Top 16 Things To Do in Yarra Valley, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

Hot Air Balloon Ride
Source: Visit Victoria

Nestled in the heart of Victoria, the Yarra Valley is a picturesque region known for its lush vineyards, rolling hills, and charming towns. Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne’s bustling CBD, this diverse and vibrant area offers a serene escape from the city, with a rich tapestry of natural wonders, cultural attractions, and unique experiences waiting to be discovered.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Yarra Valley, a captivating destination that promises unforgettable adventures. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural splendor, delve into its cultural treasures, and embark on a remarkable journey through the captivating world of Yarra Valley. Get ready to explore the region’s hidden treasures and embark on an extraordinary journey through Yarra Valley, VIC Australia.

Things To Do In Yarra Valley, VIC

1. Healesville Sanctuary – Discover Australian Wildlife

Healesville Sanctuary is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and families alike. This popular wildlife park is home to a wide variety of native Australian animals, including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and the elusive platypus. Wander through the sanctuary’s lush grounds and marvel at the diverse habitats that house these fascinating creatures. Don’t miss the daily presentations and keeper talks, which provide valuable insights into the lives and conservation efforts of these unique animals.

In addition to its impressive wildlife collection, Healesville Sanctuary also offers immersive experiences such as the Spirits of the Sky show, where you can witness the incredible skills of birds of prey and colorful parrots. For a more hands-on experience, consider booking an animal encounter, where you can get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic species.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for outdoor exploration.
  • Address: Badger Creek Rd, Healesville VIC 3777, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9 am to 5 pm

2. Yarra Valley Railway – Scenic Train Rides and Heritage Experience

Step back in time and experience the charm of the Yarra Valley Railway, a heritage railway offering scenic train rides through the picturesque Yarra Valley. The railway operates on a section of the historic Healesville to Lilydale line, providing a unique opportunity to explore the region’s rich history and stunning landscapes.

The Yarra Valley Railway operates on selected days, so it’s essential to check their website for the current schedule. The train journey takes approximately 30 minutes, making it a perfect activity for families and train enthusiasts alike.

  • Address: Healesville-Kinglake Rd, Healesville VIC 3777, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Check their website for current operating days and hours
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for scenic train rides.

3. Hot Air Balloon Ride – Soar Above the Valley

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Yarra Valley from a unique vantage point with a hot air balloon ride. As you gently float above the picturesque vineyards, rolling hills, and lush forests, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of the region. This unforgettable adventure is perfect for special occasions, romantic getaways, or simply as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hot air balloon rides in the Yarra Valley are available year-round, but the best time to enjoy this activity is during spring and autumn when the weather is more comfortable and the scenery is at its most vibrant. Several operators offer hot air balloon experiences in the area, so be sure to book in advance to secure your spot.

  • Address: Various locations in Yarra Valley
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer more comfortable temperatures for hot air balloon rides.

4. Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery – Indulgent Treats and Workshops

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, a well-known spot offering gourmet chocolates, ice cream, and a kitchen serving breakfast and lunch. The Chocolaterie is set on 40 acres of beautiful Yarra Valley land, providing a delightful setting for enjoying their handcrafted chocolates made by European chocolatiers.

The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, offering a range of seasonal events and indulgent activities, including chocolate-making workshops and tastings. Make a date to join them for a delicious and memorable experience.

  • Address: 35 Old Healesville Rd, Yarra Glen VIC 3775, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9 am to 5 pm

5. Domaine Chandon – Sparkling Wine and Scenic Views

Domaine Chandon, a renowned winery in the Yarra Valley, offers visitors the opportunity to sample their exquisite sparkling wines while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding vineyards. Established by the French Champagne house MoΓ«t & Chandon, Domaine Chandon combines traditional winemaking techniques with the region’s unique terroir to produce exceptional wines.

The winery is open daily from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, offering wine tastings, guided tours, and a restaurant serving delicious dishes made from local ingredients. The best time to visit Domaine Chandon is during spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant and the vineyards are at their most picturesque.

  • Address: 727 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream VIC 3770, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for wine tasting and touring.

6. Redwood Forest – Tranquil Walks and Majestic Trees

Discover the enchanting Redwood Forest in East Warburton, a hidden gem featuring a grove of towering Californian Redwood trees planted in the 1930s. The forest offers a serene and tranquil atmosphere, perfect for leisurely walks and quiet contemplation. The trees’ immense size and the forest’s unique atmosphere make it a popular spot for photography enthusiasts.

The Redwood Forest is a year-round destination, but visiting during spring and autumn provides pleasant weather for walking and exploring. The forest is easily accessible from the Cement Creek Road, with a small parking area available near the entrance.

  • Address: Cement Creek Rd, East Warburton VIC 3799, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for walking and exploring.

