The closest wine region to the city of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley
is also Victoria’s oldest, with over 3,600 hectares under vine.
It is also Victoria’s most visited wine area, located just one
hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD.
A leading Australian cool climate wine region, its wineries, which
offer cellar door tastings and sales, specialise in most cool climate
styles, from sparklings, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, to complex
pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and more.
There is far more to the Yarra Valley than just wineries, however,
it is equally well known for its art galleries, accommodation,
restaurants, cafes, antique stores, markets, woodland nature walks and
recreational attractions such as the Healesville Sanctuary, Paintball
Skirmish, Ballooning (Global Ballooning & Balloon Sunrise), Hedgend
Maze, Marysville Salmon & Trout Ponds, Lavender Farm and Tourist
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Yarra Valley Visitor Information Centre, The Old Courthouse, Harker Street, Healesville. Ph: (03) 5962 2600
How To Get There
Location: 50 km east of Melbourne.
By car, take the Eastern Freeway (83) from the city until the
Nunawading exit. Turn right into Springvale Road and then left onto
Whitehorse Road which later becomes the Maroondah Highway. Proceed to
Lilydale and then onto Healesville (B360) which is well signposted. If
you’re heading to Yarra Glen, veer left onto the Melba Highway
(B300) at Coldstream.
By coach tour, numerous tour operators offer day tours. Tours leave
from Southern Cross station bus terminal, Spencer Street, city.
Best Time To Go
As Victoria has a temperate climate, there is no one season or month
that the visitor needs to avoid, except perhaps summer (December
– February), if you find hot weather unbearable. In and around
Melbourne, which gets more cloud and disturbed weather despite a lower
rainfall, sunshine hours per day in winter (June – August) are
three to four as against seven to eight in summer. Cold spells are
brief and never severe on the coast, and temperatures can drop much
lower inland in winter.
For a real treat, take to the air in a hot air balloon and get a
whole new perspective on the Yarra Valley wine region. Take to the air
just on dawn, floating almost silently over the land before setting
down at a local Yarra Valley winery for breakfast.
The wide range of local eateries are make it easy to sample regional
produce in almost any environment. You cango retro at the National
Trust-classified 1888 Yarra Glen Grand Hotel, or visit the Yarra Valley
Dairy to savour handmade cheeses with excellent views. Alternatively,
you can jump on the boutique beer bandwagon with quality ale at
To see them all, you can drive yourself around, following the Yarra
Valley Regional Food Trail, which weaves across the entire Yarra and
Dandenong region. Or you can take a sunrise balloon flight over the
valley and see the region from a new perspective. You can also slow
down and enjoy a heritage railway ride with the family from Healesville
Station through the beautiful Yarra Valley aboard the Yarra Valley
Throughout the region are scattered some of Australia’s finest
vineyards in a tapestry of rolling countryside rimmed by blue-gum
ranges, often snow-capped in winter. Yarra Valley wines are diverse,
due to the variation in altitude throughout the district.
Predominantly, the warmer vineyards produce a high-quality range of
cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, while the cooler districts are excellent
for chardonnay and pinot noir.
So that you can relax and enjoy yourself, Yarra Valley wine tours will
generally pick you up and return you to your accommodation or home. You
won’t have to worry about driving home. You usually visit at
least five wineries and lunch at one of the picturesque wineries is
included. Of the 55 Yarra Valley wineries, over 40 offer cellar-door
tastings and sales. Many have branched out to include garden or
vineyard setting restaurants and cafés.