Panoramic view of rows of vines in Yarra Valley, Australia

Things to do in  Yarra Valley

Victoria’s tranquil secret

As one of Australia’s most acclaimed wine regions, tasting wine is the most obvious of all the things to do in the Yarra Valley. However, there’s more to the area than grapes—locals love Yarra Valley for its countryside and river valleys, as well as its close proximity to Melbourne. The Sugarloaf Reservoir Park is a haven of wetlands ideal for birdwatchers, while the Dandenong Ranges are the perfect place for some off-grid camping and hiking. For foodies, Yarra Valley has great produce and top restaurants to taste it in.

Top 6 attractions in Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

The vineyard-filled Yarra Valley is a popular destination for food and drink enthusiasts, and the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery offers the chance to cleanse your palate with some sweet treats. Watch chocolatiers at work, join a chocolate-making class, sample (and buy sumptuous chocolate and cakes, or enjoy a full meal.More

Dominique Portet Winery

Tucked into the serene and picturesque Yarra Valley of Victoria, the Dominique Portet Winery is renowned for its deep roots in French soil — Bordeaux to be exact. The art of winemaking has been passed down through the Portet lineage from 18th­ century France; a father and son duo (ninth and 10th generation) run this winery with experience that spans around the world. The modest space boasts an array of wines in a comfortable, Mediterranean-­style setting. Get lost among the sprawling vines, or relax with a glass surrounded by oak barrels at Dominique Portet. Enjoy tastings from the cellar door, learn more about the Portet history and culture with a vintage tour, or stay for a leisurely lunch overlooking the valley.More

Rochford Wines

Lush greenery and rolling hills dotted with twisting vines create a picturesque backdrop for sipping some of Yarra Valley’s finest wines. Rochford Wines, located just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, offers first­-class vino, a top­-notch culinary experience and panoramic views of the iconic Great Dividing Ranges. Meander through the winery’s sprawling vistas to visit the on-­site art gallery and retail shop. Try a tasting from Rochford’s cellar door or dine at the winery’s award­-winning restaurant Isabella’s at Rochford.An oasis of natural beauty located in the heart of Victoria’s wine country, Rochford is known for hosting a range of events, concerts and functions. The winery boasts activities to suit all tastes— from hot air ballooning and segway tours to wine and cheese pairings.More

Steavenson Falls

Tumbling 122 meters from the steep cliffs of the Steavenson River valley, the Steavenson Falls make an impressive sight, with the river cascading over 5 tiers. Despite being among the areas damaged in Victoria’s 2009 bushfires, the area remains one of the region’s most scenic natural reserves, surrounded by the looming peaks of the Yarra Ranges, ancient woodlands and lush pockets of rainforest.Most visitors to the falls follow the short trail to the viewing platform beneath the falls, but there are also ample options for hiking and bird watching in the surrounding countryside. The most atmospheric time to visit is in the evening hours before midnight, when the falls are dramatically floodlit.More
Blue Lotus Water Garden

Blue Lotus Water Garden

In the eastern reaches of the Yarra Valley, the Blue Lotus Water Garden has 14 acres (5.5 hectares) of gardens, lakes, and wetlands, blooming with colorful lotus flowers and water lilies. A fun attraction for the whole family, it’s also home to horticultural marvels such as the golden lotus and a 2000-year-old Japanese flower.More
Fergusson Winery

Fergusson Winery

The warm and rustic family‐run Fergusson Winery is a standout in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Set among 20 acres of rolling hills and lush greenery, the winery features classic French grape varieties and a restaurant with a Paris-trained master chef. Enjoy a crisp chardonnay while indulging in the renowned spit roast at the Fergusson Restaurant, then spend the afternoon simply drinking in the view while listening to live music.Fergusson Winery also offers cooking classes so visitors can get their culinary skills up to snuff, plus wine appreciation courses. Can’t get enough? Stay overnight at the Fergusson Homestead Bed and Breakfast.More

All about Yarra Valley

When to visit

The Yarra Valley typically has good weather year-round, but if you’re interested in wine tasting, harvest time from February through April is a great option. This is when the grapes arrive from the vineyards and the area is bustling with activity. Summer, between October and January, has the sunniest weather and so is perfect for hikers and travelers with outdoor activities in mind.

Getting around

Renting a car is a great idea in the Yarra Valley—it makes getting to more remote vineyards and locations so much easier and the roads are fantastic to drive on. There are reliable train services between all major towns in the Yarra Valley, and Ventura buses operate in the area too. There are also many tour operators running excursions all over the region.

Traveler tips

The Dandenong Range is the perfect place to head for scenic drives and even more scenic hiking trails. Take the steam train into the Belgrave rainforest, or head to Olinda for waterfalls and tranquility. Cyclists love Mount Evelyn, as do foodies who travel there for food markets selling local produce. The town of Healesville is well worth a stop too—it’s the heart of the wine region and packed with restaurants, cafes, bars, and a vibrant arts and crafts culture.


People Also Ask

How many days do you need in the Yarra Valley?

If you’ve only got time for a flying visit to Yarra Valley, you need a minimum of two days as it’s a large area to cover. Healesville itself deserves a night or two to discover its hidden gems, and that’s not to mention the countryside and vineyards that surround it.

Is Yarra Valley Worth It?

It all depends on what you value, but traveling there will definitely be an experience you’ll never forget. From the picturesque countryside and wide open spaces, to the top quality wine and delicious local food, it’s a special place that’s easy to reach from Melbourne—and a world away from Aussie beach culture.

What is the Yarra Valley known for?

The Yarra Valley is known around the world for its high quality wines, especially white wines that love the mists and cooler climate. These fresher temperatures also make hiking and camping a lot more comfortable than in other Australian regions—and that’s why it’s so green, too.

What is the most scenic drive in the Yarra Valley?

The Yarra Valley has some incredibly scenic drives, but the route with the most bang for your mileage is the Black Spur Drive. This stretch of road passes through lush green forests and fern gullies, which get thicker and more beautiful the higher you climb. Do be mindful of its hairpins and fast sections, though.

Can you walk along the Yarra?

It is possible to walk along the Yarra Valley—the main stretch of the Yarra trail is around 4 miles (6.5 kilometers). You can download an audio tour to your smartphone to accompany the walk, that talks about the history of the area and the river, both pre- and post-colonization.

Why can't you swim in the Yarra River?

It’s important to remember that you can’t swim in the Yarra River from Gipps Street in Abbotsford—it’s illegal to do so. This is because the river has a very high rate of river traffic, with boats of all sizes using it as an important thoroughfare. In Warrandyte though, you can swim in a beautiful section of the Yarra River.

Frequently Asked Questions
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