Yarra Valley Day Trip

Yarra Valley Day Trip: Best Things To Do

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Yarra Valley is one of the most picturesque areas in Victoria and offers an individual a perfect escape for a day trip. Situated towards the north-east of Melbourne, this area is surrounded by the Yarra River. Yarra Valley is one of the world’s leading producers of cool-climate wines, and along with this, it holds a lot of hidden gems where you can enjoy yourself. It is a place that is well known for its wine production, and along with this, you will find marvellous views, captivating wildlife, and some of the best eateries in the city.

The Yarra Valley is Victoria’s oldest wine region. Here, not only do you explore the numerous wineries, but you also find some hidden gems that are not often visited by tourists. Spending a full day won’t be sufficient in Yarra Valley because there are so many things to do there. Still, a day trip will allow you to explore a lot. Whether you are a wine enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a day of relaxation, the Yarra Valley has something for everyone. Since the place is filled with a lot of activities, planning a day trip to this place will give you the most premium experience and memories with your loved ones.

Here is a blog that will give you a complete-day itinerary to one of the most stunning destinations in Victoria.

How To Get There?

How to Get There

The Yarra Valley is just an hour away from Melbourne, making it one of the best-recommended places to go on a day trip. Since you are planning a day trip, try to reach the Yarra Valley by 10 a.m. Listed below are some transport options that you can take from Melbourne to reach the Yarra Valley on time.

1. By Road: You can go by your own car or even hire a taxi to reach the Yarra Valley. You can start your way from the Eastern Motorway and travel towards Ringwood. After this, go onto the Eastlink Tollway, which will pass through the Mullum tunnel. Now take a left and go towards Warrandyte Rd. After this, take another left and drive on the Maroondah Highway towards Lilydale. Once you pass Lilydale, you can choose where in the Yarra Valley to drive.

2. By Public Transport: If you plan to go by public transport, you can take a regular train that goes through Lilydale Station. From Lilydale Station, you can catch McKenzies, Yarra Glen, or even the Healesville bus. Another option is to travel to Warburton from Lilydale Station and catch the Ventura bus.

Morning: Indulge In Premium Wines And Take A Ride

Once you reach the Yarra Valley start your day by wine tasting since the place is famous for wineries. After this, you can indulge in the hot air balloon ride that will give you stunning views of Yarra Valley from the sky.

1. Visit A Winery

Winery

One of the best activities that Yarra Valley offers is visiting a vineyard. There are a lot of wineries in Yarra Valley where you can experience the entire winemaking process, from how grapes are grown to harvesting them and transforming them into wines. Along with this, at these vineries, you get a chance to taste some of the wines and take in the premium experience. Listed below are some of the best wineries where you can visit and explore the entire process.

1. Balgownie Estate: Balgownie Estate is one of the most premium winery stores in Yarra Valley and has produced wine for more than 50 years and along with that gives you the bar and restaurant experience in one place. It is a place where you can experience the entire wine-making process and indulge yourself in it to gain some knowledge about the wine production. It is a place that offers you a wide range of wines, including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and many more. There is a separate section for those who are looking for a premium wine-tasting experience.

2. Yering Station Winery: Yering Station Winery is Victoria’s first vineyard that produces world-class cool climate wines. Being one of the oldest wineries in Victoria, this place attracts a lot of wine lovers who want to experience old and signature wines that are made with a perfect blend of tradition and innovation. The wines that are served here include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Single Vineyard, Shiraz Viognier, and Cabernet Sauvignon. For a day trip, it is a perfect place to come and enjoy yourselves and get a truly unforgettable wine experience.

2. Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Taking a hot-air balloon ride is one of the most thrilling adventures that you can enjoy with your loved ones. At Yarra Valley, you can indulge in this ride, which gives you the best open-air experience. Along with this, you can experience the stunning views and natural beauty offered by the region and its surrounding area. Here are two places from where you can experience the ride:

1. Global Ballooning: You can visit the Global Ballooning near the Yarra Valley since It gives you a great experience as you enjoy the gentle breeze in the air. Riding a hot-air balloon gives you breathtaking views of the Yarra Valley and its surroundings. It is a one-hour ride that gives you stunning sky views and some of the most precious memories that will last with you forever. There are 3 options from which you have to choose, like taking only the hot air balloon ride, taking the ride with breakfast, or you can also take breakfast, ride, and the Melbourne CBD ride.

