The mystical land of the Wurundjeri tribes, picturesque Yarra Valley is now Victoria’s major wine country and weekend getaway – partly for its vicinity to Melbourne, but mainly for its superb restaurants, wineries, wildlife-viewing opportunities, and national parks. This is the site to rise in the morning on a hot-air balloon and to kick back at world-famous wineries in the afternoon.
Top Attractions in Yarra Valley
Dating from 1838 CE, Yering Station was home to Victoria’s first vineyard. Reinvented as events and wine estate, it has a comfortable Mod-Oz restaurant in a modern glass pavilion and a luxurious cellar door and gallery space set in the well-known 1859 CE winery building. The popular and must-visit Yarra Valley Farmers Market is held here on weekends.
Yarra Ranges National Park
Overlooking Warburton is the rough yet elegant Yarra Ranges National Park. Mt Donna Buang is the park highlight and is brilliantly snow-topped in wintertime. Toboggans can be leased at the toboggan run. A few miles before the summit, the Rainforest Gallery, also known as Mountain Donna Buang Skywalk, is a beautiful wheelchair- and pram-accessible treetop walk along with a high-rise observation platform into the mysterious rainforest canopy. There’s also a cozy boardwalk along the forest floor in the park.
One of Australia’s most suitable places to see native fauna, this wildlife park is home to wallabies, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, echidnas, koalas, and wombats. Attractions include Platypus House, where you can observe the shy underwater creatures. The Sky presentation’s exciting Spirits highlights enormous wedge-tailed eagles and vivid parrots soaring through the air. Admission to the Healesville sanctuary for children is free on holidays and weekends.
The home of well-known Australian opera singer Nellie Melba (1871 CE–1931 CE) has been restored as a restaurant, thriving winery, and events facility by her descendants. Book in for a seven-acre garden tour, designed in parts by both Edna Walling and William Guilfoyle and planted between 1909 CE and 1931 CE. Afterward, you can try the estate’s wines at the cellar door or wait for lunch in the sophisticated restaurant. A multimedia exhibition space shares Melba’s tale.
Things to do in Yarra Valley
- Outdoor Adventures: Don’t forget to explore the world-famous Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail. The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail is an awesome 40 km recreation trail for cyclists, walkers, and naive and experienced horse riders. The trail follows the ancient railway line path through the stunning Yarra Valley, starting behind Lilydale Railway Station and ending in the Warburton town.
- Balloon Flights: Hot air balloon flights are unmissable at Yarra Valley. Head on to google, and book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Sunday Market: Explore the Yarra Glen weekend market, one of the local farmer’s markets, or the Healesville car boot markets behind the central street shops.
Top Things to eat in Yarra Valley:
At Yarra Valley, you will find great coffee and croissants/muffins everywhere. Most of the restaurants and cafes host live music with local artists. For the most high-grade views over the Yarra Region and a great feed from the inside barbecue, take out some time, and visit Riverstone Estate, the last available vineyard before Healesville. Don’t forget to try Buffalo Sausages and Dinosaur T-Bones with great accompaniments and washed down with a fresh Sav Blanc.