Yarra Valley is well-known for its wine, boasting more than 80 vineyards for visitors to explore and sip from. Some vineyards even feature restaurants or ice creameries so you can pair your drop with an equally delightful meal!
Hop aboard Puffing Billy for a delightful journey through the hills and forests of the Yarra Ranges, including a tour of the historic Yarra Valley Railway Museum.
1. Healesville Music Festival
Healesville Music Festival is an incredible experience for all. Filled with top-grade live music performances and workshops, kiddie entertainers, culinary delights and plenty of delicious foods, all attendees 13 years or under are welcome at all ticketed events and even camping on site free of charge – making this festival as family friendly as possible!
Since it began almost ten years ago as an idea conceived by Healesvillian musicians “fuelled admittedly by some wine”, Cloonan’s festival has become an indispensable fixture on Australia’s music scene. Showcasing local as well as emerging talent from Victoria and across Australia, and providing a platform for up-and-coming artists to gain more visibility, Healesville Music Festival now draws nearly 100,000 attendees annually from Victoria alone and over 170,000 across Australia!
An event such as this provides people with an opportunity to take some time for themselves and celebrate community pride, creating lasting benefits beyond simply attending. Benefits extend well beyond its event scope – helping build an environment which supports health and wellness while welcoming all. Furthermore, community businesses have an ideal chance to form partnerships while forging friendships.
2. Tesselaar’s Tulip Festival
Cees and Johanna Tesselaar created this stunning festival as an immersive visual feast. Over one million spring flowers bloom across 55 acres at this working farm in Silvan, high up in the Dandenong Ranges. Tulip displays can be found everywhere while you may learn something new (I was fascinated to find out that tulips could have pointed or fringed petals!). Don’t miss it — this festival won’t disappoint.
Festival runs for four weeks, featuring special themed weekends such as Turkish Weekend, Yarra Ranges Week, Childrens week (where super heroes such as Avengers and Minions make an appearance during school holidays), Food Wine Jazz Weekend and Dutch Weekend to bring some added fun!
Kids are free and will find plenty to keep them amused with in the kaleidoscope of color, including a fairy garden, drumming circles, clog dancing workshops and much more. Plus, take in one of several live musical performances or visit our market and stalls for unique souvenirs!
3. National Rhododendron Gardens’ Rhododendron Festival
The National Rhododendron Gardens are an outstanding cool-climate public garden that attracts an extensive stream of visitors interested in recreational gardening, ornamental horticulture and ornamental horticulture. Rhododendrons are the focal point of this garden but there are significant collections of other shrubs such as magnolias, camellias and azaleas from related genera as well as conifers and cherries from genera closely associated with them.
Gardens at University of Calgary serve as an invaluable regional resource for the in-situ conservation of threatened rhododendron species and ex-situ cultivation of new varieties, in addition to hosting many community events like guided walks and workshops.
At peak bloom season, the garden opens daily and provides visitors with an extensive variety of extra activities. They can take 1- and 2-mile self-guided woodland trails tours; learn how to grow beautiful plants on an interactive Garden Discovery Cart; and soak up the sweet fragrance from thousands of world-famous Rhododendron flowers – an experience visitors won’t soon forget!
National Rhododendron Gardens offer an incredible display of over 2,000 Rhododendrons of different colors, shapes, and sizes – truly one of the country’s most magnificent natural Rhododendron Gardens!
4. A Day on the Green Summer Festival
Day on the Green music festival series may well be Australia’s upscale rock fest. Each summer it takes over picturesque wineries and estates for an exquisite festival experience that showcases such acts as Archie Roach, Cold Chisel, Crowded House and INXS; also launching Kylie Minogue, Tina Arena and Midnight Oil into stardom.
This year’s festival did not disappoint, even with unpredictable weather – although organisers stuck to their plans and ensured the weekend ran as scheduled.
The lineup was an eclectic one. While punters may have their favorite genres, this festival is about celebrating both past and future music genres alike.
Anna Calvi mesmerised audiences at both stages with her operatic vocals and thunderous tribal drumming, while Movements, Thrice, Waterparks, Angus & Julia Stone and The Waifs ensured people got up off their seats to dance! Additionally, talk tents offered some real gems – from Rod Stewart lamenting about his last Australian tour to Gruff Rhys’ engaging, charming reflections on his 18th century ancestor’s quest to discover a lost Welsh-speaking tribe!
5. Healesville Food and Wine Festival
As harvest season nears, winemakers and cellar hands work diligently to prepare grapes for this year’s vintage. No matter your wine taste preference or passion level, harvest time offers an ideal time to visit the region and support such hardworking individuals.
Healesville Sanctuary is hosting an unparalleled wine festival this Queen’s Birthday weekend at Healesville Sanctuary. Boasting winter fun, delicious wine from some of Yarra Valley’s top producers and live acoustic music, all proceeds from this event go towards funding Healesville Sanctuary’s wildlife hospital which treats thousands of injured native animals annually.
Apart from winery events, there will also be food and beverage experiences on offer in the Yarra Valley. From pizza at Gradi’s, Little Yarra Creperie and Southgate to top chefs. Plus delicious beers from Watts River Brewing for those who like beer! And locally made artisan snacks will help keep you nourished as you spot cute animal friends!
6. Coldstream Cherry Festival
Cherryhill Orchards of Wandin East and Coldstream offer their beautiful Yarra Valley locations for their annual Cherry Festival from 13 November until late December or 27 November to early January, so that visitors may roam freely among rows of trees to pick as many cherries as they please and consume them on site (a kilo is charged per take-home haul).
Experiences this year include “Cherries and Wine”, in collaboration with Rochford wines; as well as the newer “Cherries, Cheese and Chocolate”, offered in partnership with Yarra Valley Dairy and Hahndorf Fine Chocolates of Montrose. Or treat yourself to an extraordinary day out by selecting our “Luxe Lounge in the Orchard” package!
Admission into the festival includes two hours of cherry picking with a Grab & Go box provided to collect your bounty. Enjoy picnicking or eating from onsite food trucks as you take in breathtaking Yarra Valley views.
7. Yarra Valley Tea Company
Garrick Hicks and Meaghan Grace of Yarra Valley Tea Company are dedicated to producing Certified Organic tea using only top quality ingredients, while supporting ethical partnerships between tea growers in Australia’s pristine Yarra Valley and herb growers. All their tea is blended and produced there before being shipped throughout Australia and sold nationwide; for their functional range which provides unique blends specifically formulated to assist with digestive, concentration, sleep disturbance, energy loss or relaxation issues – hand made biodegradable temples priced starting from $7.95 per 15 tea temples!
Yarra Valley Tea Co is an Australian family business entirely committed to its passion: tea. About 60% of their ingredients come from Australia.
Their signature Chai blend consists of exotic spices hand-blended with Assam black tea for an aromatic drink or served over milk as a traditional Chai Latte. Although their teas may not be found in supermarkets, they are sold through cafes and restaurants around Melbourne and Yarra Valley. For more information about Yarra Valley Tea Company visit their website or give them a call.