Small town which was once a major railway
Yarra Junction, the business centre of the Upper
Yarra, is a town of some 1300 people located on
the Warburton Highway, 66 km east of Melbourne
between Lilydale and Warburton.
The town's name reflects the fact that it was
a rail junction where the 36-inch gauge of the
Powelltown timber tramway met the standard gauge
of the Victorian Railway. Timber has long been
associated with the Yarra Valley and it is said
that more wood has passed through Yarra Junction
than any other town in the world, other than
Seattle in the USA.
The Upper Yarra Community Market is held on
the second and fourth Sundays of each month at
the Recreation Reserve from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00
p.m. The annual Orchid Festival is held each
year in October at Seville Hall, in Seville, 12
km east of Lilydale.
Things to see:
The town's railway station was originally the
Lilydale Station (1886), being moved to Yarra
Junction in 1914. The Upper Yarra Valley
Historical Society brochure records : "When the
railway line to Warburton was opened in 1901 a
small shed-like station was provided at Yarra
Junction. In 1914, when an island platform was
required at Lilydale, a new station was erected
there. It was intended to move the old Lilydale
station to Yarra Glen but this Victorian
Railway's plan was disrupted when the original
Yarra Glen station was accidentally burned down
in 1914. It became a matter of urgency to
provide another station at Yarra Glen but, as
the new Lilydale station was not yet completed,
the old station could not be transferred. As a
result, a completely new building was
constructed at Yarra Glen.
When the new Lilydale station was finally
completed later in 1914, the Victorian railways
cast their eyes around for another suitable
place to locate the old building. Yarra Junction
was chosen as traffic through that station was
increasing dramatically with the opening of the
It is now a museum with displays relating to
the early years of sawmilling and is open
Sundays and public holidays from 1.30 p.m. to
5.00 p.m. It is located on the highway and group
tours are available by appointment, tel: (03)
at the Yarra Junction Museum
Yarra Burn Vineyard and Restaurant
Yarra Burn Vineyard and Restaurant, established
in 1975, produces pinot noir, sauvignon blanc/semillon,
cabernet sauvignon, a sparkling wine and
chardonnay. Head east along the Warburton
Highway for about 3 km then turn left into
Settlement Rd and it is at no.60. The cellar
door is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
The charming restaurant, built of convict-hewn
bluestone slabs, is open from midday to 3.00
p.m. from Friday to Monday and on Saturday
nights or to groups at other times. The Yarra
Burn homestead is also available as
bed-and-breakfast accommodation, tel: (03) 5967
Brittania Falls Winery
Brittania Creek Rd heads off the Warburton
Highway almost opposite Settlement Rd. At no.75
is Brittania Falls Winery which is open weekends
and public holidays from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00
p.m., tel: (03) 5967 2139.
McWilliams Lilydale Vineyards
If you head west of Yarra Junction for about 14
km to Seville East. On the southern side of the
highway is Davross Court. At no.10 is McWilliams
Lilydale Vineyards, overlooking the Warburton
Ranges. The cellar door is open from 11.00 a.m.
to 5.00 p.m. daily. The restaurant is open for
lunch every day, tel: (03) 5964 2016.
Tarrango Farm Tearoom and Gallery
The Tarrango Farm Tearoom and Gallery has local
arts and crafts on display from 10.30 a.m. daily
(except Wednesday). It is on Tarrango Rd which
heads south off the highway 3 km east of Yarra
Junction, tel: (03) 5967 2123.
Miner's Cottage Art Gallery
The Miner's Cottage Art Gallery has a range of
artworks situated in a restored miner's cottage
(c.1878). It is located on the highway 5 km east
of Yarra Junction and is open Friday to Sunday
from 1.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. or by appointment,
tel: (03) 5967 2535.
Yarra Valley Archery Park
The Yarra Valley Archery Park is located on Don
Road which heads north off the Warburton Highway
3 km west of Yarra Junction. There are indoor
and outdoor ranges and barbecue facilities. It
is open weekends and holidays from 10.00 a.m. to
6.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5967 3323.
This 65-ha dairy farm, with its Jersey and
Friesian cows and other farm animals, is located
amidst green hills at the confluence of the
Yarra and Don Rivers, 4 km north-west of Yarra
Junction. A walking track leads alongside the
Don River through a grove of manna gums. The
farm was donated to the state government by
Melbourne businessman Sir John Reid. It is open
to schools and other organised groups interested
in farm life and work but only by guided tour
and by prior arrangement, tel: (03) 5964 7088.
Yarra Valley Preserves
4 km west of Yarra Junction along the Warburton
Highway is the Launching Place. At 1 Cairncroft
Ave is Yarra Valley Preserves which supplies a
gourmet range of hand-made preserves and gift
hampers. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from
10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. or by appointment, tel:
(03) 5961 5508.
The Big Berry
Launching Place Rd heads south off the Warburton
Highway from a point 4 km west of Yarra
Junction. 10 km along this road, at the
intersection with Thoneman Rd, is The Big Berry
where you can pick your own raspberries,
blueberries and blackberries in season or buy
jams and frozen berries throughout the year. Be
sure to ring first, tel: (03) 5967 4413.
Yellingbo State Fauna Reserve
Woori Yallock is 9 km west along the Warburton
Highway. 6 km south of Woori Yallock, along the
Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Rd, is the Yellingbo
State Fauna Reserve which is the only known
habitat of the helmeted honeyeater.