2. Go Wild Ballooning: This is another hot air ballooning ride that gives you an unforgettable adventure where you will experience breathtaking views with the cold breeze as you fly high. It offers you spectacular views of the sky and its surrounding areas and gives you a chance to indulge in the stunning natural beauty of the place. You will find that there are experienced pilots who ensure your safety and comfort and, along with that, share their knowledge and experience with you. Along with the group hot air balloon ride, Go Wild Ballooning also provides exclusive private flights; you can choose any based on your requirements.

Midday: Have A Meal And Enjoy The Nature

After enjoying your hot air balloon ride now, it’s time for a meal. You can explore the local restaurants and cafes at the Yarra Valley and take in some delicious and mouth-watering meals and you can also explore the natural beauty and wildlife of the surrounding area.

1. Lunch At A Local Restaurant

Lunch at a Local Restaurant

To experience the tasty and delicious food, you can look for some of the local restaurants in Yarra Valley. You will find that the food cooked at these restaurants uses traditional recipes and modern techniques to give you the most premium experience. Listed below are some of the best restaurants in the Yarra Valley. 

1. SkyHigh Mount Dandenong: SkyHigh Mount Dandenong is one of the most stunning and picturesque places for planning a lunch. It is a great place where you will find a lot of menu options. The place is famous since it has all the food variety that is needed by vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free eaters. In addition to this, you will find beautiful SkyHigh gardens and a SkyHigh maze where you can enjoy strolling around and experiencing the marvellous views of the surroundings. It is a perfect place for satisfying your hunger and spending some quality time with your loved ones.

2. Meletos: Meletos is another option where you can have your lunch. It is a great place where you can dine, enjoy your lunch, and even have some drinks. It is a place where you will see that the entire menu utilises fresh and locally sourced items, and the ingredients used are a complete blend of traditional and innovative ideas. Along with this, the place is famous for its wide collection of whiskies. It is one of the best places to dine when planning a day trip since the place offers you premium food, a variety of whiskies, and stunning views of the area since it has both dine-in and outdoor seating options.

2. Explore The Flora And Fauna

Visit To A Wildlife Sanctuary

Along with the wineries, the place offers you its amazing flora and fauna, where you can witness the plant life and animals that can survive in this region. Yarra Valley is a beautiful place that offers a complete combination of natural beauty, rolling vineyards, and diverse ecosystems. So here is one of the wildlife sanctuaries and parks where you can explore and enjoy yourself. 

1.  Healesville Sanctuary: After having your lunch, it’s time to explore the wildlife in the Yarra Valley. For it, you can visit the Healesville Sanctuary. This is one of the most renowned wildlife sanctuaries, known as the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary. It is a zoo where you will witness all the native animals and birds of Australia. The variety of animals that you will see here includes koalas, wallabies, emus, wombats, dingoes, kangaroos, and over 200 native bird varieties. After visiting this zoo, you will have a unique and informative experience and a chance to learn about the different habitats of Australian animals.

2. Maroondah Reservoir Park: Maroondah Reservoir Park is a beautiful destination that offers you formal gardens, forested slopes, and a peaceful reservoir lake. At this place, you can indulge in a lot of activities, such as exploring the falls’s outlook or having a picnic with your loved ones. Along with this, the place offers barbeques where you can enjoy grilled food. The place is also perfect for strolling around since it offers you a lot of easy and moderate walks where you can explore the natural beauty of the area.

Afternoon: Explore The Great Outdoors

After the lunch time you will get a lot of options to go with in order to make your trip more enjoyable and memorable. You can shop at some of the best markets that Yarra Valley offers and even have some organic and fresh dairy products for yourself.

1. Explore St Andrews Community Market

St Andrews Community Market

A day trip without shopping seems incomplete. Thus, after exploring the wildlife at the Healesville Sanctuary, now it’s time for shopping. You can visit the St Andrews Community Market, which has been running for the last 50 years and offers a unique and vibrant atmosphere.

It is a place where you will find stalls all over that have a variety of fresh, handmade, creative, and unique goods. At this place, you will find a lot of items such as stoneware, hair feathers, epoxy resin wood designs, unique handcrafted pens, arts and crafts, and many more. You can shop for your favourite and make it a memory for your day trip.

2. Yarra Valley Dairy Visit

Yarra Valley Dairy Visit

The next exciting place to visit is the Yarra Valley Dairy, one of the perfect places for cheese lovers. At this dairy, you will get a chance to taste cheese, which is freshly prepared at the dairy itself. Here, the majority of the cheese prepared reflects the classic taste of France and Italy, which is fresh and soft in texture.

