Where to stay in Yarra Valley for first time: 5 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Yarra Valley as a first-time visitor can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Yarra Valley for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Yarra Valley for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Yarra Valley and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

The Yarra Valley is a renowned wine-producing region located in Victoria, approximately 50 kilometers northeast of Melbourne. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, cool climate, and high-quality wine production. The region is particularly famous for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines.

Apart from wineries, the Yarra Valley also offers a range of other attractions including gourmet restaurants, local produce markets, hot air balloon rides, hiking trails, and wildlife sanctuaries. 

Many visitors enjoy exploring the area by following the Yarra Valley Food and Wine Trail, which showcases the region’s diverse culinary offerings.

The Yarra Valley’s proximity to Melbourne makes it a popular destination for day trips or weekend getaways for both locals and tourists alike.

Is Yarra Valley safe to visit?

Yes, Yarra Valley is generally safe to visit. But, I advise you to be careful of the road when driving, avoid leaving valuables unattended in your car, avoid swimming alone, be aware of river currents, stick to marked trails when hiking or exploring natural areas to avoid getting lost or encountering hazards.

If you’re enjoying the region’s wineries or breweries, do so responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, and always have a designated driver or alternative transportation arranged.

Where to stay in Yarra Valley for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Yarra Valley for first-timers and tourists are Healesville, Yarra Glen, Marysville, Warburton, and Mount Dandenong. These areas offer a variety of accommodations for visitors to stay and explore the region.

Healesville is a popular town in the Yarra Valley, home to the Healesville Sanctuary, where you can see native Australian wildlife up close. It also has a vibrant dining scene, with many restaurants serving local produce and wine. 

Yarra Glen is a popular choice for tourists due to its central location. proximity to many wineries, and well-known spots like Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery and Yarra Valley Dairy. It is also one of the most popular destinations in Victoria for hot air ballooning.

For those seeking a more tranquil experience, Marysville is a peaceful town nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. It offers easy access to national parks, waterfalls, and scenic walking trails.

Warburton, situated along the Yarra River, is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities. You can enjoy cycling along the famous Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail, exploring the rainforest at the Rainforest Gallery, or fishing and kayaking on the river. 

During my trip to Yarra Valley, I stayed at the Yarra Gables. It was a beautiful accommodation in a quiet location in Healesville, within short proximity to town center and many interesting places to visit. Room was spacious, well equipped with everything I needed, clean and comfortable. Highly recommended.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Yarra Valley for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Yarra Valley first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Yarra Valley first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Yarra Valley, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Yarra Valley have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Best areas to stay in Yarra Valley for first-timers and tourists:

1. Healesville

Healesville is one of the most popular places to stay in Yarra Valley. It is a charming town located in the heart of the Yarra Valley, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Melbourne. It’s renowned for its  natural beauty, vineyards, and wildlife sanctuary.

One of the town’s main attractions is the Healesville Sanctuary, a wildlife park home to a variety of native Australian animals, including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and various bird species. You can enjoy up-close encounters with these fascinating creatures and learn about conservation efforts.

Healesville is surrounded by award-winning wineries and cellar doors, making it a paradise for wine enthusiasts. You can explore the region’s renowned vineyards, sample premium wines, and enjoy gourmet food experiences at cellar door restaurants.

Additionally, the area boasts scenic drives, hiking trails, and opportunities for outdoor activities such as hot air ballooning and cycling.

Healesville itself has a charming town center with cafes, restaurants, galleries, and boutique shops, making it a popular destination for a relaxing getaway in a beautiful natural setting.

Best places to stay in Yarra Valley in Healesville:

Mid-range ($$): Yarra Gables, popular 4-star accommodation located just a few mins drive from the the heart of Healesville, Beechworth Bakery, RACV Healesville Country Club, and Healesville Sanctuary. They have three-bedroom villas, cottages, and bungalows which can accommodate up to 6 adults. Rooms come with a kitchenette and free parking. Perfect place to stay for a weekend in the Yarra Valley.

Mid-range ($$): The Old Mechanics, 4-star accommodation in a great location, just behind the main street of Healesville, easy walking distance from numerous cafes, shops, pubs, and parks. The hotel has free private parking, and comfortable air conditioning rooms with a fully equipped kitchenette.

Budget ($): Healesville Motor Inn, 3-star inn located within a short drive from Healesville Town Center and Healesville Train Station. Easy access to a range of restaurants, cafes and local wineries, including Beechworth Bakery, Innocent Bystander, and Badger Creek Blueberry Winery. There are beautiful gardens to sit and relax.


2. Yarra Glen

Yarra Glen is a popular tourist destination, particularly for wine enthusiasts who visit to sample the region’s renowned wines. The town also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the Yarra Valley Wine & Food Festival and the Yarra Glen Racecourse Market. 

Additionally, you can enjoy activities such as hot air ballooning, bushwalking, and exploring local art galleries and craft markets. Yarra Glen is one of the most popular destinations in Victoria for hot air ballooning. You can enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the vineyards and mountains at sunrise.

Located a short drive from Yarra Glen, the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is a popular attraction where you can indulge in handcrafted chocolates, ice creams, and other sweet treats. The venue also offers chocolate-making classes and tastings.

Yarra Valley Dairy nearby is a renowned artisan cheese producer. You can sample a variety of handcrafted cheeses, watch cheese-making demonstrations, and enjoy cheese platters paired with local wines in a scenic garden setting.

