Published on 11th April 2016
by Kelly Pigram (words) and Gareth Sobey (photography)

Sprawling vineyards, expertly matched food and wine and enchanting natural surrounds, only an hour from Melbourne.

We all know someone who has a favourite place to visit in the Yarra Valley. With its first vines planted in 1838, it is Victoria’s oldest wine region, and most-likely the most visited. The Valley’s highly-respected winemakers experiment with new varieties, styles and techniques all the time, and with Victoria’s oldest planted vineyards, the region has developed a global reputation for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Naturally, there are a string of restaurants that perfectly complement the wine. Stop by Innocent Bystander for a sourdough pizza, Ezard at Levantine Hill for an eight-course degustation or Healesville Harvest for a breakfast of local produce. After that, take a hike to a waterfall or book a flight on a hot-air balloon.

The real beauty of the Yarra Valley is its convenience, with most destinations an easy hour out of Melbourne. Craving fancy cheese? Yarra Valley Dairy. Want to cuddle a native critter? Healesville Sanctuary. You can leave in the morning and be home in time for dinner, but why wouldn’t you stay the whole weekend?

Welcome to Yarra Valley

NEAREST CAPITAL CITY

Melbourne

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

2 hours and 30 mins by train and bus

DRIVE

1 hour from Melbourne

DO

It’s not just food and wine. Give your stomach a rest and try another activity.

Itinerary

Wine Tour of the Yarra Valley

If you appreciate a good glass of wine, traipsing around Victoria's oldest wine region is a brilliant way to spend your day. Here's how to do it.

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9am

Healesville Sanctuary

Badger Creek Rd
Healesville VIC
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Healesville Sanctuary

Wake up early and beat the crowds for the platypus show. The best time to visit the zoo is when the animals are waking up.

10.30am

Yarra Valley Dairy

70-80 McMeikans Road
Yering VIC
(03) 9739 1222
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Yarra Valley Dairy

Grab your coffee and breakfast at Yarra Valley Dairy. Sample a few cheeses from the deli, pick something up to take home and be on your way.

11.30am

Pimpernel Wines

6 Hill Road
Coldstream VIC
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Pimpernel Wines

Stop for a tasting at Pimpernel, with its tightly curated seven varieties.

12.30pm

Graceburn Wine Room

11 Green Street
Healesville VIC
(03) 5962 3704
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Grace Burn Wine Room

You can sample a full range of Mac Forbes’ wine, or there’s a range of speciality teas if you’d like to pace your wine tasting.

4pm

Four Pillars Gin

2A Lilydale Road
Healesville VIC
(03) 5962 2791
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Four Pillars Gin

Mix it up a little. After lunch, learn to appreciate gin’s subtle flavours in a Four Pillars tasting session.

7pm

Ezard at Levantine Hill

882 Maroondah Highway
Coldstream VIC
(03) 5962 1333
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Ezard at Levantine Hill

Prepare yourself for an eight-course degustation with many matched wines. If you’re the designated driver, the meal is just as good on its own.

11pm

Balgownie Estate

46 Hermitage Road
Maiden Gully VIC
(03) 5449 6222
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Balgownie Estate

Perhaps a spa before bed? You’ll need your rest if you’re going to be up at sunrise for that hot-air balloon ride.