Glamping and wineries: 10 best places to go wine tasting in Victoria

By Ross Hamilton

Photo courtesy of Visit Victoria.

Rows upon rows of grape-bearing vines can be found in numerous regions in Victoria, Australia, where the landscape is one of the most striking in the world. Australia's love affair with wine traces all the way back to 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip arrived with the country's first vines. The rest is, as they say, history.

Should you consider yourself an experienced wine connoisseur, you're bound to be impressed by any one of the wineries we've put together for you below. That's not to say you have to be a wine connoisseur, by any means. If it's your first time wine tasting, you might just discover your sophisticated side and your new favorite pastime here in Victoria.

Our list of wineries have been plucked from two popular regions in particular: the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. As it happens, these glamping accommodations in Victoria are the perfect home-away-from-home to return to after a day or two spent wine tasting and learning about the production and history of Australian wine—the fifth biggest exporter in the world.

It's time to plan a glamping trip around our top 10 best wineries to go wine tasting at in Victoria.

Yarra Valley

Photo courtesy of Weekend Notes.

Vineyards were first set up in Yarra Valley in 1837, and by 1880, the region had become the biggest in the colony. Only 50 kilometers east of Melbourne, this region is still considered to be one of the best wine regions in the Port Phillip area, with it's incredibly rich and fertile land that is perfect for growing grapes in particular.

We've done our research and below, you can find out more about the best vineyards in this impressive wine-friendly area.

1. Oakridge Wines

Photo courtesy of Oakridge Wines.

Oakridge Wines is one of the Yarra Valley's most trusted and popular vineyards thanks to an excellent reputation which has been bolstered by numerous awards since 1983. The winery boasts a number of fine vintage wines that have been awarded prize after prize, including their 2006 Vintage, which took home 55 awards. Visitors are also encouraged to try the incredible cuisine, which comes with free wine tasting that is tailored to the dishes themselves. The experience is made all the better with some truly magnificent views of the vineyard and the surrounding Yarra Valley mountain range.

2. Helen & Joey Estate

Photo courtesy of Helen & Joey Estate.

The family-orientated Helen & Joey Estate welcomes guests from all over Australia who come for something more than just a wine tasting experience. Located in the lavish Warramate Hills, a visit to the Cellar Door is where you'll be introduced to a range of excellent wines, including Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The warm atmosphere and playful approach to tasting here are sure to live long in your memory!

3. The Riverstone Estate

Photo courtesy of The Riverstone Estate.

The Riverstone Estate is not only a top spot for wine tasting, but also an incredibly popular event space and wedding venue. Based in the center of the Yarra Valley, the estate opens its Cellar Door to the public from Thursday to Sunday, during which you can come and experience one of the most highly-rated wine tours in the region.

The perfect place to come with either friends or family, Riverstone encourages its guests to take advantage of the vineyard's natural setting, too. Sitting with your loved ones with the backdrop of the Valley's rolling hills, a bottle of wine, and some of the best food in region...what could be better?

4. Stone of the Yarra Valley

Photo courtesy of Stones of the Yarra Valley.

Stones of the Yarra Valley has long been one of the go-to wineries in the region. The peace and serenity of this place will make you feel as though you've just stepped into another country entirely. Situated between two Yarra Valley hamlets—Yarra Glen and Healesville—this breathtaking location has all the ingredients to make your day an unforgettable one. This unique space is decorated with crabapple trees, vegetable beds, stone farm houses, and, of course, its grape vines, which are some of the best in the region.

5. Soumah of Yarra Valley

Photo courtesy of Soumah Wine.

At Soumah of Yarra Valley, for just $20, you will be treated to six samples from their most exclusive wines in their impressive Premium Wine Room—designed for the sole purpose of enhancing the guided wine tasting experience. Outside, you are invited to take a stroll around the vineyard, where you can take a seat and bask in that glorious Australian sunshine. Lunch is also on the agenda here at Soumah, and you're welcome to take a seat at their trattoria—looking out across the Warramte Hills—while tucking into a spot of lunch.

Mornington Peninsula

Photo courtesy of Visit Melbourne.

Our remaining five wineries are part of the Mornington Peninsula, where the cool climate is perfect for growing grapes and producing wines that are bursting with flavor. The Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration is also worth visiting, which attracts people from all over the world—all of whom are determined to taste the latest and greatest Pinot Noirs the region has to offer.

6. Quealy Winemakers

Photo courtesy of Quealy Winemakers.

Located in Balnarring, Quealy Winemakers has barrels upon barrels of some of the most exquisite Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Grigio on the Mornington Peninsula. In contrast to some of the more grandiose wineries around the world, Quealy has an intimate, family-orientated atmosphere that will put you completely at ease as soon as you walk through the door. With one of the best reputations in the region—and the fact that the wine tasting is free!—visiting this vineyard is a no-brainer.

