Yarra Valley Place guide



Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley, traditional land of the Wurundjeri people, has become one of Victoria’s top destinations and a great among Melbourne tourist attractions.


The Yarra Valley, traditional land of the Wurundjeri people, has become one of Victoria’s top destinations and a great among Melbourne tourist attractions. Its proximity to the city center makes it the ideal location for a quick weekend getaway for Yarra Valley wine tours, tastings at Yarra Valley restaurants, wildlife adventures, Yarra Valley chocolaterie visits, and even a hot air balloon Yarra Valley ride if you’re up to it. 

The Yarra River begins in the Yarra Ranges National Park, winds down into Greater Melbourne, then empties out into Port Phillip Bay near Williamstown. 

#1 of Top Things to Do in Yarra Valley: Yarra Valley Wineries & Killara Estate Tour – Full Day

Yarra Ranges National Park 

  • The highlight of the park is the 1,250-meter high Mount Donna Buang, snow-capped in winter and perfect for tobogganing. 
  • A few kilometers below the summit is the Mount Donna Buang Skywalk, also known as the Rainforest Gallery — a pram and wheelchair accessible treetop walk along an observation platform up above through the rainforest canopy. There’s also a boardwalk along the rainforest floor, for those who may have an aversion to heights. 

The Wineries

  • The Yarra Valley is known for its many wineries, where tastings and tours of vineyards make for a fun and scenic day. Most wineries are found within the triangle bound by Coldstream, Healesville, and Yarra Glen, but there’s also a cluster of them around Wandin and Seville along Warburton Highway. 
  • The best wineries of Yarra Valley are the Yering Station, Coombe Winery, Domain Chandon, and TarraWarra Estate.
  • Yering Station dates back to 1838 and was Victoria’s first vineyard. Today, it offers unforgettable wine, award-winning food, incredible architecture, and breathtaking garden views. The Yarra Valley Farmers’ Market is held here every third Sunday. 
    • Open 7 days a week for wine tastings and a la carte lunches, but closed on Christmas Day. For groups of less than 10, wine tastings are offered at the bar, with no booking required; for groups of 10 people of more, private bookings needed. Reservations also recommended for lunch at the restaurant. 
  • Coombe Winery was once the home of Australian opera singer Nellie Melba (1871-1931). Her descendants have since transformed the estate into a winery with restaurants and events facilities. 
    • From Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays, the winery is open from 9:30am to 5:00om; on Fridays and Saturdays, from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Apart from Yarra Valley wineries lunch, wine tastings and tea, visitors can also enjoy a tour of the seven-acre garden, Melba’s house, and a multimedia exhibit on her life. More information on tastings and bookings can be found on the Coombe Winery website
  • The Domain Chandon winery, a subsidiary of Moët & Chandon, produces sparkling wine. It has a tasting room, restaurant, lounge bar, and also offers spectacular vineyard views. 
    • Operating hours: Tasting room open daily from 10:30am to 4:30pm; restaurant open daily from 12:00nn to 4:00pm; lounge bar open daily from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The entire winery is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 
    • Aside from the tasting room, the best way to get to know the winery is the educational and interactive self-guided tour, which is free of charge. 
    • For wine enthusiasts seeking a more in-depth look, the Chandon Sunday School takes you behind the scenes to discover the history of champagne and Australia’s own expertise in it. There is one Sunday School session every Sunday, from 10:30am to 1:30pm, for groups of up to 12 people. Booking in advance is a must, and may be done online by clicking here
    • The main attraction that separates it from the other wineries is the TarraWarra Museum of Art, which showcases Australian art from the second half of the 20th century to the present day. The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00am to 5:00pm, and all public holidays, except Christmas. 

Healseville Sanctuary

  • Located in the heart of the Yarra Valley, the Healesville Sanctuary is home to kangaroos, wallabies, dingoes, Tasmanian devils, echidnas, wombats, koalas, and fauna native to Australia. 
  • The Sanctuary is home to a number of activities and attractions, details of which may be found on the Healesville Sanctuary website. Must-sees include the Spirits of the Sky, a free show featuring Australia’s magnificent parrots and majestic birds of prey, wading with the platypuses, and the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, where you can meet vets and nurses, and hear stories of animal rescue, treatment, and recovery, Kangaroo Country, etc.  
  • For an especially memorable experience, you can purchase a “Close-up Encounter” together with your admission ticket. Enter your favorite animal exhibit with a Wildlife Encounter Ranger; learn more about the animals, and get a great close-up photo. You can choose to have your Close-up Encounter with either the kangaroos, koalas, pythons, or echidnas. 
    • Duration 10 minutes, 20 AUD. Pre-booking recommended either by booking online, calling 1300 966 784, or booking with Admissions on the day of the visit.
  • Eat: For those looking to enjoy a meal during their day at Healesville Sanctuary, there are three cafes on the grounds. Sanctuary Harvest, the biggest cafe, has grab-and-go options, a full a la carte menu, and a number of beverages. Candlebark Cafe is the perfect place for a quick bite to eat. Pavilion Cafe, situated in the middle of the park, offers both hot and cold foods, perfect for a quick snack as you make your way around the park. 
  • Healesville Sanctuary has an easy-to-follow pathway system, with access for people using wheelchairs and strollers. Wheelchairs are also available for hire. 
  • Opening hours: The Sanctuary is open every day of the year from 9:00am to 5:00pm, with the animal areas closing slightly earlier at 4:30pm. 
  • Pricing: To save time, tickets may be purchased online in advance and are valid 12 months from the date of purchase. Admission prices are as follows: 37 AUD for adults; 19 AUD for children between 4 and 15 years old from Mondays to Fridays, and free on the weekends and holidays; 33 AUD for seniors, and free everyday for children 3 years old and below. 

Stones of the Yarra Valley

  • A historic dining complex and picturesque wedding venue, combining two superb restaurants – The Barn and The Stables at Stones – with a stunning rough-rendered Chapel and Dairy nestled under century-old oak trees. www.stonesoftheyarravalley.com

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