Yarra Valley

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 Railway.


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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.

Tours

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 Hargreaves Hill.

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 Railway.

Activities


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.

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