Some of the cheese varieties they offer for tasting are mature cheese, marinated cheese, and fresh cheese. Along with this, you will find some of the regional wines at their cafe. It is one of the best places in the Yarra Valley to experience delicious and unique cheese.

Evening: Sunset And Fine Dining

As the day is about to end, it’s the perfect time to capture an amazing sunset. After watching the stunning views of the sunset, you can enjoy food at some of the top restaurants in the Yarra Valley.

1. Enjoy Sunset At Scenic Spots

Mt Donna Buang

There are a lot of places that offer you some of the best sunset views where you enjoy yourself and spend some quality time together. It is one of the most famous activities that is enjoyed by a lot of people. So you can also indulge yourself in this and explore some of the best views of the sunset. Here are some of the places from where you will get the most spectacular views of the sunset. 

1. Mt Donna Buang: Mount Donna Buang is a beautiful elevation that stands at a height of 1245 metres above ground level, offering you picturesque views of the sunset. Standing at this place, you will get 360 views of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. Along with the views, you will get a perfect picnic area where you can enjoy yourself.

The picnic area offers you a gas barbeque facility and a fireplace where you can enjoy some delicious grilled food and spend some quality time together. The place is famous for the stunning sunset views it provides to all its visitors and the marvellous natural beauty offered by the area.

2. Emerald Lake Park: Emerald Lake Park is another place that offers you the most spectacular sunset views. The park has a lake in it where you get the most stunning sunset views as the water reflects the colours of the sunset, turning them to yellow, orange, and red. So don’t forget to take a camera and capture the stunning views offered by the place.

To spend leisure time, you can take part in a lot of activities, such as exploring the trees, bushes, and parks, and you can also take a ride through the Puffing Billy Rail. In brief, you can experience some of the sunset views and indulge in some of the most exciting and thrilling activities at the park at the same time.

2. Dinner Options

Dinner Options

As the day ends, now it’s time to have some dinner. So here are some of the most premium restaurants of Yarra Valley where you can enjoy a meal and the vibrant cultures of the area. These restaurants offer you both indoor and outdoor dining places. 

1. Fondata 1872: Fondata 1872 is an Italian restaurant in the Yarra Valley that offers a family-friendly atmosphere. It is a restaurant that has a wide menu, from pastas and slides to a lot more. The best part is that it has a separate kid’s menu so that you can completely enjoy it with your children.

The food made at this restaurant is prepared using traditional ingredients and techniques. Along with that, the restaurant has a wide variety of wine and beer options that are locally made and crafted. It’s a perfect place to enjoy with your family and create everlasting memories.

2.  Launching Place Home Hotel: Another option to enjoy a meal is the Launching Place Home Hotel, which is one of the most picturesque restaurants in Yarra Valley and is famous for its rich history and warm hospitality. Earlier, it was recognised as a locally owned pub, but now it is an ideal destination for families and friends to come and enjoy their meal in a perfect atmosphere.

You will find that at this restaurant, there is a wide variety of menu options, from starters to smaller meals, kid’s menus, desserts, and pub favourites, so the menu has something for everyone. It’s a perfect place to enjoy with your family and spend some quality time together.

Extraordinary Experiences In Yarra Valley

Along with the above activities mentioned, there is a lot more to be seen and experienced. Have a look at the following adventures that will give you one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life.

1. See Ada Tree: Look At The Giant Tree In Victoria

Ada Tree

Yarra Valley is a place that is famous for the marvellous flora that it offers to all its visitors. Here you will get a chance to explore the giant Adda tree, which is made up of mountain ash. This large and magnificent tree is located in the Yarra State Forest of Victoria, giving all its visitors stunning views and the natural beauty of its surroundings. 

This tree is said to be one of the largest living trees in Victoria. It is 76 metres tall and has a circumference of 15 metres. It is estimated that the age of the tree would be something around 300 years or more, making it a remarkable symbol of the Yarra Valley’s natural beauty.

2. Eat Chocolate: Treat Yourself To Yummy Chocolate At Yarra Valley Chocolaterie

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie

The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is a sweet destination that should definitely be visited by chocolate lovers. It is a place where you will witness the entire chocolate-making process done by the talented European chocolatiers and local staff. Here, you will get a chance to taste the chocolates for free.

You will find that there are more than 300 varieties of handmade chocolates, so there is something for everyone to satisfy their sweet cravings. Along with this, there is a cafe where you can savour breakfast, lunch, or a chocolaty treat and enjoy the stunning views offered by the Yarra Valley.