Best places to stay in Yarra Valley in Yarra Glen:

Mid-range ($$): Race Course Apartments, 4-star family friendly aparthotel located opposite the racecourse in Yarra Glen, short drive from Yarra Glen town center, and variety Yarra Valley wineries. It has  apartments with a full kitchen and laundry facilities. 

Mid-range ($$): Yarra Valley Grand, 3-star beautiful heritage-listed hotel in Yarra Glen, featuring an onsite bistro, a restaurant, a bar and live entertainment. 10 mins drive from TarraWarra Museum of Art. Location great for visiting the Yarra Valley.

Mid-range ($$): Yarra Glen Bed & Breakfast, 4-star couples-only B&B located in the beautiful Yarra Valley,  featuring accommodation with views of the valley and Christmas Hills. You can enjoy  local cheeses, foods and fresh fruit at local shops and cafes which are a part of the Yarra Valley Food Trail.


3. Marysville

Marysville is a picturesque town located in the heart of the Yarra Valley. It is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, serene atmosphere, and abundance of outdoor activities.

Steavenson Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Victoria, is a must-visit attraction in the area. You can visit the quirky and enchanting Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden.

The town offers a plethora of outdoor activities, including bushwalking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and birdwatching. It also serves as a gateway to the nearby Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, which offers skiing and snowboarding during the winter months and other recreational activities year-round.

Best places to stay in Yarra Valley in Marysville:

Luxury ($$$): Peppers Marysville, 5-star hotel, great base to explore Yarra Ranges National Park and Lake Mountain Alpine Resort. The rooms are lovely and clean. Lots of parking on site. It is a cozy and relaxing place to stay in Yarra Valley. 

Mid-range ($$): Marysville Garden Cottages, 4-star lovely self-contained, adult only accommodations, located within a short walk/drive from Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden, Steavenson Falls, and Lake Mountain for skiing, hiking and mountain biking. There are a variety of restaurants, supermarkets, and cafes nearby. 

Budget ($): Tower Motel Marysville, 3-star hotel located in a nice location, short distance from  Marysville Golf Course, Stevensons Falls, Gallipoli Park, Lilydale Train Station. It has an on-site bar, free parking, and clean rooms with a spacious bathroom. Easy access to restaurants, a supermarket, park, and playground.


4. Warburton

Warburton is a delightful town situated in the Yarra Valley region of Victoria. Nestled alongside the Yarra River and surrounded by lush forests, Warburton offers visitors a tranquil and scenic getaway. 

Warburton is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as cycling, bushwalking, hiking, fishing, and kayaking. The famous Warburton Rail Trail provides an excellent opportunity for cycling or leisurely walks along a scenic route through the valley.

Warburton is the starting point for some of the most scenic drives in the region, including the drive up to Mount Donna Buang, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and forests.

The town is surrounded by stunning natural attractions, including the towering mountain ranges of the Yarra Ranges National Park, the picturesque Redwood Forest with its towering Californian Redwood trees, and the serene Upper Yarra Reservoir.

Best places to stay in Yarra Valley in Warburton:

Mid-range ($$): Buttercup Hill, 3-star good value for money bed & breakfast located in a great area on Leila Road, a few mins drive from the historic town of Warburton, 15 mins drive from Yarra Ranges National Park. You can enjoy walking and hiking in the surrounding area. The hotel has bike rental services. 

Mid-range ($$): Forget Me Not Cottages, 4-star accommodation in Warburton, featuring comfortable rooms with a hot tub/spa bath, and delicious breakfast. It is cozy, private, beautiful surroundings, ideal for a romantic getaway.

Budget ($): The Warby, great 3-star accommodation located in Yarra Valley, 5 mins walk from the Yarra River and Warburton Trail. Short drive from shops/restaurants. Easy access to numerous attractions such as the Redwood Forest, Rainforest Observatory, Mt Donna Buang summit, and LaLa Falls.


5. Mount Dandenong

Mount Dandenong is a picturesque area located in the Dandenong Ranges, just east of Melbourne. It offers a peaceful retreat from the city with its lush forests, quaint villages, and stunning panoramic views. 

Attractions: William Ricketts Sanctuary, Puffing Billy Railway, SkyHigh Mount Dandenong, picturesque gardens, and beautiful towns such as Olinda, Sassafras, Sherbrooke, and Kalorama.

Best places to stay in Yarra Valley in Mount Dandenong:

Luxury ($$$): Linden Gardens Rainforest Retreat, 5-star accommodation located on Mt Dandenong Tourist Road,  close to William Ricketts Sanctuary, SkyHigh Mount Dandenong, and Puffing Billy Railway. It features gas log fireplaces, and rooms with a spa bath and a kitchenette.

Mid-range ($$): Arnica Views Summit Retreat, 4-star hotel located on a peaceful location on the summit of Mount Dandenong, offering beautiful views of the Melbourne city skyline. It has boutique-style suites and self-contained cottages with a full kitchen, and a fireplace in some rooms. Close to Skyhigh Observatory Restaurant and the William Ricketts Sanctuary.

Mid-range ($$): Observatory Cottages, 4-star hotel located at the top of Mount Dandenong, featuring cottages with views of Port Phillip Bay. 5 mins walk from SkyHigh Mount Dandenong and Mount Dandenong Lookout.


In conclusion, Healesville, Yarra Glen, Marysville, Warburton, and Mount Dandenong are the best places to stay in Yarra Valley for first-timers and tourists. These areas offer a variety of accommodations and easy access to amenities and wineries, making them great locations to explore Yarra Valley.

You can continue reading about other destinations in Australia in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Yarra Valley. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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