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Never-ending rows of vines framed against a dramatic backdrop of the Great Dividing Range. Sweeping architectural lines, acclaimed restaurants and cellar doors, tucked-away places plus friendly people quietly finessing their crafts. This is the Yarra Valley, a region of spectacular scenery, extraordinary restaurants and exciting artisan producers.
Explore the best of the Yarra Valley on our three-day-getaway road trip.
Waste no time in venturing into the many welcoming winery cellar doors dotted around the Yarra Valley. After all, with over 70 wineries and just three days at your disposal, timing is everything.
Spend the morning exploring the wineries along Maroondah Highway between Coldstream and Healesville. There are tiny boutique cellar doors and many big-name wineries to visit, including Domaine Chandon, Rochford Wines and Oakridge Wines. Let the experts from Australian Wine Tour Company show you around, or forge your own path. Take the Maddens Lane Trail of wineries to St Huberts Road to visit Punt Road Winery, and catch your breath at Meletos cafe and brewhouse, enjoying a good dose of country hospitality and sumptuous local produce in the refurbished farmhouse that specialises in local flavours.
Continue on St Huberts Road but detour from wine to cheese. Try the original Persian Fetta and the rest of the farmhouse cheeses at Yarra Valley Dairy. Next turn right towards Yarra Glen, visiting Yering Station for a cellar door experience that includes some of the richest history of the region and equally appealing artworks. Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is the perfect place to finish up and satisfy a sweet tooth.
Rise and shine before the birds and start the day in style with a Global Ballooning sunrise balloon ride over the Yarra Valley. Sip sparkling wine as you drift over the vine-laced hills while the sun slowly rises.
It's hard to top this unforgettable start to the day, but this is the Yarra Valley, where the extraordinary is ordinary. Case in point is Healesville Sanctuary, one of the best places to observe curious Australian animals in their natural habitats. Don't miss the 11.15am Tales from Platypus Creek show for a world-first interactive experience with these enigmatic creatures.
Pop in for a craft gin tasting and bite to eat at Melburnians' favourite Four Pillars Gin distillery in Healesville. Proof that the Yarra Valley really does have it all is your next stop, TarraWarra Museum of Art, the arts and cultural jewel of the Yarra Valley. The award winning architectural design of Allan Powell houses the extraordinary personal collection of Eva and Marc Besen, plus a wonderful range of visiting exhibitions. Taste the wines from TarraWarra Estate in the same complex.
After indulgence, wildlife, arts and wine, it's time for nature. Drive through the spectacular Black Spur between Healesville and Narbethong on Maroondah Highway and be rendered speechless by the immense mountain ash trees and green tree ferns.
Fill your lungs with the fresh Yarra Valley air and dramatic scenery on your last day in this incredible region. Fill your photo feed with snaps of the panoramic views of the Victorian Alps across to Melbourne and the Great Dividing Range. Try your hand at catching your own trout or salmon at Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm. Rods and fishing tackle are supplied and your catch can be cooked and eaten in the farm's picturesque setting.
All good things must come to an end, so it's back in the car for the scenic 90-minute drive back to Melbourne.