Experience the magic of the Yarra Valley in Autumn 
Our top tips for what to see, eat and do in this decadent corner of Victoria 

The leaves are turning, which means it’s the perfect time to hit the reset button and indulge in some quality R&R. While there are a myriad of coastal.and tree-lined towns to discover around the country, in 2023 our eyes are set on Victoria’s Yarra Valley. A stone’s throw from the bright lights of Melbourne’s CBD, this lush natural haven is thriving with cosy cottages, stunning walks, culture centres and premium food and wine. 

Here we share what to discover in this rugged part of the world this Autumn. From wellness spas to edible gardens, we’ve handpicked the best things to see and do. 

Let’s explore. 

Take a hike along the Mount Donna Buang track 

Up for a challenge? Lace your boots and hike your way around Mount Donna Buang track, 14.8 kilometre trail that begins on the banks of the Yarra River and curves 1100 metres through myrtle trees and dense rainforest. 

This trail takes an average of 6 hours and 30 minutes to complete – the sweeping views of the countryside are worth it, but come prepared with plenty of snacks and water to sustain you.


Wander through Alowyn Gardens 

Part nursery, part cafe, part event space, Alowyn Gardens is a natural wonderland in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Featuring seven display gardens – some with tightly clipped geometrical shapes, others with edible pleasures – it’s the perfect hideaway to spend an afternoon. 

A great spot for families, or anyone who loves gardening, you’ll have a ball walking through the wisteria archway, winding your way around the Parterre Garden and delighting in the kaleidoscope of colours found in the Perennial Border

Raise a glass at Four Pillars 

It wouldn’t be a visit to the Yarra Valley without a gin or two at Four Pillars distillery. Located in Healesville, you’ll be able to enjoy a G&T next to the stills and discover how the team create the world’s most delicious and awarded range of craft gins (yep, Four Pillars is that good). 

There’s also a Tuck Shop where you can sink your teeth into scrumptious small bites made from gin, like macadamia & cashew nuts roasted in Four Pillars Orange Marmalade, duck liver pâté with Bloody Shiraz Gin jelly or hot chips with Rare Dry Gin salt. 

Get your culture fix at TarraWarra Museum of Art

Hoping to reconnect with nature and art this Autumn? TarraWarra Museum of Art is a must visit. There’s always a host of innovative exhibitions to explore but between 1 April–16 July 2023, TarraWarra is running its Biennial, a gathering of  artists, poets, makers, performers, archivists, scholars, weavers, painters, carvers, and filmmakers who live and work across Australia. 

TarraWarra Biennial 2023: ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili will feature newly commissioned works by 15 artists/artist groups focused on the interconnectedness of the peoples of Australia, Asia and the Great Ocean.

Book your tickets now. 

Sonja Carmichael and Elisa Jane Carmichael, Ngumpi (Home), 2022-2023

Rest and relax at Natural Wellness Centre 

Prefer your Autumn getaways with a side of pampering? Treat yourself to a session at Natural Wellness Centre, a holistic wellness hub in Monbulk. 

Delivering a wide range of natural treatments including facials, massage, reflexology and body scrubs, here you can completely transform your body and mind. 

There’s a blissful treatment to suit everyone, but our pick is the Age Defying Facial. This 90 minute session promises to tone, firm and stimulate college for visible anti-aging results. You’ll leave feeling soothed, hydrated and radiant. Yes please! 

Dine at Zonzo Estate 

The Yarra Valley is a haven for heavenly restaurants, but this season we have our eyes on Zonzo Estate. Tucked away in Yarra Glen, Zonzo Estate is a winery, eatery and wedding venue set against Victoria’s sprawling bushlands. 

Serving generous, authentic and low-fuss Italian feasts – think handmade ravioli, baked pork meatballs and vegetarian arancini (there’s plenty of pizza and pasta too) – it’s the type of food you’ll want to enjoy with your closest friends and family. Oh, and a rich drop of vino! 

Sleep easy at  Balgownie 

After a jam packed day soaking up everything the Yarra Valley has to offer, you’ll want to retire somewhere cosy, comfy and charming, Promising “luxury from the moment you walk in”, Balgownie fits the bill. 

A tranquil refuge with spectacular views of the region, this relaxed boutique provides all the creature comforts needed a day cruising the town, even if it is just to eat and drink! 

With intimate queen rooms, king garden terrace rooms.spa, spacious one and two-bedroom spa suites and a fully self-contained Directors suite, there’s something to suit every visitor and budget. 

Kristina Roach

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Experience the magic of the Yarra Valley in Autumn