Yarra Valley And Dandenong Ranges, Victoria, Australia

by jmorrad - Date: 2008-06-20 - Word Count: 1033 Share This!

The Yarra Valley...

In the Yarra Valley you'll find fifty-five of the world's premier wineries, dozens of splendid romantic retreats and some equally splendid restaurants, all set in a landscape of colour that's impossible to resist...... and it's less than an hour from Melbourne.

All of this is easy to get to but very difficult to tear yourself away from.

The Yarra Valley is Victoria's oldest wine region, with over 3 600 hectares under vine.

It's Victoria's most visited wine area and it's also recognised as one of the world's great wine growing regions.

The Yarra Valley is the name given to the region surrounding the Yarra River which rises in the Yarra Ranges, approximately 60 kilometres east of Melbourne and flows towards and through the city and out into Port Phillip Bay.

The name "Yarra Valley" is used in reference to the upper regions of the river and the surrounding area but generally does not include the lower regions or the city and inner city suburbs.

It is a popular day-trip and tourist area, partly for the area's considerable natural beauty but also for the local produce, particularly the wines.

The Yarra Valley region's relatively cool climate makes it particularly known for the production of high-quality chardonnay and pinot noir, as well as the production of premium sparkling wine.

Most wineries offer cellar door tastings and, of course, the opportunity to purchase their produce.

They also have restaurants serving gourmet food accompanied by their wine.

While the nation's largest wine companies have holdings in the Yarra Valley, many with showpiece visitor centres, you'll also discover rustic family owned cellar doors, offering an equally rewarding experience.

The Yarra Valley Grape Festival is a special time in February celebrating the beginning of the annual harvest when the vines in the Yarra Valley are at their beautiful best.

It's also a celebration of all the finer things of life.

Enjoy good food and fine wine while relaxing with friends and listening to an endless choice of music in idyllic surroundings.

Less than an hour's drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley Grape Festival will provides you and your friends with a wonderful opportunity to discover those hidden treasures you've always been meaning to visit, or to return to your favourites to enjoy them all over again.

The Yarra Valley Grape Festival sees wineries perfectly matching their wines to specially designed meals.

With your family and friends it's a great opportunity to meander around the magnificent Yarra Valley indulging in whatever takes your fancy.

Here you'll find some of the most beautiful countryside in Victoria.

Rolling hills strung with vines around Healesville and Yarra Glen meet towering trees, green valleys and pristine rivers around Marysville and Warburton.

For a different view of the countryside, take to the skies in a hot-air balloon before gently descending into a vineyard to enjoy a breakfast of local produce and sparkling wine, (yes they really do serve wine for breakfast).

Whilst the wineries are at the heart of the Yarra Valley visitor offerings you'll also discover art galleries, cafes, accommodation , restaurants , antique stores, markets, nature walks and family attractions such as the Healesville Sanctuary.

Tucked in to the foothills of the Yarra Ranges, Healesville Sanctuary offers a distinctly Australian wildlife experience and an introduction to the sights and sounds of the bush.

Get close to over 200 species of Australian wildlife, including platypus, koalas, emus, Tasmanian devils, lyrebirds, wombats and eagles.

A path weaves through the 30 hectare natural bush setting, leading to spacious areas where birds and animals live in their native habitats.

See colourful king parrots and helmeted honeyeaters, Victoria's bird emblem and an endangered species, in the Flooded Forest Aviary.

Visit the nocturnal creek habitat, complete with living ferns, mosses and lichens growing above pools and waterfalls, at the Sidney Myer World of the Platypus, for a glimpse of one of our most captivating animals.

Daily sessions where you can meet the keepers are an ideal way to learn from the experts who care for the animals.

Catch the spectacular 'Birds of Prey' presentation, starring the wedge-tailed eagle with its two-metre wingspan, and the peregrine falcon as it dives from the top of a gum tree.

The Sanctuary is a haven for threatened species such as the brush-tailed rock wallaby and rehabilitates injured and orphaned animals, many of which join the Sanctuary 'family' when restored to good health.

You can make the most of a visit to the region with the Yarra Valley Wine Touring Guide.

This self-guided ramble starts with the smaller boutique wineries including Yering Farm, Seville Estate, Evelyn County Estate and Elmswood Estate.

Stop at some of the region's iconic wineries and experience Fergusson's rustic charm or Domaine Chandon's innovative approach to wine tasting, fabulous wine by the glass accompanied by a generous plate of delicious regional food.

De Bortoli is famous for accompanying its Yarra Valley wines with northern Italian cuisine, and at Coldstream Hills enjoy the magnificent views while tasting the complex flavours of their wines.

The Yarra Valley is also recognised as a producer of exceptional chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.

Drop in to taste and stock up on these and the myriad other varieties produced in the region at the cellar doors of Yering Station, Punt Road, TarraWarra and more.

Pick up a brochure from one of the local visitor information centres.

The region also boasts a delicious variety of fresh produce, from seasonal berries, stone fruit and organic vegetables to game meats and fresh salmon caviar, handmade pasta, farmhouse cheeses, and wickedly rich ice creams and chocolates.

Follow the Yarra Valley Regional Food Trail.

This self-drive tour criss-crosses the region with frequent stops at 100 or more signposted outlets where the gastronome can sample, savour or pick his own delectable delights.

Stop off at orchards, farm gates and roadside stalls to buy local produce direct from the grower or dine at local cafes and restaurants that use local produce to create gourmet menus.

You can meet the growers and stock up on fresh local produce at the monthly Regional Farmers' Market at Yering Station, or the Cardinia Ranges Farmers' Market.

The locals will be happy to give you all the details.

As I said, very easy to get to, very hard to leave…

Related Tags: tourism, wineries, victoria, melbourne, yarra valley, dandenong ranges, healesville

Hi, my name is John morrad, I'm the author of the-discount-travel-guide.com and I have lived, worked and travelled the length and breadth of Australia since arriving from England as an immigrant in 1974.My website, The Discount travel Guide is my contrbution to those who visit Australia on holiday or those who are just interested in the country and it's people.

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