Things to Do in Yarra Valley
- The legal drinking age of 18 applies to all wine tasting in Yarra Valley.
- Most Yarra Valley wineries do not have a dress code, but smart-casual dress is required at the region’s high-end restaurants.
- Cellular service can vary throughout Yarra Valley, but free Wi-Fi is available at visitor information centers.
- Sunscreen, plenty of water, and comfortable shoes are musts if you plan on walking through the vineyards.
- Many Yarra Valley wineries are wheelchair accessible, although vineyard tours may not be, so it’s best to check in advance.
The vineyard-filled Yarra Valley is a popular destination for food and drink enthusiasts, and the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery offers the chance to cleanse your palate with some sweet treats. Watch chocolatiers at work, join a chocolate-making class, sample (and buy sumptuous chocolate and cakes, or enjoy a full meal.
Lush greenery and rolling hills dotted with twisting vines create a picturesque backdrop for sipping some of Yarra Valley’s finest wines. Rochford Wines, located just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, offers first-class vino, a top-notch culinary experience and panoramic views of the iconic Great Dividing Ranges. Meander through the winery’s sprawling vistas to visit the on-site art gallery and retail shop. Try a tasting from Rochford’s cellar door or dine at the winery’s award-winning restaurant Isabella’s at Rochford.
An oasis of natural beauty located in the heart of Victoria’s wine country, Rochford is known for hosting a range of events, concerts and functions. The winery boasts activities to suit all tastes— from hot air ballooning and segway tours to wine and cheese pairings.
Tucked into the serene and picturesque Yarra Valley of Victoria, the Dominique Portet Winery is renowned for its deep roots in French soil — Bordeaux to be exact. The art of winemaking has been passed down through the Portet lineage from 18th century France; a father and son duo (ninth and 10th generation) run this winery with experience that spans around the world. The modest space boasts an array of wines in a comfortable, Mediterranean-style setting. Get lost among the sprawling vines, or relax with a glass surrounded by oak barrels at Dominique Portet. Enjoy tastings from the cellar door, learn more about the Portet history and culture with a vintage tour, or stay for a leisurely lunch overlooking the valley.
Tumbling 122 meters from the steep cliffs of the Steavenson River valley, the Steavenson Falls make an impressive sight, with the river cascading over 5 tiers. Despite being among the areas damaged in Victoria’s 2009 bushfires, the area remains one of the region’s most scenic natural reserves, surrounded by the looming peaks of the Yarra Ranges, ancient woodlands and lush pockets of rainforest.
Most visitors to the falls follow the short trail to the viewing platform beneath the falls, but there are also ample options for hiking and bird watching in the surrounding countryside. The most atmospheric time to visit is in the evening hours before midnight, when the falls are dramatically floodlit.
The warm and rustic family‐run Fergusson Winery is a standout in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Set among 20 acres of rolling hills and lush greenery, the winery features classic French grape varieties and a restaurant with a Paris-trained master chef. Enjoy a crisp chardonnay while indulging in the renowned spit roast at the Fergusson Restaurant, then spend the afternoon simply drinking in the view while listening to live music.
Fergusson Winery also offers cooking classes so visitors can get their culinary skills up to snuff, plus wine appreciation courses. Can’t get enough? Stay overnight at the Fergusson Homestead Bed and Breakfast.
In the eastern reaches of the Yarra Valley, the Blue Lotus Water Garden has 14 acres (5.5 hectares) of gardens, lakes, and wetlands, blooming with colorful lotus flowers and water lilies. A fun attraction for the whole family, it’s also home to horticultural marvels such as the golden lotus and a 2000-year-old Japanese flower.