Less than an hour drive from Melbourne, the beautiful Yarra Valley is home to vine-covered hills, gourmet cuisine, world-class wineries, and stunning scenery and wildlife, making it Melbourne's perfect weekend destination.

 

Here we share 10 reasons why the allure and charm of this premier wine region is simply hard to resist.

  

1.  Wineries and Vineyards

 

Vineyard at Yarra ValleyVine-covered hills at Yarra Valley,Victoria. Photo: theage.com.au

 

Take a tour at the vineyards and wineries which produce some of the world’s best wines. Enjoy fine wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine to your heart’s content. Yarra Valley is home to more than three dozen cellar doors  offering acclaimed premium cool-climate wines. 

 

 

2.  Great Food

 

Gourmet FoodLunch served at a restaurant in Yarra Valley. Photo: debortoli.com.au

 

Match the superb estate wines with a sumptuous meal at a winery restaurant that boasts the region’s celebrated produce such as salmon, caviar and handmade cheeses. A visit on a weekend is a special treat with wineries offering a special Saturday night dinner menu, pairing their finest wines with their best chef’s creations.

 

 

3.  Hot Air Ballooning

 

Hot Air BallooningFloating on a colourful hot air balloon over Yarra Valley. Photo: melbournegirl.com.au

 

For those looking for an ultimate experience, try hot air ballooning which gives a gorgeous Yarra Valley sunrise from up high with spectacular views of the region.  This once-in-a-lifetime experience will simply take your breath away. And once you float back down to earth, it’s time for a sparkling wine breakfast.

 

 

4. Tarrawarra Museum of Art

 

Tarrawarra Museum of ArtModern art exhibition at Tarrawarra Museum of Art. Photo: gobeyondmelbourne.com

 

Staging seasonal modern and contemporary art exhibition, Tarrawarra Museum of Art is set with an architecturally impressive and award-winning building in the Yarra Valley. It is Australia’s first privately funded public museum and was established by philanthropists Eva and Marc Besen.

 

5.  Black Spur Drive

 

Black Spur DriveBeautiful winding Black Spur Drive. Photo: Ben Molloy

 

Drive through the superbly scenic lush fern-lined winding roads of Black Spur Drive to Marysville on the Maroondah Highway. Definitely one of the country’s most beautiful, this spectacular 30-kilometre ride is famous for its towering eucalyptus regnans, the tallest flowering trees in the world.

 

 

6.  Healesville Sanctuary

 

Healesville SanctuaryFeeding kangaroos at Healesville Sanctuary. Photo: yarraglenapartments.com.au

 

Get up-close with more than 200 species of Australian wildlife set in a natural bushland at the fabulous Healesville Sanctuary. As one of the country’s most respected zoos, it showcases dingoes, koalas, wombats, kangaroos and even the Tasmanian devil. 

 

 

7.  Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery

 

Chocolaterie and Ice CreameryDelicious and mouth-watering treats for the sweet tooth. Photos: flabnbonephotography.wordpress.com, weekendnotes.com

 

Indulge your love for chocolates and ice cream with a range of free tastings at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. Choose from more than 250 chocolate products including fondue, pastries, ice creams and hot chocolates while taking in the views of the Chocolatier’s sweeping orchard and lawns.

 

8.  Day Spas

 

Day SpaRejuvenating spa and massage. Photos: balgownieestate.com.au

 

Experience an exquisite pampering session at a day spa, such as Piaf Day Spa an acclaimed retreat in the Yarra Valley. Indulge in a relaxing massage, surrender to a few minutes of bliss and feel the tension in your body wane with each soothing stroke.

 

 

9.  Puffing Billy Railway

 

Puffing Billy at Dandenong RangesPuffing Billy: Loved by generations for over 100 years.  Photo: bilbytravel.com.au

 

Relieve your childhood and take in the scenic journey of the glorious Dandenong Ranges by riding the Puffing Billy, one of the most popular steam heritage railways in the world.  Dangle your legs over the side of the carriage as you journey through the towns of Belgrave and Gembrook.

 

 

10. Coombe – The Melba Estate

 

Coombe/Melba EstateImposing Melba Estate. Photo: coombeyarravalley.com.au

 

One of Yarra Valley’s newest attractions is Coombe/Melba Estate, the home of Australian opera legend Dame Nellie Melba that has been opened up to public for the first time in more than a century. This beautiful seven-acre property has been tansformed into an elegant restaurant, fashion and art gallery, and cellar door.  

 

 

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