Top-Picked Things to Do in Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is known for its expansive vineyards, rolling hills, cultural richness, and gourmet experiences. With several distinct features that contribute to its global reputation, this southeastern part of Australia caters to many interests, making it a sought-after destination for travellers looking for different experiences. Whether you are planning a trip to Victoria or you are a local seeking the region’s hidden gems, below are some of the best things to do in the Yarra Valley.

Hiking & Walking Trails in the Yarra Valley

If you are in for a multifaceted experience that combines natural beauty, physical activity, and exploration, hiking the trails of Yarra Valley should be on your priority list. Here are the popular landscapes and Yarra Valley attractions that are common among nature lovers.

Yea River Walk

This is a grade one, 2km walk through two different forest types. The hike takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete, where you’ll enjoy views from the bushland and riverine floodplain. Yea River Walk is always open, plus pets are allowed on the trail.

Address: 657 Healesville-Kinglake Road, Toolangi, Victoria, 3777

The Great Victorian Rail Trail

The Great Victorian Rail Trail

If you are looking to explore Victoria’s High Country on foot, horse, or bike, this trail is your go-to option. Stretching 134 km, the trail runs from Tallarook to Mansfield with a spur line to Alexandra. Along the trail is a series of artwork, plus you get to explore majestic valleys, rivers, lakes, and mountains.

La La Falls Walk

The La La Falls trail is a moderate 3.2 km return trail suitable for children and adults. Hiking this path will take you around 1 hour 20 minutes. A beautiful waterfall awaits you at the end of the trail, plus you will enjoy views of the serene temperate rainforest along the way.

Address: Warburton VIC 3799, Australia

La La Falls Walk

Warburton Riverside Walk

Often considered an easy route, this 5km loop trail near Warburton meanders through the beautiful Warburton Valley. The trail crosses six bridges with views from the nearby gardens and parks lighting up your day. There are several spots along the way where you can refuel with a teacake or coffee.

Address: Warburton VIC 3799, Australia

Big Pats Creek to Starlings Gap

This is a 9.6 km grade 3 hike that offers a challenging yet fascinating walk for keen bushwalkers. The trail goes through some steep hills, disused tramlines, mountain ash, and seasonal creeks. Depending on your fitness level, this hike will take anywhere from 3 hours to 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete.

Four Brothers Rocks

Located in Bunyip State Park is the popular Four Brothers Rocks trail, a 13.6 km loop. This loop trail takes around 4 hours to complete, but the highlight of the hike is some huge granite towers that provide an exclusive backdrop of the Blue Range, the Black Snake Creek Valley, and the extensive area adjacent to the park.

Address: Burgess Rd, Gembrook VIC 3783, Australia

Brimbonga Walking Track

This is a 15-minute return hike through a scenic trail surrounded by bushland and wild animals such as sugar gliders, swamp wallabies, possums, etc. There’s also a viewing platform where you get to watch the water flow from the dam through the reservoir on its journey to Melbourne. You can book a spot in a nearby campground if you wish to stay longer in the area.

Address: Upper Yarra Reservoir Park, Reefton, Victoria, 3799

Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

Popular among cyclists and horse riders, the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail stretches for 40 kilometres with stop-overs and lunch stops along the way. The scenery on this trail includes vineyards, rolling farmlands, wooden bridges, wildflowers, and more. This scenic countryside route is well-suited for seasoned cyclists or hikers, as the last 10 kilometres can be a bit challenging.

Must-Visit Yarra Valley National Parks and Gardens

Strath Creek Falls

Located a 20-minute drive from Strath Creek is a 50-metre rugged waterfall that attracts both locals and tourists. This picnic spot is close to the Mt. Disappointment State Forest. The return hike from the fall takes about 45 minutes, but you can choose to hang around, explore the surrounding areas, and even take photos. 

Address: Strath Creek Falls Walk, Clonbinane VIC 3658, Australia

Healesville Sanctuary

Formally known as the Sir Colin Mackenzie Sanctuary, the Healesville Zoo specializes in native Australian animals. This sanctuary is home to species such as helmeted honeyeater, Eastern bar owl, lace monitor, and red-tailed black cockatoo, among others.

Address: Glen Eadie Ave, Healesville VIC 3777, Australia

Healesville Sanctuary

Redwood Forest in the Yarra Valley

A 10-minute drive from Warburton is the Californian Redwood Forest, which is located within the Yarra Ranges National Park. This spot is popular among day-trippers and is a great place where you can relax on lawns and wander through the Redwood forest. The best time to visit this forest is during the summer, especially mid-week when it’s less crowded.

Address: Cement Creek Rd, East Warburton VIC 3799, Australia

Warratina Lavender Farm

This is a 10-acre lavender farm located in the beautiful Yarra Valley, an hour’s drive from Melbourne. The lavender season at the farm begins in mid-November and ends in mid-January. During ordinary times, entry to this farm is free, and you get to wander the farm, take pictures, buy gifts, or even walk your dog during the stipulated Dog Day.

