Home to Victoria’s largest wine region, the Yarra Valley pairs tasty vino with farm-fresh produce, charming townships, thrilling encounters with native wildlife, and more!
The Yarra Valley (Healesville) is 65km east of Melbourne (1hr 10min), forming part of the wider Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges region.
Eh, did we not already allude to the fact that it’s Victoria’s most prominent wine region? Pinot noir aside, the Yarra Valley offers a different taste of the beauty of Australia that isn’t your classic beaches and whitewash sand.
The region opens you up to a world of lush green rolling hills and infuses a distinct sense of relaxation as you step outside the hustle and bustle of the city.
For the adults - Wine tours
Undoubtedly, one of the most popular ways to pass time in the Yarra Valley is with a glass in hand. There are 70-plus wineries in the region, but for some must-try wineries, see below.
Coombe Yarra Valley
Welcome to one of the valley’s chicest wineries. Grab your glass and swirl it about as you take in the 7ha of stunning gardens around the property. Enjoy tasting a full range of wines, from more traditional sparkling varieties to table wines best enjoyed with a hearty meal.
Rochford Wines Yarra Valley
Put the five S’s (see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savour. Yes, you can address us as wine connoisseurs from here on in) to the test at Rochford Wines Yarra Valley. This place is renowned for its exceptional wines, so go and taste the estate-grown wines or single-vineyard estate wines.
Tastings at this winery offer some of the most stunning views over gorgeous green vistas. Cellar door aside, Oakridge is renowned for its onsite restaurant, with an innovative menu showcasing local produce and Australian native ingredients. Guests can enjoy an ever-evolving menu, so there’s the perfect excuse to return time and again.
This small winery packs big punches for once a fruit farm, offering a selection of divine wines and ciders (for those who aren’t partial to a vino). The winery’s bottles are easily distinguished by their colourful labels of playful farm animals. Those conscious of getting their fruit intake should taste-test its apple cider. Five a day and all that jazz!
Helen & Joey Estate
Operating since 2010, Helen & Joey Estate is a beautiful vineyard with over 35ha of vines. The estate can produce up to 20 wines a year, so many sips to be had. It’s worth noting they have a multitude of award-winning chardonnays to their name, ideal for you white wine lovers out there.
For the foodies - lunch like a local
Lap up the local produce and build your own picnic basket as you visit farm gates for regional delights like fresh fruits, vegetables, and creamy cheeses. Criss-cross the region on the Yarra Valley Food Trail and make stops at sign-posted gastronomic hotspots. Or support local growers at one of the region’s markets: Yarra Valley Regional Farmers' Market, Hurstbridge Farmers' Market, or the Yarra Valley Permaculture Organic Market.
For the kiddies – Healesville Sanctuary
Treat the little ones (and adults, too) to a day out at Healesville Sanctuary, where the whole fam can meet 200-plus species of native wildlife. Wander dingo country, kangaroo country, the koala forest, and much more. Oh, and don’t miss the chance to enjoy a meet-and-greet with a cute echidna.
For the romantics – sunrise hot-air balloon flight
We can’t think of a better way to kickstart the morning than with bird’s eye views of the valley floor below as you take to the sky on a hot-air balloon ride. There’ll be epic views guaranteed and even some native wildlife to spot on the way up or down if you’re lucky. Go with the breeze and fly over the valley’s vines for a truly unique experience you won’t forget. Does anyone else have Love is in the Air by John Paul Young playing in their head right now?
For the green thumbs – Alowyn Gardens
Those interested in gardening or even individuals who appreciate a beautiful garden space will love a little trip to Alowyn Gardens. From French-style to display gardens to the extremely Instagrammable Wisteria Archway, there is a bucketload of photo ops and places to relax.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
Sweet tooth lovers rejoice, and prepare to lose any form of self-control at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. Step into the showroom that is packed with thousands of chocolates (milk, white, dark choccy; you name it, this place has got it!) and join one of the tasting sessions. Chocolate tastings, you won’t have to ask us twice!
William Ricketts Sanctuary
A place of beauty and serenity is what you will be greeted with on a visit to William Ricketts Sanctuary. Housing mystical Aboriginal sculptures along its pathways, it’s the perfect place to reminisce and enjoy some quiet reflection.
Visit the delightful Dandenongs for the best in nature and adventure. From national parks to state forests, there’s something for all outdoorsy lovers. Make the kids happy with a ride on the Puffing Billy, Australia’s favourite steam train that allows you to ride in open carriages.
A day trip to Mornington Peninsula is always a fun one. Take a stroll along Mornington Pier, visit Ashcombe Maze, take in the views from Arthurs Seat Eagle and finish the day with the ultimate in rest and rejuvenation at the Peninsula Hot Springs, It’s now open 24-7 for you early birds or night owls.
If there’s an activity that needs to be first on your list, is is the famous Penguin Parade. Witness the cute creatures waddle their way up the beach to retreat to their homes for the night. While you’re there, visit the Koala Conservation Reserve.
The history of the wine region of Yarra Valley dates to 1838, when the very first vineyard was established. So, to say the Yarra Valley locals are pros at winemaking is an understatement with that many years’ experience under their belt!
You’ve come to the Yarra Valley, and the likelihood is you won’t want to leave, so we’ve done our due diligence and found you somewhere special to rest your head.
BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park
Park type: Holiday
Enjoy a break while immersed in natural bushland surrounded by native wildlife and stunning scenery. The park offers an accommodation solution for everyone: caravan, camp, stay in a cabin, or even try out the luxurious glamping pods (oh la la).
It’s not only the surroundings at the park that are top-notch with excellent facilities and friendly staff, too. Enjoy the swimming pool in the hotter weather and the community fire pit during the cooler months. Of course, there’s a plethora of activities to keep the little ones occupied as well, like a pump track, playground, games room, and jump pad.
We think Yarra Valley has your name written all over it – don’t you?
Start planning your adventures to the lush hinterland today - click below now.