Just an hour from Melbourne city centre is the Yarra Valley,a postcard-worthy destination a world away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. With lodges, wildlife reserves, exquisite cuisine, wineries and vineyards, it is the ideal place to reconnect with nature while sampling some of the creative gastronomy on offer. A wonderful area for cycling, walking and even spa treatments, the Yarra Valley has much to offer travellers seeking a tranquil, yet adventure packed oasis away from the city.
Yarra Valley is a nature and activity lover’s paradise, as there are many places to visit while in the area that include the Cumberland Walk showcasing some of the tallest flowering trees in the world. Alternatively, take a trip to marvel at the alpine landscape of Lake Mountain. The mountain provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and is popular with road cyclists and mountain bikers during the summer months and cross-country skiers in the winter. Yarra Valley allows visitors to discover hidden delights in the ancient forests of the Dandenong ranges with a variety of craft stores, pristine gardens and artists’ studios or indulge their inner foodie with a visit to one of the passionate food and wine purveyors who are eager to share and promote their produce to visitors.
Reaching Yarra Valley from Melbourne couldn’t be easier, just 63 kilometres from the centre and easily reached in just over an hour by car. There are also public transport options, with trains to Belgrave, Hurstbridge or Lilydale close to many different Yarra Valley attractions. To explore the attractions once you reach Yarra Valley, there are local bus companies which operate regular services between each town and village.
Historically, the area of the Yarra River held the prime location en route to the gold fields, resulting in the valley being heavily mined during the Victorian gold rush. During this era, many dams and tunnels were constructed which, even today keeps Melbourne protected from any major flooding and provides the city’s fresh water supply. The growing infrastructure eventually began to span development further afield and the region became Victoria’s premier wine growing district with the first vines being planted in 1838. At this time, the Yarra Valley was also a major area of food production for Melbourne. Today this popular region has remained true to its roots and is one of the best areas in which to enjoy unspoilt nature, food and drink in the region.