7. O’Shannassy Trail – Scenic Walks and Stunning Views

The O’Shannassy Trail is a picturesque walking and cycling path that takes you through the beautiful landscapes of the Yarra Valley. The trail follows the historic O’Shannassy Aqueduct, offering stunning views of the surrounding forests, valleys, and mountains. This peaceful and scenic trail is perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

The best time to explore the O’Shannassy Trail is during spring and autumn when the weather is comfortable and the foliage is vibrant. Pack a picnic and take your time to enjoy the serene atmosphere and breathtaking views along the way. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including various bird species, wallabies, and echidnas that call this area home.

  • Address: O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail, Warburton VIC 3799, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for comfortable temperatures and beautiful foliage.

8. Four Brothers Rocks – Geological Wonders and Panoramic Views

Venture into the heart of Bunyip State Park to discover the striking Four Brothers Rocks, a collection of impressive rock formations that showcase the area’s fascinating geological history. These ancient granite boulders, named after the four brothers who first settled in the area, offer a unique and awe-inspiring sight amidst the park’s lush forests and rugged landscapes.

The Four Brothers Rocks are best visited during spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant and the surrounding scenery is at its most vibrant. Take a leisurely hike to the rocks and enjoy the panoramic views of the Yarra Valley and beyond. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning vistas and the intriguing rock formations that make this destination so special.

  • Address: Bunyip State Park, Gembrook-Tonimbuk Rd, Gembrook VIC 3783, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for pleasant weather and stunning views.

9. Mount Riddell – Hiking and Panoramic Views

Mount Riddell, located in the Yarra Ranges National Park, offers a rewarding hiking experience with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The trail takes you through lush forests and gradually climbs to the summit, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas of the Yarra Valley and beyond. This hike is perfect for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a challenging yet rewarding outdoor adventure.

The best time to hike Mount Riddell is during spring and autumn when the weather is comfortable and the foliage is vibrant. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views from the summit and the diverse flora and fauna along the trail.

  • Address: Yarra Ranges National Park, Victoria, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for comfortable temperatures and beautiful foliage.

10. Treetops Adventure Belgrave – Aerial Challenges and Zip Lining

Experience the thrill of soaring through the trees at Treetops Adventure Belgrave, Victoria’s first tree ropes course located in the Dandenong Ranges. This exciting outdoor adventure features an array of zip lines, tight ropes, and tunnels, allowing you to move through the branches and enjoy the natural beauty of the forest from a unique perspective.

Treetops Adventure Belgrave is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant. The course is suitable for various skill levels, with heights ranging from 2-4m for Junior Courses and 3-18m for Tree Ropes Courses.

  • Address: Dandenong Ranges, Belgrave, VIC, Australia
  • Opening Hours: School Term Monday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday & Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm; School & Public Holidays Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm

11. Skydive Yarra Valley – Thrilling Freefall Experience

For adrenaline seekers, Skydive Yarra Valley offers an unforgettable tandem skydiving experience over the picturesque vineyards of the Yarra Valley. Feel the exhilaration of a 60-second freefall from up to 15,000ft before gliding back to earth under a parachute, taking in the stunning views of the valley below.

Skydiving in the Yarra Valley is a thrilling adventure that can be enjoyed year-round, but the experience is particularly enchanting during the winter months when clouds blanket the valley, creating a unique and breathtaking backdrop for your skydive.

  • Address: Lilydale Airfield, 13 MacIntyre Lane, Yering, VIC 3770, Australia
  • Booking: Visit the Skydive Yarra Valley website or call +61 1300 663 634 for booking information

12. Warburton Rainforest Gallery – Elevated Walkways and Lush Foliage

Experience the beauty of the Yarra Ranges National Park from a unique perspective at the Warburton Rainforest Gallery. This elevated walkway takes you through the lush canopy of the ancient rainforest, offering stunning views of the surrounding ferns, mosses, and towering Mountain Ash trees. The 40-meter long observation platform provides an immersive experience, allowing you to appreciate the rainforest’s diverse flora and fauna up close.

The Warburton Rainforest Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The best time to visit is during spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant and the rainforest is bursting with life.

  • Address: 3400 Warburton Hwy, Warburton VIC 3799, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10 am to 4 pm
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for walking and exploring.

13. Lilydale Lake – Recreation and Relaxation

Lilydale Lake is a popular recreational area offering a range of activities for visitors of all ages. The lake is surrounded by picturesque parklands, featuring walking trails, picnic facilities, and a playground for children. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lake, take a paddleboat ride, or simply relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.

The best time to visit Lilydale Lake is during spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant and the park’s flora is in full bloom. The lake is easily accessible from the town of Lilydale and offers ample parking for visitors.

  • Address: 435 Swansea Rd, Lilydale VIC 3140, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for outdoor activities.

