The Yarra Valley, Victoria
An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983
The Yarra Valley
Located just an hour outside of Victoria‘s capital city of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations, with its rich culinary and wine culture attracting visitors from the busy city, as well as from all over the country. For the avid wine lover, or epicurean, the Yarra Valley is definitely one of Australia‘s must see destinations, with over 80 wineries in the Yarra Valley wine region, including famous names such as Coldstream Hills, De Bortoli, Rochford wines, Punt Road and many more. Some of the varieties the region is best known for include chardonnay, pinot noir, and its sparkling wine, though you can find cabernet sauvignon and shiraz as well, with a wide variety generally on offer during a wine tasting, whether at one of the larger locations, or at a smaller boutique winery. Aside from its delicious wine, the Yarra Valley also makes plenty of its own beer or cider for those who prefer something lighter, with a few dedicated brewery venues such as Napoleone Brewery or Coldstream brewery being some of the better known. Though the Yarra Valley is mostly known for its food and beverage culture, while visiting it’s definitely also worth exploring the natural heritage of the region, with stunning landscapes nearby, such as those in the Yarra Ranges National Park and the Warburton Rail Trail, or you can see some of Victoria’s native wildlife at the Healesville Sanctuary.
Discover the World Heritage Sites of the southern states of Australia travelling in a small group tour. A journey of learning around the southern edges of the Murray Darling basin and up to the upper southern part of this complex river basin north of Mildura. We start and end in Adelaide, stopping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and other significant locations.
Discover the World Heritage Sites of the southern states of Australia travelling in a small group tour of like minded motorcyclists. A journey of learning around the southern edges of the Murray Darling basin and up to the upper southern part of this complex river basin north of Mildura. We start and end in Adelaide, stopping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and other significant locations.
Small group tour touring most of the Australian territory, travelling through the outback and visiting many of the famous sights as well as off the beaten track locations, giving you the opportunity the explore and meet our people in the most remote locations. Learn about the history of the people who explored the deserts, from indigenous communities to Europeans, as well as Burke and Wills, visit White Cliffs, Birdsville, Marree and far north Kakadu and the Kimberley.
Join 22,383 travellers receiving our weekly newsletter.
The Yarra River or ‘Birrarung’, as it is known to indigenous Australians, has been a site of aboriginal habitation for over 30,000 years, with the waters of the river serving as the region’s lifeblood. The Yarra Valley‘s name in its indigenous tongue means the “Place of Mists and Shadows”, with the river being carved into the land by an ancient ancestral creator spirit known as ‘Bunjil’ the wedge tailed eagle. The colonial history of the Yarra Valley has its origins as Melbourne’s bread basket, with an agricultural heritage the stretches back to earliest periods of settlement in the region, with the cool climate and abundant freshwater making it the ideal climate for growing a wide variety of crops, as well as for grazing and animal agriculture. The population boom of Victoria’s gold rush era saw the region grow further in importance, with the Yarra Valley serving to feed the vast influx of migrants from interstate and across the world, as well as being one of the largest timber producing regions in the state. Many old tunnels can be found around the Yarra Valley dating back to this time period, with larger ones around Warburton or Warrandyte noting the passage of this iconic moment in Victorian history.
The significance of viticulture in the Yarra Valley dates back to 1838, with the Ryrie brothers planting their own vineyard at a site called Yering station, now known as Chateau Yering. Yarra Valley wine began to grow in popularity over the ensuing decades, with Yering station even winning a Grand Prix at the 1889 Paris exhibition, the only wine from the southern hemisphere to do so. Despite these early successes, the Yarra Valley wine region essentially ceased to exist following the onset of the Great Depression in the early 20th century, with almost the entirety of wine production grinding to a halt, and the land converted to other uses such as pastures. This was largely driven by changing consumer preferences in the economically constrained environment, with many Australians opting for far cheaper fortified wines, rather than the more expensive ones coming out of the Yarra Valley. The period of economic depression and ensuing decade of war left the region’s wine making heritage devastated, with viticulture being absent until its revival beginning in the early 1960s. The subsequent decades saw the introduction of many of today’s familiar names such as Chateau Yarrina (now De Bortoli), Coldstream Hills, Yarra Ridge, Punt Road, Rochford wines and many more, this revival period even saw French champagne makers Moet et Chandon even establishing an Australian base at Coldstream in 1986, known as ‘Domaine Chandon‘. Today the Yarra Valley is a tremendously popular destination for travellers coming from Melbourne, or from further abroad, with the numerous cellar door wine tasting, and wine tours providing a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s city life.
