The Yarra Valley:
Iconic wines and a whole lot more
While the region is most famous for iconic Yarra Valley wines, a great range of cellar doors and varied wine styles, there is also a whole lot more to enjoy and explore. Yes, Yarra Valley wines are some of the most deliciously elegant expressions of wine that are available from any mainland Australian wine producing region and that is in itself enough reason to spend time here, but sometimes we need to intersperse imbibing with other activities.
This is the first in a series of blogs highlighting some of the other amazing stuff to do in the Yarra Valley.
The Yarra Valley is the location of Zoos Victoria’s native animal zoo, the Healesville Sanctuary. It is home to an amazing array of Australian iconic animals, as well as a leading institution in the work to protect species that are under threat, including the ridiculously cute Leadbeaters Possum, the Sate of Victoria’s Faunal Emblem, and a critter that is endemic to the mountains surrounding the Yarra Valley. As well as animals on display there are a number of shows and interactive offers that allow visitors to get up close and personal.
Taking in a little local wilderness of course opens up possibilities of seeing wildlife in habitat. The Badgers weir park is famous for its’ abundance of parrots and parakeets. If walking through Mountain Ash Forest you may regaled by all sorts of imitations by Lyrebirds, our local native mimic. Wedge Tailed Eagles soar over the Warramate Ranges, including fairly frequent flights over the Helen & Joey Estate and Cellar Door.
For the more committed, over the warmer months the Australian National University seeks volunteers to participate in night-time surveys for Leadbeaters Possum and other species, including the cat sized flying possum called the Greater Glider. Yes, a little commitment is called for but the reward is an unrepeatable experience and a whole lot of good feelings from making a contribution.
Forested mountains surrounding the Yarra Valley are perhaps greatest secret. Cool wet Mountain Ash Forests feed the Yarra River’s tributary streams 24/7 – 365 days of the year. Mountain Ash are the world’s tallest flowering plants, and can grow to giant size. The Ada Tree and Kalatha Giant are natural wonders that have been made accessible with tracks and boardwalks.
The gullies that the creeks run through contain temperate rainforest ecology, and ancient remnant of Australia’s ancient history. To access examples of these forests with explanatory signs you can choose between Warburton’s rainforest gallery, or Toolangi’s Wirrawilla.
… and then some Wine at Helen & Joey Estate
Recent and upcoming releases of Helen & Joey wines include 2017 Inara Pinot Gris, 2017 Inara Rosé and our brand new Wayward Child wines, the 2016 Skins fermented Pinot Gris and 2016 Serendip, our red field blend. Whatever else takes your fancy, be sure to find some time for wine.