The perfect daytrip or close enough for a long lunch (and well worth it), the Yarra Valley is just an hour’s drive from Melbourne. The food and wine here is topnotch, as you may have heard, and you could easily spend a few days tasting, eating and drinking your way around the region.
Wondering what to do and where to eat in the Yarra Valley? This is where a tour comes in handy: whether organised or self-guided with a bit of research, there are plenty of wineries, restaurants and activities to keep you entertained.
Where is the Yarra Valley from Melbourne?
Unfortunately, public transport isn’t an option for visiting the Yarra Valley. It is only an hour’s drive north-east of Melbourne, but the most common practice is to take an organised tour, of which there are plenty.
Top things to do in the Yarra Valley
- Yarra Valley tours
- Yarra Valley wineries
- Lunch in the Yarra Valley
- Yarra Valley activities
Yarra Valley tours
The best way to get to know the region as a whole or in a new way is on an organised group or private tour. Let a local expert take the driving seat and share their knowledge and tips with you. Synonymous with wine, Yarra Valley winery tours are abundant, as are Yarra Valley cider, beer and brewery tours. Budding photographers can make the most of the food and scenery with a Yarra Valley photo tour. Alternatively, hop on a segway tour, or indulge in a gourmet food and wine tour with a long lunch included.
Yarra Valley wineries
Your guide will be happy to show you the best wineries and cellar doors in the Yarra Valley – be sure to check the reviews and inclusions to book the right tour for you. Yarra Valley wine-tasting tours are available in combination with lunch or other activities, or can be fully customised. But if you’re more of a DIY person then it’s just as easy to book a tour at an individual winery, and many serve delicious food in their restaurants so you can make a day of it. Chardonnay and pinot noir are the main varieties in this region and chances are you’ll be going home with a few bottles!
Lunch in the Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley isn’t just about wine, it’s also renowned for its delicious local produce. A visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is a must, and with all those green pastures for livestock it would be rude not to taste the cheese. To really experience the gourmet heart of this area, book yourself a Yarra Valley winery lunch; these are often included in organised tours and winery visits. Popular wineries with restaurants include De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, Balgownie Estate and Zonzo Estate. Tip: get yourself down to the Yarra Valley farmers’ market so you can recreate the meal when you get home.
Festivals in the Yarra Valley
For all the top local produce in one place, plan your trip to coincide with a festival or special event. These are planned throughout the year with plenty of food and wine events, such as the Yarra Valley Beer and Cider Festival and quite a few music festivals too.
Yarra Valley activities
If a hot air balloon ride is on your bucket list of things to do then the Yarra Valley is the place to do it. Float away into the sky and admire the lush green views below, then reward yourself with a gourmet breakfast. The Yarra Valley also caters for skydiving, horseriding and golf. Keen cyclists and novices can get around easily by bike with many cycle trails threading through the valley – also an ideal way to visit the wineries if you’re steady on your wheels. Another popular activity is the Puffing Billy railway steam train, an experience that can be combined with a winery tour and visit to a wildlife sanctuary. Or if you’re just looking for some relaxation there are quite a few day spas around.
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