3. Look At Art: Enjoy Cool Artwork At The Tarrawarra Museum Of Art

TarraWarra Museum of Art

The TarraWarra Museum of Art is one of the best destinations for art enthusiasts to explore the vibrant art of the region. It was the first museum of art in Australia that was supported by a private endowment. At this spot, you will find marvellous artwork by some famous artists such as John Brack, Arthur Boyd, Fred Williams, Charles Blackman, Jeffrey Smart, and many more.

Along with this, the building of the museum is itself an artwork, and it has a lot of sculptures that were made by some of the most renowned Australian artists. It is a great place to learn something new and explore the vibrant artwork displayed by great local and international artists.

4. Play In The Snow: Have Fun In The Snow At Lake Mountain Alpine Resort

Lake Mountain Alpine Resort

Lake Mountain Alpine Resort is one of the most visited places during the snow season. Locals as well as tourists come and enjoy building a snowman, where they use their creative ideas and techniques to make it. You can also enjoy snowball fights with your family and friends and have a great snowy experience.

The resort also offers a lot of activities like tobogganing and snow tubing, which everyone can enjoy irrespective of their age. Along with this, you can also indulge in cross-country skiing, which is offered by the resort, in which both beginners and experienced skiers take part and enjoy themselves.

Conclusion

A day trip to the Yarra Valley is an amazing escape from the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine. It is a place that is filled with famous wineries, delicious cuisine, breathtaking views, and amazing animal encounters. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, an art aficionado, a nature lover, or simply seeking a fun family outing, the Yarra Valley has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to create lasting memories on your perfect Yarra Valley day trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of exciting adventures that Yarra Valley hosts. It is a place that is famous for its world-class wineries, since you will get the most premium quality and flavours here. It is a place that offers you some of the best restaurants and cafes where food is cooked using fresh and local produce. Along with this, the place offers you stunning views of the Yarra Valley, where you can enjoy yourself and make some precious memories with your loved ones.

There is no specific time to visit the Yarra Valley since it can be visited during both seasons, which are summer and winter. If you are planning to visit in the winter (June to August), then you can witness a snowfall and indulge in activities like skiing, tobogganing, snow tubing, making snowmen, and enjoying snow fighting. Along with this, you can even go for a wine tasting. But if you are planning to visit in the summer (December to February), then the place is also filled with a lot of activities, such as hot air ballooning, enjoying delicious outdoor lunches, tasting top-notch wines, and going hiking and biking.

Yarra Valley is famous as Victoria’s oldest wine producer. It is a place where you will find world-class wineries that are produced in cool climates. The wines at this place are well known for their flavours and quality, and here you will find more than 80 cellar doors where you can sit and enjoy yourself.

The best places that you can explore within 2 hours in the Yarra Valley are the Healesville Sanctuary and the Yering Station Winery. In the Healesville Sanctuary, you will get a chance to visit the natural wildlife of the region since the place has a lot of native animals. Along with this, you can visit the Yering Station Winery, where you will find some of the top-notch wines like the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and more.

The cost of a day trip in Yarra Valley completely depends on the activities you choose for yourself. Here is a rough estimate that will help you decide your budget. For a budget-conscious person, the range is between $100 and $150. Under this budget, you can only focus on some free events, picnics, and light wine sampling. If you are spending around $200 to $300, this will include an affordable activity, some wine-tasting costs, and lunch at a winery. But if you are planning a luxurious trip, then it will cost you $400 and above, which includes premium restaurants, tastings of excellent wines, and costly activities like hot air ballooning.

Yarra Valley is spread over 3,130 square kilometres. It is a beautiful area that is filled with famous wineries, delicious cuisine, breathtaking views, and amazing animal encounters.

In general, 2 to 3 days are a good amount of time to explore the Yarra Valley. During this time, you can easily explore the wineries of the area and, along with this, indulge in some activities like hot air balloon rides and hiking. The place also offers you a lot of picnic areas, flora and fauna, and stunning views of the region, where you can enjoy yourself and spend some quality time together.

More than 80 wineries are there in the Yarra Valley. Each of these wineries has its own flavours and quality. It is a place that is famous for producing one of the best cool-climate wines. Yarra Valley is the oldest wine producer in Victoria that has a large variety of wines so that there is something for everyone to taste and enjoy themselves.

Although there are a large variety of wines that are produced in the Yarra Valley, the most famous are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety that originated in France. Chardonnay is a white wine grape variety that also originated in France.

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