Travelling to the Yarra Valley
There are numerous ways to explore the Yarra Valley region, though with the relatively lacking public transport, it’s probably best to arrange car or coach transport, the latter of which being particularly useful if you opt for a Yarra Valley wine tour. Some of the main towns in the Yarra Valley region include Healesville, Yarra Glen, Coldstream, and Warburton, all of which are a convenient distance away from one another, making exploring the region as a whole a relatively easy exercise. You could even choose to visit the Yarra Valley on a day trip, which at only an hour outside of the city makes it the perfect place to go out for lunch, or a snacking plate of wine and cheese, surrounded by the serene landscape of Victoria’s wine country. Some of the more famous vineyards you might find on a winery tour of the Yarra Valley include names such as Coldstream Hills, De Bortoli, Rochford Winery, Punt Road, or Domaine Chandon, though for the enthusiast you can find an enormous variety, with the over 80 wineries in the region offering a range of boutique wine tasting experiences to suit your taste. During a tour of the Yarra Valley you’ll also want to stop by Yarra Valley Dairy, as well as Yarra Valley Chocolaterie for some delightful culinary treats, both being located nearby to each other in the town of Yarra Glen, and adding chocolate and ice cream to the list of specialty treats the Valley holds. Another point of interesting along the way is the TarraWarra Museum of Art, which houses a private collection of figurative, abstract and landscape paintings from Australian and Indigenous Australian artists. Odyssey visits the Yarra Valley as part of its small group tour of Victoria, exploring Yarra Glen on our tour around the state. One of the best ways to explore the Yarra Valley and the surrounding region is through a small group tour. Odyssey specialises in this kind of tour, offering and engaged, and intimate tour to the Yarra Valley ideal for seniors, solo travellers, or couples heading to Victoria and the Yarra Valley.
Articles about Australia published by Odyssey Traveller:
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to Victoria:
Melbourne is one of our two, week long city explorer programs. The other program being Adelaide. These are small group tours for mature and senior travellers, couples and singles interested in Colonial history of the two centuries. They form part of a collection of Australian learning tours.
The Murray river, a powerhouse in so much of the Eastern side of Australia river system. Learn about its contribution to Aboriginal and colonial history. Study and appreciate more on a escorted small group tour into the Australian outback with mature and senior travellers couples or solo travellers each year.
Mildura has a unusual feel when you reach the town, wide boulevards feel unusual for Australian rural towns. This article begins to explain the unusual story about this town. Mildura is part of an Odyssey Traveller small group tour for mature and senior travellers, couples and singles who are interested in the history of a place. This is our collection of tours inAustralia.
The wool trade along the Murray was vital to British-Australia. Echuca was a major port for paddle steers. Learn and explore more on a Odyssey Traveller small group package tour of Victoria and the goldfields for mature and senior travellers, couples or singles with a curiosity. Understand the relationship of the Murray river to Echuca to Adelaide and Mildura.
The grid layout of central Melbourne did not just happen.... Read and learn more and consider joining a small group package tour for mature and senior travellers to this city for couples or singles. Spend a week exploring Melbourne it's arcades and Victorian architecture created on the back of the wealth from the gold rush.
Castlemaine is part of our Victoria small group package tour into the region following the gold rush. Structured as a small group tour for mature and senior travellers, couples and singles. This program is part of a collection of tours of Australia focussed on History, wildlife and landscape.
Article for escorted small group tour about this program visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites in Victoria, South Australia & NSW. Exploring and learn about Budj Bim cultural landscape for mature and senior travellers .
Bendigo is part of a collection of regional Victorian centres explored on this regional tour of Victoria. Bendigo's wealth was created by gold. This small group tour for mature and senior travellers explores this theme and the houses built, many now National trust properties from this period. This article is one of many prepared by Odyssey about Australia.
Learn about Benalla, part of a collection of articles about Victoria. You can learn more on a small group package tour for mature and senior travelers, couples or singles interested in the history of Victoria and Melbourne. Since 1983 we have been offering educational style touring to seniors.
Senior and mature couples and solo travellers remain curious but often informed about the role Aboriginal art plays in the indigenous community and the various styles. This article seeks to provide a platform for this collection of small group tours of upto 15 people into the Australian outback where often Aboriginal art styles are encountered.
Ancient Aboriginal trade routes of Australia Trade was a central part of life for Aboriginal people prior to the British settlement of Australia. Trading routes criss-crossed the nation, dispersing goods, information, technologies and culture thousands…
Ballarat is part of a series of regional towns explored and learnt about on a small group tour for mature and senior travelers into regional Victoria. The program examines the history of the gold rush and the wealth created that enabled the grand houses to her built that we visit. You can read all of the Australia articles published.