7. Main Ridge Estate

Photo courtesy of Main Ridge Estate.

Main Ridge Estate sits at an altitude of 230 meters in a small valley in Arthurs Seat. Despite the size of this small, seven-acre vineyard, our seventh choice makes the cut because it operates on the old "quality over quantity" saying. The quality in this case comes in the form of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two wines which make up the majority of the 5,000 vines on the estate.

Using only the fruit grown on the land itself, the wine here is produced with a great deal of love and care, which has rivaled some of the best wineries in the area since 1975. One of the founders, Nat White, is a local legend in the area, too, having achieved a reputation as one of the most talented winemakers in both the Mornington Peninsula and state of Victoria.

8. Stonier Wines

Photo courtesy of Stonier Wines.

Should the weather permit it, a picnic and some wine tasting at Stonier Wines makes for a fantastic day out with either the whole family or just your significant other. This vineyard has the perfect setting for oenophiles of all kinds to kick-back, relax, and enjoy sampling premium Stonier Wines—one of Australia's leading producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After falling in love with the wines here at Stonier, you're probably going to want a bottle or two of your favorite vintage to take home with you, too!

9. Panton Vineyard

Photo courtesy of Panton Vineyard.

Panton Vineyard is a hidden gem that has forever reaped the benefits of a north-facing location and a moderate altitude, ensuring that the quality of their grapes is some of the best in the Mornington Peninsula. Like many of the other wineries on this list, Panton was also set up with a family spirit driving it.

The Cellar Door here is packed with some truly special wines, and the owners will invite you to try a variety of wines, such as their 2017 Sangiovese, 2018 Pinot Noir, 2018 Pinot Gris, 2018 Rosé, and 2018 Chardonnay. You can find this magical place tucked away in Shoreham, Victoria, with the ocean at a five-minute drive away.

10. Moorooduc Estate

Photo courtesy of Moorooduc Estate.

Last, but certainly not least, the Moorooduc Estate is another family-run winery where guests can cozy up by the fireplace, snag a glass of first-class wine, and enjoy a rich and enlightening education on Pinot Noir, McIntyre Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. The owners also prepare a delicious lunch menu that is tailored to the rich and fruity flavors of the wines you will be introduced to during the tasting sessions.


Let us know what your favorite vineyards in the area are while you keep exploring your glamping options in Victoria!

Where to go in December : Australia and New Zealand

By Eric Wright

As the days get longer and the nights grow milder, December in Australia and New Zealand means the start of barbies on the beach, comfortable temperatures, and of course, the hectic build-up to Christmas.

That's why we've compiled some of the best destinations on the eastern side of the Southern Hemisphere to have a warm holiday celebration. With the cities totally chockers, escape to one of these fantastic, rural locations and have yourself a ripper this December!

Australia

1. Wollemi National Park, New South Wales

Just a couple of hours northwest of Sydney, the World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park boasts an abundance of scenic trails in a dramatic setting, along with heaps of rivers for unforgettable arvos of kayaking and swimming.

At this unique site, you shouldn't miss the chance to complete the iconic walk from Thredbo to the summit of Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, where the panoramic views from the top are simply breathtaking.

2. The Blue Mountains, New South Wales

With 1 million hectares of majestic forests, epic canyons, and sparkling waterfalls, it's no wonder that over 4 million people flock to this pristine landscape each year. Scenic World at Katoomba is a must with its Scenic Skyway gondola that traverses the Jamison Valley—offering spectacular vistas of the Katoomba Falls, Three Sisters, and Mount Solitary.

After a day of adventures, you can retreat to your own unique getaway and enjoy the vast views of eucalyptus trees seemingly stretching on forever, cold one in hand.

3. Namadgi National Park, New South Wales

Located just 45 minutes drive from Canberra, Namadgi National Park offers a rural haven away from the crammed streets of the city in December. As aboriginal people were living in the area during the last ice age 21,000 years ago, there are an abundance of fascinating sites just waiting to be discovered.

If you're looking for a relaxed holiday full of scenic drives, history, and bushwalking, you'll have found your perfect getaway in the grassy valleys, wetlands, and boundless eucalyptus forests of this gorgeous National Park.

4. Bruny Island, Tasmania

Home of the stunning South Bruny National Park, this one-of-a-kind island offers an unbeatable wilderness retreat. With fur seals, fairy penguins, and white wallabies calling this region home, animal lovers will be in their element.

Visiting in December means that the penguin breeding season will be in full swing, offering you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these slippery characters plod ashore at the picturesque seaside town of Penguin or at Point Sorell.

