The Yarra Valley in Victoria is a world-class premium wine region 50km from Melbourne, just one hour's drive north-east of the city. The region is home to innovative wineries, restaurants, distilleries, breweries and food producers. 


Australia's most revered wine critic James Halliday established Coldstream Hills in 1985 and has since built its reputation for producing world-class wines, particularly the Yarra Valley's hero varieties chardonnay and pinot noir. Check out the view from the light-filled cellar door overlooking the closely spaced vines down into the valley.

Right next door is award-winning Yarra Yering.The 50-year-old estate is one of the Yarra Valley's oldest producers, but winemaker Sarah Crowe adds a progressive touch. Lovers of exceptional cabernet sauvignon are spoilt with Yarra Yering’s complex and exquisite Bordeaux-style blend, known simply as Dry Red Wine No. 1 – it's a consistent award winner.

Drop in for a wine tasting at Seville Estate, where views of the upper Yarra and surrounding mountains are unrivalled.

Head to nearby boutique winery Dominique Portet for a unique combination of French winemaking and Yarra Valley terroir. Take a glass to the courtyard seating overlooking rolling vineyards flanked by steep mountain ranges or indulge in a little friendly competition on the petanque court.

Expansive Rochford Wines is almost as well known for hosting open-air concerts, as it is for luscious single-vineyard, grapefruit-accented chardonnay. In spring and summer you might hear the tinkle of piano keys rolling across the vines, as you lounge on the lakeside deck.

Pop into De Bortoli's award-winning, internationally renowned cellar door to sample new release wines from one of the region's most innovative wineries. Take in the sweeping views towards the Great Dividing Range, overlooking 162 hectares of predominantly chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon vines.

Eat & drink

Head on to Oakridge Wines for lunch. It's one of Australia's hottest winery restaurants, where much of the produce is hand-picked daily from a 120-square-metre kitchen garden.

Healesville Hotel is the perfect mix of old-world charm and modern amenity. Enjoy the hotel's garden dining area in warm weather; in winter open fireplaces keep the front bar warm and cosy.

Learn about the art of distilling at Four Pillars Distillery. Book ahead for a Saturday masterclass – you'll sip G&Ts in the private workshop overlooking the distillery while a spirit guide takes you through the process of making gin, the barrel-ageing program and Australian gin lore before you meet the magnificent copper pot stills.

Sit down at Meletos, the perfect option for a low-key dinner, mid-week or at the weekend. The team behind award-winning fine diner Stones of the Yarra Valley is dedicated to showcasing the best of regional ingredients.

Get funky at cheesemaker Yarra Valley Dairy. They specialises in soft Italian and French style cheeses – enjoy a tasting platter before choosing your favourites to take home for later.

Pause for lunch at TarraWarra Estate. The restaurant menu varies each day, depending on what the chef selects from the property's half-acre kitchen garden. You'll need to make a reservation in advance for lunch, but not to enjoy an exhibition at onsite TarraWarra Museum of Art. Its rotating selection of exhibitions are open to the public, and have included the likes of Australian artist Tracey Moffatt's widely acclaimed 57th Venice Biennale exhibition.

Wine aside

Healesville Sanctuary is home to native animals, including koalas, kangaroos, wombats and more than 200 native bird varieties (including majestic birds of prey). Meander along tranquil tracks set among natural bushland, stopping to wave hello at the sanctuary's inhabitants. Be sure to stop by the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, where staff nurse sick, injured and orphaned wildlife back to health.

Take a scenic drive through the Yarra Ranges to spectacular Steavenson Falls, which plummet 122 metres into the Steavenson River. It's only a 700-metre (return) stroll from the carpark to the viewing platform overlooks what is one of Victoria's highest waterfalls. Keep an eye (and ear) out for native wildlife – you might even be lucky enough to hear a platypus splashing in the river pools nearby. 

Get ready for a hot-air balloon ride over the valley. Yes, you'll need to get out of bed about two hours before sunrise, but the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Yarra Valley's spectacular natural amphitheatre are quite the incentive. The ride takes about an hour once you're up in the air, and experienced pilots tailor your flight to the weather to ensure the best possible views on the day. End your once-in-a-lifetime experience with a champagne breakfast.


Stay at the luxurious Yering Gorge Cottages, set on a 120-acre private nature reserve where the bush intersects with the Yarra River. Relax on your balcony with a pre-dinner wine and watch the kangaroos graze nearby. Rest up at Yarra Valley Lodge, conveniently situated at the gateway of the Yarra Valley wine region. Or wake up to stunning views of the valley at Kangaroo Ridge Retreat.

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Always be sure to enjoy Victoria's wine regions safely with a designated driver.


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