15 Things To Do In The Yarra Valley (Without Wine!)

15 Things To Do In The Yarra Valley Image by @bomgostocafe

Known for it’s acclaimed wine region, the Yarra Valley is a beautiful spot to visit on a day trip or for a romantic weekend getaway. But did you know, there’s so much more to the region than wine?

Our third Active Getaway Guide brings you some of our favourite places to eat, explore and splurge in the Yarra Valley and Lilydale. Just 90 minutes east of Melbourne, the region boasts some of the prettiest views in the state, think sweeping hills, lush vineyards and so much greenery!

Download our free Active Getaway Guide for Yarra Valley here.

1. Brunch Like A Local
We're absolutely loving the cafe culture in Lilydale with loads of uber cool spots to try. We recommend grabbing a table at the stunning Hutch & Co who have an awesome mix of savoury and sweet options with some healthy nutrition packed salads thrown in the mix. This will quickly become your foodie fave in no time!

2. Take Some Time Out In Nature
You’ll immediately notice how picturesque the region is with green fields, rolling hills and lots of trees. The perfect setting for an adventure! Pack your walking shoes and explore some of the beautiful walking trails. You might even get lucky and see a kangaroo, wallaby, wombat or platypus, but you'll we can guarantee you'll see (and hear!) loads of native birds.

3. Pamper Yourself
It's never too hard to find peace and relaxation as you enter a Day Spa, which is why think it's a must do on a weekend in the Yarra Valley. One of our favourite spots is Natskin Day Spa Retreat where you’re able to admire the views of undulating hills and vineyards whilst indulging in your choice of beauty therapy treatments.

15 Things To Do In The Yarra Valley Image by @zonzoestate

4. Enjoy a Long Lunch
There are lots of incredible venues for a long lunch. Whether you'd like to do a fancy degustation at Levantine Hill or something more casual like an Italian feast at Zonzo Estate, you'll be treated to some of the best local produce that's cooked to perfection.

5. Pick Your Own Fruit
Not only is the fresh, seasonal produce in the Yarra Valley divine, there are some really cool places where you can actually pick your own. We loved our visit to Rayner's Orchard where you get to ride on a tractor around a fully functioning orchard that currently grows over 360 varieties of fruit with at least 8 varieties available at any time of year.

6. Sample Ciders
Because the Yarra Valley is the perfect environment for growing apples, there are some great craft cider houses that make some of the yummiest cider around (much better than the stuff from the bottle shop!) Our favourites are the Napoleon Brewery and Cider House and St Ronan's Cider, both complemented with gorgeous views of the valley.

7. Get On Your Bike
Imagine a gorgeous day in the Yarra Valley spent riding from winery to winery on a bike. Amazing right? Well, the guys from Pedals Bikes give you the chance to do just that! You can choose your pick-up and drop-off location and they ensure a bike with all safety equipment is delivered to you, making it easier than ever to stay active on a weekend away.

15 Things To Do In The Yarra Valley Image by @yvdairy

8. Taste Test The Local Produce
Get up close and personal with some of the area’s best farmers and produce makers and their variety of culinary delights that are sure to impress. We can't visit the Yarra Valley without a visit to the Yarra Valley Dairy and with good reason. They offer some of the best tasters of their delicious range of cow's and goat's milk cheeses all amongst beautiful views of their farm.

9. Grocery Shop (Yarra Valley Style)
Wanting to pick up some fresh fruit, delicious cheese and home made chutney on your way back to the city? Look no further than Yarra Valley Gateway as they have a great selection of local meats, pastas, cheeses, sauces and jams all sourced from local farmers and makers.

10. Talk To The Animals
Unlike a regular inner city zoo, the Healesville Sanctuary sits on 70 acres of bushland, offering a distinctly Aussie setting. Plus you can experience close up encounters you’d only dream about with some of Australia’s most beautiful, unique wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, birds of prey and platypus.

11. Get The Blood Pumping
One of the most splurge-worthy experiences, a luxury super car drive through the Yarra Valley with Prancing Horse. Experience an exhilarating 1 hour drive in a Ferrari 458 Italia and a three course lunch or dinner for two from a selection of some of the most well regarded restaurants in the region. Zoom zoom!

15 Things To Do In The Yarra Valley Image by @fourpillarsgin

12. Spend The Afternoon With A G&T
If spending a sunny afternoon with a gin and tonic in your hand sounds like the best thing ever, we highly recommend checking out Four Pillars Distillery. Not only is their venue incredible, they have a gin and tonic tasting paddle which features 3 tasters of their unique gins, each with a garnish topped with premium tonic water.

13. Giddy Up
Set on over 300 picturesque acres in Christmas Hills, Yarra Valley Trails offers a tranquil experience in the great Australian bush. Specialising in a variety of horse related activities including trail rides through the gorgeous valley.

14. Get Caffeinated
The quality of coffee out in the Yarra Valley is epic and a little unexpected! Our favourite spot to stop in for a coffee on the way through the Yarra Valley is Bom Gusto in Lilydale which makes a mean long black using their signature blend.

15. Learn To Cook
Want to impress your friends with some new found cooking skills? Locavore Studio offers a three and half hour class in modern cooking, taking on traditional flavours and techniques using fresh seasonal ingredients.

Download our free Active Getaway Guide for Yarra Valley here.

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