walking trails around the Shire. 

With Stage 1 of the Diamond Creek Trail extension recently complete, the Shire’s most popular trail now reaches from Eltham Lower Park to Wattle Glen. 

Learn how the Wurundjeri people lived in Watsons Creek by taking the Gawa Wurundjeri Resource Trail. Markers along the 340-metre loop offer insight into how the traditional owners of the land sourced bush medicine, made clothes, created shelter and more. 

See what wildlife you can see when exploring the Panton Hill Bushland Reserves. The seven reserves, part of the Warrandyte to Kinglake Habitat Corridor, are each named after local species in Woi-Wurrung language, spoken by the Wurundjeri people. Bunjil (wedge-tail eagle), Gawa (echidna) and Wimbi (swamp wallaby) are just a few of the animals native to this land. 

Step back in time by walking one of Nillumbik’s historic trails. Learn about local history on Ye Olde Yarrambat Walk – a looped journey along Ironbark Road that details the gold-mining history of the area. 

The Hurstbridge Heritage Trail, meanwhile, is signposted with 30 markers that detail historically significant sites, including photos of what used to be. 

Details about these walks and others are available at our fantastic online heritage guide.  

Playground fun

If you haven’t already, check out the hugely popular new Diamond Creek Regional Playspace. The playspace is themed on Diamond Creek’s gold mining history with dedicated play equipment for the little ones including sandpit, and more challenging experiences such as the flying fox for older children. There is also fully accessible equipment for children of all abilities to enjoy. Finish a visit with a coffee at the Tram Café, a restored W-class tram next to the playspace.

The much-loved Eltham North Adventure Playground recently won a Kidsafe National Playspace Design Award. The playground caters to children of all ages and abilities. There is good parking, toilets, swings for all abilities. A large undercover area shelters most of the equipment for all-weather play.

Pack a picnic

Our shire is a beautiful region to enjoy the great outdoors, and autumn is the perfect time of year for a picnic.

Download Nillumbik’s picnic patches map for some great ideas on where to enjoy a meal over the holidays, to have handy when the sun comes out and inspiration strikes.

Our most popular picnic patches include the Diamond Creek Regional Playspace, and the Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Tower. The striking landmark, built on the highest hill in Kangaroo Ground, offers views to the city and across the Kinglake and Dandenong Ranges.

Markets

Nillumbik has a number of regular markets. If you are heading out to the rural parts of the Shire, check out the St Andrews Market, held every Saturday. The Hurstbridge Market is held on the first Sunday of every month; and the Eltham Farmers' Market is held every Sunday.