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Australia’s Victoria state’s Yarra Valley is well known for its wineries and breathtaking beauty. The location is ideal for a day excursion to the Yarra Valley from Melbourne because it is only one hour away. There are many things to do in Yarra Valley, but I mainly enjoy the outdoor activities, which are usually free or only cost a little for parking.
A visit to a cellar door is a must on any Yarra Valley day trip, but if you’re searching for a non-alcoholic option or more family-friendly activities. This Yarra Valley day trip itinerary includes time to visit towns, unwind at a winery before returning home, and rainforests, redwoods, scenic drives, and climbs to waterfalls appropriate for hikers of any skill level.
Activities You Can Enjoy
A day trip to Victoria, Australia’s Yarra Valley, offers a variety of fun activities. On a day trip to the Yarra Valley, you can participate in the following popular activities:
Wine Tasting: The wineries and vineyards in the Yarra Valley are world-famous. Visit various cellar doors for wine sampling while on a wine tour. Excellent wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines are available for tasting.
Gourmet Dining: The Yarra Valley is well-known for its delectable cuisine. Visit nearby eateries, cafes, and farm gates for fresh, locally sourced products. Enjoy fine dining, cheese samples, and handmade chocolates.
Hot Air Balloon Flight: Take a hot air balloon flight to see the Yarra Valley’s magnificent splendour from above. Float serenely over the vineyards during sunrise or sunset while taking in expansive views of the breathtaking scenery.
Scenic Drives: Drive slowly across the beautiful Yarra Valley landscape. Take in the vineyards, rolling hills, and quaint tiny towns along the trip. For incredible photo opportunities, remember to pause at viewing locations.
Visit Art Studios And Galleries: The Yarra Valley has several art galleries. Visit exhibitions, watch artists at work, and find one-of-a-kind works of art, such as paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, to learn more about the local art scene.
Nature Walks & Hiking: You can glimpse the Yarra Valley’s unspoilt splendour by going on nature walks and treks. Discover the parks and reserves in the area, including the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Ranges National Park. Enjoy the tranquil woodlands, picturesque pathways, and stunning waterfalls.
Wildlife Encounters: Visit the Yarra Valley’s famed Healesville reserve. Visit native Australian wildlife up close, such as kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and bird species. Watch captivating wildlife programmes and learn about conservation initiatives.
Farm Visits: Travel to nearby farms in the Yarra Valley to get a taste of country living. Take part in seasonal activities like gathering fruit, getting up close and personal with farm animals, and learning about sustainable agricultural methods. Additionally, some farms provide farm-to-table dining options.
Relaxation And Spa Services: Pamper yourself at one of the upscale spas or wellness resorts in the Yarra Valley. Relax while receiving restorative facials, massages, and other spa services.
- Winery Visits
- Wine Tasting
- Vineyard Tours
- Gourmet Food Experiences
- Scenic Views and Landscapes
What’s Not Included
- Personal expenses
Places You Can Go To Explore
Drive The Black Spur Drive
Black Spur Drive is 150 miles (240 km) from Melbourne. This famous trip takes you through the rainforest on twisting roads, under thick gum tree canopies, and through fern gullies. There are few places to stop along the trip, and it’s not always safe to do so, but there is a car park and picnic area at the conclusion where you may stop without risk and snap some pictures.
This is listed as the Dom Dom Saddles picnic spot on Google Maps. Even though this gorgeous road is only a few km long, it is windy and must be driven slowly. Allow time for this drive.
Hike Steavenson Falls
To get to Steavenson Falls, drive for another 30 minutes after passing through Black Spur. As the viewing platforms at the foot of the falls are only a few minutes walk from the parking lot on an accessible and maintained gravel path, these falls are perfect for any level of walker or hiker. An observation deck on both sides of the river and a bridge over it are available for viewing the falls.
If you’re not a frequent hiker, it can be a bit of a tough walk, but I observed many families with young children making their way up the hill, so it’s achievable, even though it’s not accessible for wheelchairs or walking assistance.
Although there is a pay-and-display machine at the Stevenson Falls parking lot, it was not used when we were there, so we parked for free. However, we also witnessed individuals parking on the side of the road outside the parking lot to avoid paying the parking cost.
Walk among The California Redwoods
You can go south on the Yarra Valley day excursion to the California Redwoods plantation in 1 hour from Stevenson Falls. I prefer the somewhat longer path from Stevenson Falls and east via the Yarra Ranges
National Park, while all approaches are roughly the same and have lovely vistas. On this brief one-hour drive over the hills, we encountered rain, fog, and sunshine while enjoying the breathtaking vistas of the valley and more twisting roads.