14. Yileena Park – Boutique Winery and Smoked Delicacies

Yileena Park is a boutique winery nestled in the heart of the Yarra Valley, offering a unique and intimate wine tasting experience. The winery’s cellar door is open from Friday to Monday, 10 am to 5 pm, where you can sample their range of premium wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

In addition to their exceptional wines, Yileena Park is also known for its delicious smoked products, such as olives, cheeses, and nuts, which are smoked on-site using the winery’s own grapevines. Pair these mouthwatering treats with a glass of wine for a truly indulgent experience.

  • Address: 195 Steels Creek Rd, Yarra Glen VIC 3775, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Friday to Monday 10 am to 5 pm
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer pleasant weather for wine tasting and touring.

15. Blue Lotus Water Garden – A Floral Wonderland

Immerse yourself in a world of vibrant colors and fragrant blooms at the Blue Lotus Water Garden, a stunning botanical attraction in the Yarra Valley. The garden features a vast collection of water lilies, lotus flowers, and other aquatic plants, creating a mesmerizing display of natural beauty. Wander through the garden’s various themed areas, including the Monet-inspired lily pond and the enchanting fairy garden.

The Blue Lotus Water Garden is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm during the flowering season, which typically runs from late December to mid-April. This is the best time to visit the garden, as the flowers are in full bloom and the weather is pleasant for exploring the grounds.

  • Address: 2628 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction VIC 3797, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm during the flowering season (late December to mid-April)
  • Best time of the year: Flowering season, typically from late December to mid-April.

16. Warratina Lavender Farm – Aromatic Fields and Tranquil Surroundings

Escape to the serene and fragrant Warratina Lavender Farm, where you can stroll through rows of vibrant lavender plants and enjoy the calming atmosphere. The farm offers a range of lavender products, including essential oils, soaps, and culinary treats, making it a perfect destination for a relaxing day trip.

The best time to visit Warratina Lavender Farm is during the lavender bloom season, which typically runs from late November to early January. During this time, the farm is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm, allowing visitors to explore the fields, enjoy a meal at the on-site cafΓ©, and browse the gift shop for unique lavender-inspired souvenirs.

  • Address: 105 Quayle Rd, Wandin Yallock VIC 3139, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily 10 am to 4 pm
  • Best time of the year: Lavender bloom season, typically from late November to early January.

Towns Nearby Yarra Valley, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Yarra Valley, VIC, Australia, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Belgrave, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Ferntree Gully, VIC (6 km from Belgrave): Known for its beautiful parks and reserves, such as the 1000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk and the Tim Neville Arboretum. It’s a great destination for nature lovers and hikers.
  2. Olinda, VIC (7 km from Belgrave): A charming town in the Dandenong Ranges, Olinda is home to the National Rhododendron Gardens, the Cloudehill Gardens, and a variety of boutique shops, galleries, and cafes.
  3. Sassafras, VIC (5 km from Belgrave): This picturesque village offers a unique shopping experience with its charming stores, tea rooms, and cafes. Don’t miss the famous Miss Marple’s Tearoom and the Sassafras Sweet Co.
  4. Emerald, VIC (12 km from Belgrave): Visit the beautiful Emerald Lake Park for a leisurely walk, picnic, or paddleboat ride. The town also offers a range of cafes, restaurants, and shops to explore.
  5. Monbulk, VIC (14 km from Belgrave): Home to the Monbulk Winery, this town is perfect for wine enthusiasts. Enjoy wine tasting at the local winery, known for its fruit wines and grape wines.
  6. Healesville, VIC (50 km from Belgrave): A popular destination for wildlife lovers, Healesville is home to the Healesville Sanctuary, where you can observe Australian wildlife up close. The town also offers a range of cafes, restaurants, and shops.
  7. Kallista, VIC (7 km from Belgrave): Located halfway between Belgrave and Monbulk, Kallista offers a scenic drive and a range of attractions, including the Kallista Tea Rooms and the Kallista Community Market.

Getting To Yarra Valley, VIC

To get to Yarra Valley, VIC, Australia from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By train: Take the Lilydale Line from Melbourne Central or Flinders Street Station to Lilydale Station. From Lilydale Station, catch a McKenzies bus to either Yarra Glen or Healesville. For travel to Warburton, catch a Ventura bus.
  • By car: Drive east on the M1 and take the Maroondah Highway exit. Follow the Maroondah Highway until you reach the Yarra Valley. The drive takes approximately 1 hour, depending on traffic.

From other nearby towns:

  • From Ferntree Gully, VIC: Drive east on the Burwood Highway for about 10 minutes or 6 km.
  • From Olinda, VIC: Drive west on the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road and turn left onto Belgrave-Gembrook Road. The drive takes approximately 20 minutes or 12 km.
  • From Upper Ferntree Gully, VIC: Take the train from Upper Ferntree Gully Station to Flinders Street Station in Melbourne CBD. The journey takes approximately 57 minutes.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.