There’s no denying the great appeal the Yarra Valley has to the avid wine enthusiast, and with over 3 million visitors every year, we totally understand why.
The first vines in the region were planted in 1838, making it Victoria’s first wine growing district.
Today, there are approximately 160 operating vineyards which produce wine from over 6200 acres under vine.
With amazing and varied expressions of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as the most planted and highly regarded varieties of the region.
Truth is however, there’s so much to discover in this region beyond wine, and with only 51km’s to travel from the Melbourne CBD, it makes for a great day-trip or long weekend.
The landscape is open, lush and green, with sweeping mountain range and valley views. The fact you can take home a few bottles of your favourite Pinot is really just an added bonus, right?
So let’s explore our list of 6 Things to do when visiting the Yarra Valley…
1. Visit a Yarra Valley Cellar Door, Brewery or Distillery
This obviously tops our list of things to do. However, the great thing about a region as vast as the Yarra Valley is that you can visit some not-so-obvious cellar doors when in the area.
There’s something to suit everyone, from the smaller, hidden-away boutique wineries like Pimpernel Vineyards, to the more well-known and flashy big-name producers such as Domaine Chandon.
One thing is for sure, the hospitality you experience and the calibre of the wines are second to none.
Of course, for the non-wine drinker amongst us, you can mix things up by visiting Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse or the one and only Four Pillars distillery for expertly crafted gins.
2. Dine in Style
There’s no better way to experience the best wines in the state, than with the best local produce, in a stylish world-class setting.
Taking cues from the famous foodie scene of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to some of the most sophisticated and indulgent food and wine experiences in the country.
Treat yourself to award-winning meals at Oakridge Estate or Ezard at Levantine Hill and celebrate the amazingly fresh seasonal produce, masterfully put together by highly acclaimed chefs.
3. Picnic at a Winery
If fine dining isn’t your thing, why not pack a picnic basket and rug, so you can enjoy the great outdoors with great local wines.
Some wineries often have picnic packs for hire which also include local cheeses and other delightful snacks so you don’t have to bring your own.
When you run out of wine, the cellar door is only a few steps away so you can replenish your supply.
4. See Wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary
Get up close and personal with iconic Australian wildlife and share in some unforgettable moments with Kangaroos, Koalas, Platypus, Dingos, Wombats and Emus.
A great, interactive way to learn about the past and future of these amazing animals. An unmissable experience for all ages, and all just one hour from Melbourne.
5. Get Amongst Nature With Trees Adventure
Zip through the trees with the greatest of ease at Trees Adventure, an eco-adventure site in the heart of Yarra Valley’s Belgrave.
Catch a rare glimpse of native trees, some over 150 years old while flying by on one of 15 flying foxes, balancing bridges and tight-ropes.
Courses are available for all skill levels and ages. An exciting opportunity to explore your adventurous side awaits!
6. Puffing Billy Railway
One of the most popular and well-preserved steam railways anywhere in the world.
Puffing Billy has been delighting its passengers with journeys through the mountainous lush forests of the Dandenong Ranges for generations.
Dangle your legs from the open-sided carriages and feel the wind in your hair as you travel on the 24km track, still in its original form. The train also features first-class luxury dining carriages for something a little more special.
Want to make your next trip to the Yarra Valley one to remember? Check out these Yarra Valley tours with Wine Compass