The Yarra Valley is probably the most popular day trip for Melburnians but with so many things to do and places to eat (and drink!) it’s worthwhile enjoying a longer stay.
Here are my tips on where to stay, eat, play and visit in the Yarra Valley, with the main focus on Yarra Glen and Healesville, the two main towns in the Yarra Valley region.
- Holly Lane Mews, 28 Willow Bend Drive, Steels Creek
I found Holly Lane Mews through Stayz and was perfect our family. The property is a working horse stud and the owners live in a big house on the land, with a few private cottages nearby. There were lots of animals to look at it, including the bird aviary and the resident dogs. Apparently native wildlife appear at night too.
Our 2 bedroom cottage (which could be 3 bedroom if we needed) was $210 a night. This included a substantial cook-your-own breakfast with eggs, bacon, bread, cereal, yoghurt, fruit and even some home made biscuits. Parking was free and on site and if the weather had been better the kids could have enjoyed the swing set more. In summer there’s a small pool too! The owners provided a portacot and high chair at no extra charge.
2. Balgownie Estate, 1309 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa is one of the most well-established wineries with accommodation in the Yarra Valley and the 4.5 star resort is a great place to to visit as a family.
3. Yarra Valley Chocolaterie – a chocolate factory, shop, cafe and grounds to explore.
4. Oakridge Wines – upmarket winery and cellar door with pram access, high chairs and outdoor games.
5. Zonzo – some of the best pizza I’ve had EVER.
6. Hargreaves Hill – award-winning microbrewery and restaurant which is welcoming of kids.
7. Isabella’s at Rochford Wines – one of the best children’s menus I’ve seen with food I’d happily eat.
8. Yering Station – fine dining with expansive views which is still child-friendly.
9. Giant Steps Innocent Bystander – pizzas and beers in a stunning restaurant.
10. Healesville Hotel – child-friendly pub with classic pub fare and an amazing Bombe Alaska!
11. Hutch & Co – cool cafe at the foothills of the Yarra Valley in Lilydale.
Other reader tips include Medhurst Wines, Healesville Harvest (part of the Healesville Hotel), Yarra Valley Dairy, De Bortoli Wines.
13. Healesville Sanctuary – playgrounds, water play, indoor play area and of course lots of native animal viewings.
14. Yarra Glen Adventure Playground – huge playground suitable for all ages just a hop, skip and jump from the main street in Yarra Glen.
15. Lillydale Lake – nature-based playground with water play.
16. Cherryhill Orchard – every summer we go cherry picking for our Christmas cherries and indulge in a cherry ice cream afterwards!
17. Warratina Lavendar Farm doesn’t really have a play area – the purpose of visiting there is to capture beautiful photographs of lavender fields!
Other reader tips:
We have visited Hedgend Maze but do not recommend it, particularly if you’re short of time.