Located just an hour's drive and 65km from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is blessed with the bucolic scenery and rural ambience of the verdant Victorian countryside. While best known for its boutique wineries, Yarra Valley also has plenty of indoor and outdoor diversions to tempt day-trippers and those looking for a longer stay.
Yarra Valley is an area of unspoilt natural beauty with crisp, clear country air and a welcoming atmosphere. The region is renowned for its world-class wineries, and gourmet delights, indulgent pampering and relaxing nature walks. On February 7, 2009, known as Black Saturday, the local townships of Marysville and Black Spur were devastated by bushfires, although the Yarra Valley and wineries were not affected. These historic towns are now rebuilding and worth a visit. Healesville is a great base to visit the Yarra Valley wineries if you are travelling by car. You can also book half-day and full-day tours of the wineries, which usually include pickup from your hotel.
There are over 50 wineries and breweries in the Yarra Valley where you sample award-winning wines and beers direct from the cellar door. With local produce from farmed trout and salmon ponds to handmade cheese and summer cherries, you can also indulge your inner gourmand at local farm gates or enjoy a sumptuous feast at a café, restaurant or hotel. Head outdoors to explore the flora, fauna, hiking trails and views of Yarra Ranges National Park, Toolangi State Forest or Kinglake National Park, or stay indoors getting treated at a day spa or perusing the artwork within local studios and galleries. For a gentler holiday experience, Yarra Valley has indulgence down pat.
To visit Healesville and Yarra Valley from Melbourne, take the Eastern Freeway and exit onto the Ringwood Bypass to access the Maroondah Highway. Stay on the highway and follow the signs to Lilydale and on to Healesville. Trains also travel between Flinders Street Station to Lilydale Station where a bus will take you on to Healesville.