The region surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, Australia is commonly known as the Yarra Valley. The Yarra Valley is a popular day trip and tourism area with a variety of natural features and farm products, as well as the Warburton Rail Trail to Lilydale. The Yarra Valley is host to a thriving viticulture industry. A relatively cool climate prevails over the Yarra Valley which makes it particularly suitable for the production of chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wine.
The Yarra Valley is situated on the northeast of Melbourne. It takes about an hour to reach the valley region from Melbourne by road. The best way to reach the destination is to take an organised tour from Melbourne or hire your own car and get there. The quaint accommodation options available makes it one of the best weekend getaways from Melbourne.
Things To Do
Dating back as long as 1838, The Yarra Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in Victoria, Australia. The Yarra Valley is famous for its local breweries and artisan cider produces. Notable highlights in the region include French-style cellar door at Dominique Portet Winery, behind-the-scenes vineyard and winery tour at De Bortoli and private wine tasting with cheese plates at Yering Station. Few amongst the popular breweries include the Innocent Bystander, Watts River Brewing.
The Yarra Valley, near Melbourne, Victoria, is a wine-growing area with many wineries. One plus side of the valley is that it practically sits at the doorstep of Melbourne. It takes about an hour from the centre of the city, just by driving the Eastern Freeway and the Maroondah Highway, The wineries are specifically signposted, and all of them are accessible right from the highway.
Hot Air Balloon
Take the opportunity to hit the skies over the valley on a Hot Air balloon and experience a unique view of the vines. The standard flight journey is about an hour-long starting at sunrise. It ascends above rolling hills and corridors of vines post which guests are served a champagne breakfast at Balgownie Estate. The activity can be prebooked.
Local Food Tasting
The Yarra Valley is renowned for its fresh produce. It is celebrated for its freshwater salmon, trout and caviar, as well as handmade cheeses and preserves. Start the day with freshly baked muffins and coffee at Healesville Harvest. The Yarra Valley Dairy is another commonly visited spot famous for its wide selection of artisan cheeses. Next stop comes to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery where more than 250 chocolate products are on offer. Lastly drop into the Yarra Farm Fresh to try out the best products produced from locally grown produce, such as cheeses, biscuits, cakes and chutneys.
Australias first privately funded museum, TarraWarra Museum of Art is located in the Yarra Valley. It houses Australian artworks from the mid-20th century onwards till date. It is considered as one of the cultural jewels of Australia. Pieces by some of Australia’s most acclaimed artists, including Brett Whiteley, Fred Williams, Jeffrey Smart and Arthur Boyd can be found in display here.
The most significant stop for relaxation and unwinding along the Yarra Valley is the Piaf Day Spa. Sprawling on a 10-acre rainforest Sanctuary, it has treatment rooms which showcase spectacular views. Treatments like body exfoliation, heated stone massages and customised facials are amongst the many options that can be found here. There are also services and therapies for the partners that can be customized to your desires.
The Yarra Valley also houses the Healesville Sanctuary. The visitors get up close to the wildlife niche of Australia. Tasmanian devils, dingoes, koalas and kangaroos are amongst the few significant animals that can be spotted here. Home to some of Victoria’s most breathtaking waterfalls and walking trails, the offbeat village of Marysville is also another must-visit along the region.
Crime in Yarra Valley is almost non-existent, but caution should also be taken, such as locking car doors and ensuring that valuables are not accessible from outside inside the vehicle. If these precautions are followed all would be fine and the day would be pleasant.
It is recommended that you be aware of how high the B.A.C is when driving. The legal threshold is 0.05%. Police routinely set up checkpoints across Yarra Valley to measure the alcohol content of vehicles often referred to by locals and police alike as the “Booze Bus” owing to the usage of a police bus to arrest drivers above the BAC cap, If found police would impose a significant fine and prohibit driving in Australia.
Be wary of wildlife during sunset while driving, as animals such as kangaroos appear to be busy throughout this time, sometimes wagging out onto the lane. A collision with a kangaroo or wombat can cause a vehicle to suffer serious damage, possibly making it undrivable.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Australia itself would be during the warmers days in December to February. It is the peak season time and attracts visitors from all around the globe. These months see the lowest amount of rainfall and days although still not hot, can range between 16 to19 degrees centigrade. However being the peak season time, a large number of crowds. If thin crowds and off-peak rates are the goals of your trip, then off-peak season between February and march or October and November would be the ideal time to plan the trip. The days are considerably warm and relatively dry.
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