With so much to do and see in the Yarra Valley, 24 hours is hardly enough time. However, with our guide, you can make the most of your time in the region. From wine to a chocolate emporium and everything in between—this is our guide to spending 24 hours in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
To make the most of your time, your day begins bright and early with a scenic hot air balloon flight. Watch the sunrise over the Yarra Valley as you float through the air with Global Ballooning, Victoria’s leading hot air balloon operator. The once-in-a-lifetime experience will have you soaring over the rolling hills of Victoria’s most magnificent wine region before you’re treated to a champagne breakfast at Balgownie Estate. The whole experience lasts four to five hours, and hotel transfers can be organised.
Balgownie Estate 1309 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen VIC Australia + 61 3 9730 0700
Only two minutes from Balgownie Estate, the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is a decadent emporium set on 16 acres among the rolling hills of the Yarra Valley. Chock-full of chocolate, the showroom features over 250 hand-crafted products, including giant chocolate freckles, sumptuous truffles, and decadent rocky road. There’s also a Great Wall of Chocolate, featuring 34 different flavour varieties. Visitors can even watch the masterful chocolatiers at work. If all that chocolate is making your mouth water, you can sit down at the café or enjoy a refreshing ice-cream.
For dinner, drive seven minutes north up Badger Creek Road to the vineyard, Giant Steps. The privately-owned estate is renowned for producing “consistent, over-performing, varietal wines”. Giant Steps also features a recently redesigned restaurant with room enough for 140 diners. Showcasing the finest produce, Chef Jarrod Hudson’s Thai-Euro inspired menu offers an extensive range of meals for both the peckish and the famished, including wood-fired pizza, Chermoula marinated chicken with baked pearl barley and Pinnacle Angus grass-fed porterhouse with horseradish.
Giant Steps 336 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC Australia +61 3 5962 6111
Take advantage of daylight savings and see the Black Spur at sunset. Linking Healesville with Narbethong, the Black Spur is a spectacular 30-kilometer drive along the winding Maroondah Highway through a lush forest. Roll down the windows and breathe in the fresh mountain air as you drive beneath a canopy of towering eucalyptus and mountain ash trees. The Maroondah Highway eventually connects with Marysville Road.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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meet our Local Insider
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.