Enjoy a gourmet sojourn in the Yarra Valley, a region renowned for its cellar doors and delicious local produce.
By Ellie Schneider
Less than an hour drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to vineyards, fine dining and quaint accommodation, making it one of Melbourne's favourite weekend breaks.
- Tuck into farm-fresh produce
- Visit the region's famous cellar doors
- Be pampered at a luxury day spa
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Top things to do in the Yarra Valley
Visit the vineyards
The Yarra Valley is Victoria's oldest wine region, dating back to 1838, and has garnered a global reputation for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Visit the French-style cellar door at Dominique Portet Winery, which specialises in sparkling wine and has received rave reviews for its Fontaine Rosé. Experience a behind-the-scenes vineyard and winery tour at De Bortoli or enjoy a private wine tasting with cheese plates at Yering Station. The Yarra Valley is also known for its local breweries and artisan cider producers. Drop into Innocent Bystander, located in the former White Rabbit Brewery site in Healesville, or join a free tour of the Buckley's Brewery, also in Healesville. For a unique view of the valley, take to the skies on a hot air balloon ride. The one hour flight departs at sunrise, and ascends above rolling hills and corridors of vines. Afterwards, guests are served a champagne breakfast at Balgownie Estate.
Sample local flavours
The Yarra Valley is celebrated for its fresh produce, including freshwater salmon, trout and caviar, as well as handmade cheeses and preserves. Start the day with freshly baked muffins and coffee at Healesville Harvest. Head to Yarra Valley Dairy for a wide selection of artisan cheeses, and Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, where you can choose from more than 250 chocolate products. Drop into Yarra Farm Fresh to sample the best locally grown Yarra Valley produce, such as cheeses, biscuits, cakes and chutneys, all under the one roof. Gourmands should make reservations for the five or eight course degustation at Ezard at Levantine Hill.
See the arts
Sculptured into the Healesville landscape, the TarraWarra Museum of Art showcases Australian works from the mid 20th century onwards. Australia's first significant privately funded public museum, it was established by philanthropists Eva and Marc Besen, with works chosen from their private collection. Today it is one of the cultural jewels of the Yarra Valley, displaying pieces by some of Australia's most acclaimed artists, including Brett Whiteley, Fred Williams, Jeffrey Smart and Arthur Boyd. After your visit drop into TarraWarra Estate's restaurant and cellar door.
Unwind in a day spa
After a day of wine tasting, treat yourself to a luxurious pampering session at Piaf Day Spa. Set on a four hectare (10 acre) rainforest sanctuary, it has treatment rooms framed by spectacular views. Try the 90 minute Luminous Glow, which includes a rehydration facial, relaxing back massage and peppermint foot treatment. There are also couples packages and treatments that can be tailored to your needs.
Come face to face with Australian wildlife
Visit Healesville Sanctuary to get up close to Australian native wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, dingoes, koalas and kangaroos. Hear the kookaburras or spot a lyrebird in the lush fern gullies and misty mountain ash forests of Dandenong Ranges National Park. Take a drive through to the charming village of Marysville, home to some of Victoria's most breathtaking waterfalls and walking trails. Walk through gentle hills, past rivers and into the mountains and forests, where wildlife abounds.