The Gourmet Yabby Farm
A few kilometres south of Yellingbo, Smiths Rd
heads east off the Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Rd.
It leads into Beenak Rd where you will find The
Gourmet Yabby Farm. You can catch or buy your
own and use the barbecue facilities, tel: (03)
5964 8265 or (014) 024 240.
Gardiner Rd heads north of Beenak Rd. It is home
to Yellingbo Berries where you can obtain
quality blueberries, organic fruit and jams.
They are open in January and February from
Saturday to Wednesday by appointment, tel: (03)
Bunyip State Park
Covering 16 550 ha this large forested area has
a diversity of fauna and flora and a number of
relics associated with the logging industry,
including timber tramways and sawdust heaps. The
first people here were the Balluk-Willam clan of
the Woiworung tribe. The first Europeans were
goldminers in the 1850s. There are camping areas
and lookouts. Picnics, bushwalking, horseriding
and mountain-bike riding can all be pursued.
From Yarra Junction the main access road is the
Gembrook Rd which heads south from the Warburton
Highway 4 km west of Yarra Junction.
18 km from the Warburton Highway (8 km from
Gembrook) there is a right turn to the Kurth
Kiln Picnic and Camping Ground (where there is
an historic charcoal kiln used in World War II)
and a left turn towards Dyers Picnic Ground
(about 6 km away) where you can go on the Dyers
Circuit Walk (11.5 km) or the 17-km walk to Four
Brothers Rocks which offer views across the
The Mortimer Picnic Ground, 6 km south-east
of Gembrook, was the site of the first known
timber mill in the park (1898). There is an easy
1.2-km self-guided nature walk associated with
the site and a 9.5-km circuit walk. 5 km east of
Mortimer, just off the Tonimouk Rd, is the Camp
Rd Picnic Ground.
In the eastern section of the park are the
Forest Boronia Area, Gentle Annie Picnic Ground
and the 750-m Lawson Falls Nature Walk (there
are track notes at the start of the walk).
Alternatively you can go on the 5-km Lawson
Ring 131 963 or (03) 5968 1280 for details,
camping locations and maps.
The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail
Yarra Junction is situated along the
Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail which allows you
to walk or ride your bicycle or horse for 38 km
along a clearly marked course following the
route of the old railway line which was built in
1901 to relay local fruit, vegetables and timber
to the Melbourne line (it closed in 1964).
The track can be subdivided into several
sections which can be walked singly or
collectively. The Yarra Junction to Wesburn
section (3.4 km) is a particularly attractive
trek which can be picked up at the museum. It
crosses the Little Yarra and offers fine views
over the Central Highlands and Yarra Ranges
The Wesburn to Millgrove portion (1.7 km) is
followed by the final section from Wesburn to
Warburton (3.3 km). It passes by the foot of Mt
Little Jo, Tommy Finn's Trout Farm (see entry on
Warburton), the gateway to Yarra Ranges National
Park and Warburton Station. From the latter you
can follow the highway, cross the river and
pursue the cycling track to East Warburton.
If you wish to head west from Yarra Junction,
the trail can again be picked up at the museum.
It cuts back and forth across the Warburton
Highway and ends at The Launching Place Hotel
(parking is available between the hotel and the
general store). This section is 2.2 km.
The Launching Place to Woori Yallock section
(6.4 km) finishes at the Woori Yallock station
which is in Syme Rd (close to the Warburton
Highway). There are parking and picnic
The next portion, from Woori Yallock to
Killara (4 km), terminates at Killara station in
Sunnyside Road. There is a carpark and a picnic
area with horse facilities.
The Killara to Seville section (3.2 km) is
followed by the Seville to Wandin section (3.4
km) which concludes at the Wandin station, near
the Warburton Highway. There is a carpark and
picnic area adjacent.
The Wandin to Mt Evelyn walk (5.4 km), passes
through some damp fern gullies and remnant
bushland. It ends at the former Mt Evelyn
station (now restored and used as a library)
where there is an adjacent picnic area.
The final section (5 km) is from Mt Evelyn to
Lilydale. It passes through an area rich in
fauna (such as kangaroos and birds) and
springtime wildflowers and terminates at the
corner of the Maroondah Highway and Queens Road.
For a map ring the Yarra Ranges Shire (tel:
1300 368 333). If you require more details ring
(03) 5964 4842. Bicycle Victoria can be
contacted on (03) 9328 3000.
Yarra Valley Winery Tours offer personalised
tours for travellers, social, business and
conference groups which include lunch, wine
tastings at Yarra Valley wineries, a pick-up and
return service and an on-board tour host, tel:
(03) 5962 3870. The area's natural attractions
are explored by Eco Adventure Tours, tel: (03)
5962 5115. Ballooning over the valley is
conducted by Go Wild Ballooning (tel: 03 9890
0339) and Balloon Aloft, tel: 1800 028 568.
Vintage Fun offers chauffeur-driven rides in
vintage cars. They pick up from anywhere for any
occasion, tel: (03) 9754 7670.
Triandibo Trail Rides offer rides through some
fine scenery and fern gully rainforests. They
are located a few kilometres south of town, tel:
(03) 5967 1570 or (0418) 567 180.