Address: 105 Quayle Rd, Wandin North VIC 3139, Australia

Warratina Lavender Farm​

Alowyn Gardens

The Alowyn Gardens is a seven-acre property in the heart of Yarra Valley. Within the premises are a café, an event field, and an expansive open garden showcasing exemplary garden designs. When visiting this garden in groups, you can arrange for morning and afternoon teas or even light lunches. This is a must-visit spot for gardening lovers or those looking to host their events in style.

Address: 1210 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen, VIC 3775, Australia

Blue Lotus Water Garden

Blue Lotus Water Garden​

This is a tropical-themed water garden that spans over 14 acres with lots of ponds, two lakes, waterfalls, fountains, and great walking trails. Some of the featured attractions include the Golden Lotus display, the Giant Amazon Waterlilies, and the Tropical World Complex. The Blue Lotus Water Garden offers several amenities, such as a café and kiosk, disabled amenities, and picnic shelters.

Address: 2628 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction, VIC 3797, Australia

Kinglake National Park

Located on the slopes of the Great Dividing Range, this Park offers some incredible mountain bike trails and scenic walks against the backdrop of Melbourne. The park hosts a variety of native birds, such as the King Parrots and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. You can camp in this park, so feel free to carry your camper or caravan.

Address: Masons Falls Rd, Kinglake West VIC 3757, Australia

Kinglake National Park

Masons Falls in Kinglake National Park

This is a popular picnic site within Kinglake National Park. The Falls are visible from a high viewing point and make a good day trip from the city of Melbourne. Depending on your fitness level, you can choose to explore the park or do a return hike back to the city.

Address: Kinglake National Park, Masons Falls Rd., VIC 3757

Lake Eildon

Considered the centrepiece of Victoria’s northeast, Lake Eildon is a hub for outdoor activities, particularly fishing. Dense forests, rolling hills, and open woodland surround this lake. If you are not in for a kayaking experience, you can explore the hidden trails within the Eildon Bike Park for a fun and adventurous escape.

Address: Goulburn Valley Hwy, Eildon, 3713, Australia

Yea Discovery Centre

Yea Discovery Centre

This is a multipurpose facility consisting of an accredited visitor information centre, which stores crucial data about the importance of wetland ecology and water resources. Within the centre is a gift shop that stocks a wide range of products, including maps, books, local produce, and jewellery. Outside this centre is an impressive garden consisting of indigenous plants and several water species.

The Yarra Valley Art Galleries

Besides the national parks and walking trails highlighted above, the other Yarra Valley tourist attractions are art galleries and museums. They include:

TarraWarra Museum of Art

TarraWarra Museum of Art​

For art lovers, this museum in TarraWarra is a must-visit, thanks to the stunning architecture and contemporary art from the 1950s. The museum captures the vision of its founders. It is dedicated to showcasing the best works of Australian artists who were instrumental in the development of modern art in the country. The museum is open from 11 am to 5 pm from Tuesday through Sunday.

Address: Wurundjeri Country, 313 Healesville-Yarra Glen Rd, Healesville VIC 3777, Australia

YAVA Gallery & Arts Hub

This is a contemporary art gallery showcasing some world-class art in the heart of Healesville. The goal of this gallery is to educate and inspire the community and visitors by bringing together the best artworks, patrons, and collectors. Some of the best works in the fields of visual arts, music, dance, theatre, and filmmaking are showcased here.

Address: 252A Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777, Australia

Upper Yarra Arts Centre

Thanks to the diverse cultural and arts scene in the Yarra Valley, the upper Yarra Arts Centre serves as a pivotal arts and culture centre, comprising a studio gallery, the Mechanics Hall, and the Mecca Theatre. Some of the programs offered in this arts centre include digital cinema, exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, and plays.

Address: 3409 Warburton Hwy, Warburton VIC 3799, Australia

The Iconic Hot Air Balloon in the Yarra Valley

hot balloon air

The Yarra Hot air balloon is one of the best attractions and fun activities that gives you a bird’ s-eye view of the breathtaking valleys, vineyards, and rolling hills. The flights depart daily whenever weather permits, with most flight tours being accompanied by a champagne breakfast at the Yarra Valley Lodge.

Address: 1309 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen, VIC 3775, Australia

Where to Stay in Yarra Valley

Flowerdale_Estate_Narangurnung_1

Now that you know most of the fun things to do in the Yarra Valley, you would want to explore some of the best accommodation options in the region. One such gem is the Flowerdale Estate, located between the Yarra Valley and the Macedon Ranges. This historic homestead sits on a 106-acre property surrounded by lush lawns, gardens, and rolling hills. You can book your reservations early to enjoy the best dining options and personalised services.

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