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Yarra Valley and Country Victoria | The Ultimate Guide

Relax and rewind while you enjoy some of the nation's best wine.

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Drive northeast of Melbourne for an hour and you'll notice the scenery take on a dramatic change. Gone at the high-rise buildings and the busy streets and in their place are near-empty stretches of country road, sparse buildings and seemingly endless rows of vineyards that beckon you to explore, relax and unwind.

This is the Yarra Valley, a region renowned for its award-winning wineries, fresh local produce, well-being facilities and country atmosphere.

Whether you're searching for a romantic getaway, adventure-filled weekend or family holiday, the Yarra Valley and country Victoria has boundless activities to enthrall and excite.

Drive up from Melbourne or take a day tour from the big city. Whichever way you decide, just remember to leave your big city worries behind.

Getting around the Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley is a region famous for its vineyards and is just 50 kilometres from Melbourne.

You can get to Yarra Valley from Melbourne by car or by private tour . The drive usually takes just under an hour, and you can enjoy lovely views and even spot local wildlife such as kangaroos and wallabies along the way.

Another option to reach Yarra Valley is by train (to Hurstbridge, Lilydale or Belgrave) or by bus.

Yarra Valley is car country since most wineries aren't within walking distance and public transport in the valley is scarce. This means in order to discover its vineyards and natural beauty, it's best to drive or to organise a tour. You can organise a tour either before you arrive or while you're in the area.

Yarra Valley public transport

  • Types of transport. Towns and attractions in Yarra Valley are not well connected by public transport. Your best transport options to get around Yarra Valley are hiring a car or joining a tour. Exploring the vineyards and wonderful landscape of Yarra Valley this way can help you experience more of the local area.
  • Paying for transport. You can pay for transportation with cash as well as with a debit or credit card.
  • Getting to and from the airport. Bus 906 and the Melbourne Metro can get you from Melbourne Airport to the Yarra Valley in approximately 50 minutes.
  • Best apps for getting around. There are no official transport apps for getting around Yarra Valley.

Car hire in the Yarra Valley

In the absence of public transport, renting a car is a good way to see Yarra Valley. An additional benefit is that it provides you more autonomy to travel far and wide.

You can hire a car from companies like Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, DriveNow, Redspot and Thrifty, which are available at multiple locations in Melbourne.

Compare car hire companies and prices.

Taxis and Rideshare

Taxi. Taxis are scarce in Yarra Valley and can only be booked in advance through a phone or a website.

Uber. You can use Uber to reach Yarra Valley from both Melbourne and Essendon Airports. The cost is $70-$100 from Melbourne Airport and $55-$75 from Essendon Airport.

Airport transfers to the Yarra Valley

It's easy to get in and out of Yarra Valley using airport transfers.

You can pre-book a shared shuttle or a private vehicle from companies like Yarra Valley Transfers, Yarra Valley Discovery Shuttle, Jayride and Only Melbourne.

Frequently asked questions about the Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is a popular holiday destination for those looking to unwind and relax. You can visit the vineyards, dine on local fresh produce or indulge in a luxurious day spa. Sound heavenly? We thought so too.

The Yarra Valley also offers holidaymakers the opportunity to explore and adventure in Dandenong Ranges National Park, where visitors can come face to face with some of Australia's native wildlife.

If all that's holding you back from a trip to the Yarra Valley is a few vital questions, don't panic.

Where is the Yarra Valley located?

The Yarra Valley is the area that surrounds the Yarra River. It's located in Victoria, southeast Australia.

How far is the Yarra Valley from Melbourne?

The Yarra Valley is located approximately 63kms away from Melbourne. This equates to approximately 56 minutes on the road.

How do I get to the Yarra Valley?

The Yarra Valley is most accessible via road, and thus you're best option to get there would be via car. You could also journey via bike along the scenic Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail.

The trail starts from train terminus Lilydale, where you have the option to rent a bike, and continues for 39kms across the valley to Warburton.

The trail passes lots of wineries, most only a short detour off-route. The route is a former trainline and is completely separated from road traffic.

What are the best things to do in Yarra Valley?

There's plenty to experience and see in Yarra Valley. We've outlined some of the best things below.

  • Wineries. There are wineries in abundance in Yarra Valley. Travel to traditional family-owned wineries such as Badger's Brook or indulge in luxurious surroundings at Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa, amongst an array of alternatives.
  • Explore nature. Why not picnic at the Big Peninsula Tunnel, explore the Cathedral Range State Park or take to horseback at Chum Creek?
  • Art. Stop by Art at Linden Gate to see some astonishingly contemporary sculptures, experience culture in a more traditional style at Bruno's Art & Sculpture Garden or take in the excellence on offer at Healesville Fine Art Gallery.
  • Personal pampering. Visit Piaf Day Spa, set in 10 acres of rainforest, or spoil yourself with a trip to the luxurious Japanese Mountain Retreat Mineral Springs and Spa.

Where are Yarra Valley wineries?

Since the mid-80s the Yarra Valley has experienced solid growth and is now recognised as one of the world's premium cool climate wine regions. Due to the region's varied microclimates the Yarra Valley has the ability to produce outstanding wines. The Yarra Valley wine region is located an hour's drive east from Melbourne.

Where is Yarra Valley racecourse?

Yarra Valley Racecourse is located at 2 Armstrong Grove, Yarra Glen Victoria 3775. Yarra Valley is home to the Spring races, festivals and music events.

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