EXPLORE THE YARRA VALLEY
STAY. PLAY. EXPLORE.
Plan a weekend getaway or day trip to explore the beautiful Yarra Valley. Stop and visit local wineries, cellar doors and restaurants and enjoy the wonders of the region.
A PLACE FOR ALL SEASONS
An hour’s drive east of Melbourne is the beautiful Yarra Valley. Take an early morning balloon flight, meet passionate artisan food and wine producers or encounter a platypus at Healesville Sanctuary. Best of all it’s packed with running trails from the farmland of the valley floor to the forest of the Great Dividing Range.
STAY AND PLAY OR RELAX AND UNWIND
Choose your escape, to a country village, surrounded by vineyards or tranquil bush settings. The Yarra Valley hosts accommodation to suit everyone, from charming B&Bs, family and pet friendly cottages to stylish hideaways, vineyard spa retreats and five star luxurious suites. To see more and book visityarravalley.com.au.
Get your foodie fix in Healesville, a regional food and wine hub surrounded by stunning scenery, before experiencing iconic encounters of the wildlife kind. Key attractions in the town include the many food and wine stores along with some amazing galleries and art studios including Tarra Warra Museum of Art.
For those looking to get back to nature just out of town you will find some terrific walks such as Badger Weir, Maroondah Dam, Donnellys Weir Picnic area or the Mt St Leonard Lookout tower.
CELLAR DOORS, CIDER HOUSES & BREWERIES
The history of family-run vineyards and orchards make it a delight to blaze your own trail through Victoria’s premier cool climate wine region; with a growing number of microbreweries and cider houses. Giving you over 70 cellar doors to explore, offering the best eat and drink options from award winning restaurants to locally produced cheese platters, all with stunning views.
Home to some of the country’s best known wineries, the historic town of Yarra Glen is also close to many nearby attractions and cellar doors that this great touring region is famous for. While in town explore Yarra Glen’s charming shopping strip of independent boutique shops – not a chain store in sight! For the family you can’t go past the Adventure Playground at McKenzie Reserve that attracts kids big and small from all over Melbourne. The Yarra Valley Grand Hotel features locally produced wines, beers and ciders with live music most weekends. Local produce is on offer throughout Yarra Glen’s many cafes and the famous Yarra Valley Farmers market is held at nearby Yering Station on the 3rd Sunday of each month. If all this good country living requires some pampering, there are a number of day spas and plenty of good quality accommodation to extend your stay.
RUNNING IN MELBOURNE’S YARRA VALLEY
Less than an hour from Melbourne is the stunning Yarra Valley, a region that not only boasts some of the finest food and wine around, but also provides an opportunity to explore nature wonderfully close to your own back door.
What you might not realise, is that the Yarra Valley also offers a year round destination for trail running of all fitness levels. With the rolling vineyards flanked by the Great Dividing Range there are endless tracks to choose from. Experience the perfect place to put the body to the test or to just get back to nature.
Here are five top trail runs in the Yarra Valley that will add some variety and challenge to your training program.
MT DONNA BUANG ASCENT
A ‘hero trail’ for those looking to build their strength for longer trips like Kokoda. Taking you from the township of Warburton beside the crystal clear waters of the Yarra River to the summit of Mount Donna Buang 1250m above sea level. This trail is essentially the closest alpine assent to Melbourne, rising some 1100 metres over 7kms. Starting at the Warburton Golf Course head up Martyr Rd, at the top you will see the start of the Mt Victoria Walking Track, where you will start the off-road climb that heads skywards. Expect the trail to be wet and it has several water crossings.
DONNELLYS WEIR TO ST LEONARD
Starting just outside Healesville you will find Donnellys Weir, which carries water from Maroondah Reservoir. It also forms the start (or finish) of the Bicentennial National Trail. Located in the Yarra Ranges National Park you will love running along the forest floor as you are sheltered by the towering Mountain Ash. Using Condons track you climb some 1200 metres to Monda Rd which is a fire trail that follows the ridge line. You will be rewarded with views from the top of the Fire Tower, before a steep descent levels out to follow another fire trail back to Donnellys Weir, clicking off some 23km for your run diary.
O’SHANNASSY AQUEDUCT TRAIL
Looking for something flat? The trail alongside the old O’Shannassy aqueduct is the perfect choice. Sitting aloft the valley floor, the trail carves it way across the mountain contour as if it were a stream. While the trail is some 30km ending at the O’Shannassy Weir there are plenty of opportunities to hop on and off. Our suggestion is to start at Dee Rd in Millgrove and run some 7km to Yuonga Rd Warburton, then travel back via the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.
LILYDALE TO WARBURTON RAIL TRAILS
A favourite trail run, this old train line is still servicing the community with its gravel track that starts in Lilydale and takes you through the many small townships of the Yarra Valley to Warburton over a distance of 38km. Passing through 11 old stations that used to take the fresh farm produce to market. While the track is mostly flat the first section, Lilydale to Mt Evelyn, will have you climbing 130 metres and then plateauing out a bit after that.
SUGARLOAF RESERVOIR TRACK
If you want to see Kangaroos and Wallabies, than this is the perfect trail run. Tucked away in Christmas Hills the Sugarloaf Reservoir features a tranquil 15km track that circumnavigates the reservoir.The track is a moderate gradient that undulates with some steep sections. Essentially a bush track that condition can vary on so don’t turn up expecting the Tan. The markers will assist your navigation at regular intervals.