It’s only an hour east of Melbourne and one of the most celebrated wine regions in the country. With a vast epicurean wonderland sitting in our backyard, why not discover some of the world class eateries, wineries and experiences it has in store for us. The Yarra Valley is the perfect place to eat, drink and play to your heart’s content.
The Independent, Gembrook
This little gem serves up exquisite tapas-style Argentinian cuisine like lime cured scallops and beetroot with hazelnuts and goats cheese salad. With a menu based around shared dishes, it’s a great spot to visit with a group of friends. The Independent is also just a stone’s throw from the historic Puffing Billy train ride, so you could fit in a bite to eat here and then jump on board.
Oakridge Estate Restaurant, Coldstream
Oakridge Estate showcases rustic and locally sourced produce and presents truly mouth-watering creations in an innovative way. Think crumbed and fried fingers of local pork cheek and trotters served with an XO sauce or kangaroo with a salad of kaffir lime, Vietnamese mint, coriander, spearmint and salted cucumber. While you’re dining, enjoy the quintessential Yarra Valley vineyard setting, complete with sweeping pastoral hills in the foreground and majestic mountains in the distance.
Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse, Coldstream
Built from the foundations of an 1860’s dairy shed on the Napoleon family property the brewery and ciderhouse is an inviting space to knock back some great beer and cider. It’s made in small, fresh batches and has won a slew of awards, including one for their moreish Pear Method Traditionally Cider. While you’re sampling the tasting paddles of beer or cider, get stuck into some of the top notch food too.
Four Pillars Distillery, Healesville
Gin lovers from across the land flock to the exceptional Four Pillars distillery for an opportunity to sample some seriously good gin. The distillery was opened in 2013 by mates Stuart Gregor, Matt Jones and Cameron Mackenzie and has since become a household name across Australia. Make sure you enjoy a private tasting session in the stylishly renovated warehouse and get the heads up on any upcoming Four Pillars’ concoctions.
Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville
If you want to get up close and personal with some furry native animals and then give them cuddle, then there is no better place than the Healesville Sanctuary. Meet all sorts of creatures, from dingos and koalas to parrots and cute little mountain pygmy possums. Don’t forget to see the amazing interactive platypus show or go for a wander through the aviary and hand-feed some parrots.
Yarra Valley Chocolateries & Ice Creamery, Yarra Glen
All the sweet tooths out there will think that they’ve won a golden ticket upon visiting this chocolate and ice-cream wonderland. Imagine indulgent chocolate sundaes, rich decadent chocolate brownies and sumptuous lemon tarts. Not to mention the outrageously delicious ice cream selection with flavours like mint-choc and Bounty. With a range of festivals running throughout the year like the hot chocolate or rocky road festival, there is always something new to try.
Mount View Estate, Yarra Junction
If you’re in the mood for a little bit of luxury, then look no further than the incredible Mount View Estate. It’s nestled in the picturesque Yarra Ranges and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area. The secluded retreat is set on a beautiful 10 acre property and features a blend of Balinese and Mediterranean design. Complete with a stunning horizon pool and spa, this is Yarra Valley luxury like no other.
Lyrebird Cottages, Mount Toolebewong
If quaint and charming is what you’re after, then Lyrebird Cottages might be more your style. The free-standing one-bedroom cottages are constructed of brick and timber and are oozing with old-world romance. They are situated on ten acres of lush forest and beautifully landscaped gardens. And on a clear day, you can get wonderful panoramic views of Melbourne.
Discover more of the top activities, restaurants and accommodation around Melbourne here.