New Zealand

1. Waiuku near Auckland, North Island

Only an hour from Auckland, the winding Awhitu Peninsular and the iconic black sands of Kariotahi Beach in Waiuku offer a great weekend getaway with sublime coastal views. You can set off on the waters and take the opportunity to kayak and enjoy a magical sunset on the water in the Waiuku Estuary—all before returning to your secluded getaway for an evening of relaxation.

2. Lake Wakatipu, South Island

As the third largest lake in New Zealand, the lightning bolt shaped waters of Lake Wakatipu boast incredible levels of purity and cleanliness, making this an ideal spot for water sports and cruises while surrounded by epic scenery. If you're looking to get your blood pumping, head over to the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, the historic birthplace of bungee, and make the leap of faith from the height of a 10-story building!

3. Lake Wanaka, South Island

Situated in the spectacular alps on the South Island of New Zealand, the pristine lakes and mountains in Wanaka, along with its proximity to Mt. Aspiring National Park, make it a premier site for outdoor activities. Roys Peak is not to be missed, as you'll be in awe at the magnificent views of Wanaka, the lake below, and the humbling peaks of the Southern Alps.

This December, immerse yourself in this incredible world of glaciers, majestic mountains, and deep alpine lakes from this equally as stunning bell tent rental.

4. Waipara Wine Region, South Island

Renowned as New Zealand's premier wine-producing region, the sprawling vineyards, award-winning wineries, and awe-inspiring scenic walkways of the the Waipara Valley make it an idyllic escape for lovers of Pinot Noir and outdoor adventure alike.

Just 45 minutes north of Christchurch, get away from the concrete jungle this December, and surrounded yourself with the stunning panoramic vistas from this accommodation in North Canterbury.


What else makes your glamping wish list this December? Check out what made ours here!

Blogger Spotlight: Andrezej and Jolene adventure to Noosa, Queensland

By Jessica Armstrong

Allow your glamping dreams to come true this year when traveling to Noosa, Queensland, to visit these luxury tent rentals. Andrzej and Jolene of Wanderlust Storytellers know a thing or two about turning a vacation into an extraordinary, romantic experience, and after they share some of their tips, you will want to make your next vacation a glamping getaway, too!

Whether you are making an escape to the beach to disconnect from the hustle and bustle or planning a picnic to share with a loved one surrounded by greenery, you can pitch a glamping tent wherever you heart desires.

Find out more about Andrzej and Jolene's epic outdoor adventure and all the romance that came with it below.

Andrzej and Jolene picnic in front of their luxury tent.

What are the three words you would use to describe your glamping site?

Romantic, peaceful, and elegant.

Do you prefer to go glamping solo or with other groups and couples?

I love glamping with my beautiful wife! To me, this is the best couples' treat, for sure.

For a birthday treat unlike any other, Andrzej gave Jolene the gift of glamping.

What is one of your most memorable glamping experiences?

Glamping with Glamping Hub is definitely on the top of our glamping experiences! You simply cannot beat the romantic set up that we had.

The tent itself was amazing. All of the pillows and blankets that were provided kept us cozy under the starry sky—not to mention the private fire pit in front of our tent, which made the whole experience just perfect!

A stay here is sure to help glampers recharge, relax, and rekindle the spark with that special someone.

What has glamping taught you about travel and nature?

I always loved camping, but glamping is next-level comfort. I guess what I’ve learned was: why go camping when you can go glamping?

What is your favorite type of unique accommodation and why?

That is a hard one! There are so many unique places that we have stayed at; however, glamping has got to be one of the most unique ones. It’s like it is best of both worlds. Although you are still camping next to a fire, you also have all the bells and whistles of a luxurious accommodation.

Andrzej and Jolene found that these tents beautifully combine nature with luxury.

What trends do you follow when planning a glamping getaway?

The main thing is choosing a location that allows for total relaxation. This place must be off-the-grid and have no connection to the 'net and social media world.

How has glamping changed the way you vacation?

Glamping has definitely changed the way I think about camping experiences. My private tent has been long forgotten in the shed. These days, if we feel like a quick getaway, glamping is the natural choice. That way, we can still have a fire and marshmallows, and we don’t need to set up or pack up.

Now true glampers, Andrzej and Jolene have found a whole new way to define vacationing.

What was unique about your glamping stay?

The blankets and stack of pillows on the mat in front of the fire—that was the best for sure! Total relaxation and bliss, and having all of that under the starry sky, while listening to the fire crackling...it was simply perfect!

To plan your perfect couples' getaway in Noosa, Queensland, check out the luxury tents visited by Jolene and Andrzej here!


Want to follow along with this romantic duo on their next getaway? Check out their blog, Instagram, and Facebook for more tips and travels.