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The heart of the Canberra district wine region, Yass Valley combines award-winning vineyards, charming towns, wide open spaces and friendly country hospitality.
It’s a short drive into Canberra on the highway, which makes it easy to live the rural lifestyle and commute to the city for work, and both Sydney and Melbourne are accessible from the historic Yass Junction train station.
The area also attracts plenty of visitors from the city thanks to not only the wineries, but a jam-packed calendar of events which includes Murrumbateman Field Days, Yass Rodeo, and Gundaroo Music Festival.
The area’s past is very visible thanks to historic buildings that have been lovingly maintained, but it’s also home to some exciting developments bringing new life to the region, like new retail town centre Fairley Square and surrounding residential developments.
Head to Yass Railway Museum to explore the station with the shortest platform in New South Wales. Walk through the yard and view the main station building, the station master’s residence, and the black 1307 Steam locomotive that serviced the state railway system for nearly 95 years.
Alpaca Magic Stud is home to around 200 alpacas and llamas, the largest stud in New South Wales. On top of their breeding program and workshops, the stud hosts open days twice a year when everyone is welcome to head along and mingle with the alpacas, feed them carrots and take plenty of selfies.
Home to the Australian explorer Hamilton Hume from 1840 until his death in 1873, Cooma Cottage is now a heritage-listed museum and historic site, open at certain times throughout the year for tours. The surrounding original 100 acres are also a great spot for a picnic.
Venture into Robyn Rowe’s magical world of chocolate. Made from high quality, imported Belgian ingredients, you can watch the chocolates being made on-site and learn about the process. Then you can buy chocolates to take home, or settle into the chocolate cafe where you can savour the sweets or enjoy an indulgent hot chocolate in the beautiful rural setting.
Based in Yass, Trader and Co is a social change collective, combining Six8 Coffee Roasters, Juicie Lucie’s freshly squeezed juices and treats, and Studio Wild, a store stocking a beautiful range of sustainable products. The venue also hosts a program of crafty workshops so you can meet others and create.
This Yass boutique sells a carefully sourced range of beautiful, interesting, well-designed and functional home furnishings and lifestyle products. It’s the perfect spot to stop by to find a gift, or even a unique piece for your own home.
Love hunting for antiques? Just 10 minutes out of Yass, Bowning Antique Centre is packed with unique treasures. Browse beautiful antique furniture, light fittings, glassware, china and ceramics, collectables and books.
Just one of Murrumbateman’s award-winning wineries, Four Winds Vineyard is a family owned micro-winery and vineyard. While the wines are enough reason to swing by, it’s worth sticking around for their wood fired pizzas, best enjoyed sitting outside in the sun with views over the vines where they grow shiraz, riesling, cabernet, merlot and sangiovese.
Sitting inside a gorgeous, 1950s weatherboard cottage just off the main street in Yass, Clementine Restaurant is the very best of regional dining. Suited for long lunches or more intimate dinners, the menu changes frequently based on the availability of local produce, with a wine list dedicated to local drops. In winter, try and nab a table in front of the roaring fireplace.
Oozing with country charm, Daughters at Hall is tucked just inside the ACT border in the main street of the tiny town of Hall. Once a general store, it’s been converted into a cute cafe serving homely food, family recipes, sweet treats and cakes baked in-house, plus old-school milkshakes, all using the freshest, locally farmed ingredients.
Located at the recently renovated Shaw Vineyard, Olleyville serves lunch and dinner with a traditional, rustic menu ranging from share plates to family feasts. All dishes are paired with one of the cool climate wines the vineyard is best known for. There are also antipasto boards and cheese plates for those looking for something to line the stomach on a day out wine tasting.
Yass Valley combines historic homesteads and brand new housing developments. It’s a tree-changer’s dream, whether you’re looking for a big family property, a renovator’s delight, or a riverfront gem. Wherever your property, it’s likely you’ll have a view over the vines or across the spectacular natural scenery.
By Zango Team