Just an hour from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is the ideal destination for a romantic weekend away or a country escape. Two days gives you plenty of time to indulge in wine and food tasting, explore the countryside, and take part in some fun activities. Here’s how to spend two days in the Yarra Valley.
Day 1: Vineyard Views and Wine Tasting
Morning: Rise early to soar over the Yarra Valley on a hot-air balloon flight. Watch the sunrise as you float over the vineyards, then celebrate your landing with sparkling wine and breakfast among the vines. For a hassle-free experience, choose a tour with hotel pickup.
Afternoon: A wine tasting tour is a must; with more than 80 wineries to choose from, the insight of a local guide is invaluable and a designated driver is essential. Choose a tour that combines a big name winey with smaller boutique wineries, and sample popular varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Night: Book a table at a winery restaurant for a decadent wine tasting dinner with views of the vineyards. De Bortoli winery, with its acclaimed Italian restaurant, is a great choice, while the Balgownie Estate also offers pre-dinner walking and Segway tours around the estate. Be sure to book ahead, especially in high season.
Day 2: Great Food and the Great Outdoors
Morning: Visit the Healesville Sanctuary to most of Australia’s native species in one place; residents include kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils, wombats, and platypus. Alternatively, opt for a hike or horseback ride through Yarra Ranges National Park or stroll through Blue Lotus Water Garden. Book your tickets in advance to avoid wasting time in the long lines.
Afternoon: Yarra Valley is renowned for its artisan produce so a food tasting tour is a worthy addition to any itinerary. Indulge your sweet tooth at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, taste handmade cheeses and yoghurts at the Coldstream Dairy, or go fruit picking at Rayner’s Orchard.
Night: For the best sunset views, head to the Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Tower, not far from the town of Yarra Glen. Afterwards, indulge in a final wine tasting or opt for a night tour of the Yarra Valley which typically include a pizza dinner and tastings of local beer, cider, and gin.