The Yarra Valley is home to more than 80 wineries, ranging from small, family-owned operations to large estates. The region is renowned for producing Australia’s finest pinot noir and sparkling wine, along with a range of other cool-climate wines. It was Victoria’s first planted wine region back in 1838. The region is known for its fresh produce including freshwater salmon, trout and caviar, organically grown fruit and vegetables and handmade cheeses and preserves. Follow one of the many self-drive wine trails and fill your picnic hamper on the Yarra Valley Food Trail or at the many huge, fresh food markets.
De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate is one of the region’s largest and oldest wineries. The striking modern architecture of Tarrawarra Estate stands in stark contrast. See how premium wine is made on a behind-the-scenes tour and taste maturing wines from the barrel.
The region is known for its fresh produce including freshwater salmon, trout and caviar, organically grown fruit and vegetables and handmade cheeses and preserves. Fill your picnic hamper on the self-drive Yarra Valley Food Trail or at the many huge, fresh food markets.
The Yarra Valley also has a long history of making beer, and local craft brewers welcome visitors to their micro-breweries to sample their beers and ciders.
Follow one of the many self-drive wine trails or design your own route between the cellar doors. For a different view of the valley, take to the dawn skies in a hot-air balloon before landing at a vineyard to enjoy a breakfast of sparkling wine and just-picked produce.
The beauty of the Yarra Valley’s changing seasons inspired many of Australia’s early landscape painters. Today it is the home of Australia’s oldest artist’s colony and you can visit the galleries and studios where they work.
At Healesville Sanctuary you can see the largest collection of Australian native wildlife, including spectacular birds of prey, dingoes, koalas, kangaroos and wombats. Take a drive through the Black Spur to the charming village of Marysville. Enjoy nature in the Yarra Ranges National Park, Toolangi State Forest or Kinglake National Park. Hear the bell birds or spot a lyrebird in the lush green fern gullies and misty mountain ash forests of Dandenong Ranges National Park.
In February, top chefs from many of the wineries host feasts accompanied by live music at the Yarra Valley Grape Grazing Festival.
The Yarra Valley is approximately a one hour drive north-east of Melbourne. There is no public transport to the valley, so the best way to get there is on an organised tour or by hire car. You can even visit the vineyards by horse-drawn carriage or chauffeured limousine.