Additionally, this is an excellent location to stop for a picnic lunch. The parking lot is sizable, and adjacent to the trees is a grassy area ideal for picnics and a game or two before you continue your adventure. It does get a little bumpy and muddy near the end of the track leading from the main road to the Redwoods parking lot because it is not maintained.
Although there is room on the side of the road for many cars to park if you don’t feel safe going on the track, we managed it very well in a compact SUV and watched others driving waggons manage it.
Check Out Healesville
The main town in the Yarra Valley region, Healesville, with several possibilities for a short or extended stay, is a little over 30 minutes drive from the Redwoods. The Healesville Fauna Sanctuary is in Healesville and offers personal encounters with all the renowned Australian fauna. If you’re looking for a day trip with the family, this may be your only stop.
The Four Pillars Gin distillery is located in Healesville. This one’s for you if you enjoy gin. Both inside and outside, there is a sizable seating space. For those who wish to make an afternoon of it, there are additional tasting sessions and snacks.
Relax At A Winery
Sit back and unwind at one of the renowned Yarra Valley wineries to cap off your Yarra Valley day trip. You have a great selection of wineries, and many of my favourites are outside Healesville on the Maroondah Highway. Since it will only take an hour to return to Melbourne from here, you’re on the correct track to travel home.
These nearby vineyards have lounging areas or cellar doors where you can unwind and take in the vineyard and Yarra Valley views. Many vineyards will let you sample some of their available wines with the option to buy them afterward. You could also order a glass off their menu.
Be responsible when visiting wineries and either have a designated driver carry you all home or take your wine to go. If craft beers and breweries appeal to you more than wine and you live in Coldstream, Victoria, located on the Maroondah Highway, make sure to check out Coldstream Brewery. Another worthwhile visit on the way back to Melbourne.
The Yarra Valley is conveniently close to Melbourne and is only around an hour’s drive away. Numerous wineries and vineyards in the Yarra Valley provide guided tours, cellar door sales, and wine sampling opportunities. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and sparkling wines are just a few of the many wine varieties produced in the Yarra Valley.
Additionally well known for its gastronomic delights is the Yarra Valley. Many vineyards offer on-site eateries or cafes that provide delectable food, frequently made with regional ingredients. The Yarra Valley is home to beautiful natural beauty in addition to wineries.
In the Yarra Valley, hot-air ballooning is a well-liked pastime that offers a distinctive view of the wineries and surroundings. Throughout the year, the Yarra Valley organises a number of occasions and celebrations, such as wine and food festivals, musical performances, and art exhibitions. Planning your day trip is a good idea, especially if you have particular wineries or activities in mind.
Ensure you have a designated driver if you intend to partake in wine tastings during your day trip or consider signing up for a tour that includes transportation. The Yarra Valley has a temperate climate with cool winters and pleasant summers.
- Location and Accessibility
- Natural Beauty
- Wine Region
- Gourmet Food and Produce
- Outdoor Activities
- Wildlife and Nature
- Tourist Attractions
How Long Will You Need To Spend In The Yarra Valley?
We advise staying at least two days to get the most out of your visit to the Yarra Valley. You’ll need more than a day because there are so many things to do, especially if you want to fit in some outdoor activities or visit a few wineries.
Yarra Valley: Is It Worthwhile?
You may acquire very useful walking maps, wine maps, and information about the area, and you can ask the helpful staff for additional suggestions for things to do in the Yarra Valley. Yarra Valley has it all: hikes, animals, breathtaking views, fine cuisine, and hot air balloon rides.
What Makes Yarra Valley Unique?
One of the best wine-producing regions in the world, the Yarra Valley is home to more than 80 magnificent cellar doors, top-notch restaurants providing seasonal cuisine, luxurious hotels, and more. With picturesque winding roads leading to charming hilltop communities, the Dandenong Ranges is a refuge of undiscovered surprises.
What Time Of Year Is Ideal For The Yarra Valley?
The most significant time of year to explore the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges is at the end of spring or the beginning of summer. This time of year, the weather is dryer, and many locals and visitors are taking advantage of the festivals and activities in the area.
Are You Able To Travel Through The Yarra?
The Main Yarra Trail, winds from Punt Road to Grange Road and beyond, is a secure trail for cycling, running, and walking. There are both short and long loops that may be made on this portion of the path. Get moving and take in the surroundings.
- Take a knowledgeable and amiable driver/tour guide.
- Informative remarks.
- Air-conditioned vehicle.
- Four Yarra Valley wineries will offer wine tastings.
- Have a cup of tea or coffee and a glass of wine during lunch.