The township of Yea is nestled in a beautiful valley at the meeting of the Goulburn and Yea Rivers.
Yea is located 100 km north-east of Melbourne at the junction of the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Melba Highway, in the Shire of Murrindindi.
In an area originally inhabited by the Taungurong people, it was first visited by Europeans of the Hume and Hovell expedition in 1824, and within 15 years most of the land in the area had been taken up by graziers. Surveyed in 1855, the township grew as a service centre for grazing, gold-mining and timber-getting in the area.
The township of Yea (pronounced ‘yay’) was originally called ‘Muddy Creek’. In 1855 its official name was changed to honour Colonel Lacy Walter Yea, who was killed in the Crimean War.
Heritage sites around the town include the Railway Station buildings, Purcell’s General Store (now Marmalades Restaurant), Beaufort Manor (1876), Yea Shire Hall (1894), the Post Office (1890), and the nearby Yea Flora Fossil Site, where the most ancient leafy foliage so far found on earth was discovered.
Yea is adjoined by a series of villages including Glenburn, Murrindindi, Molesworth and Limestone on the southern and eastern sides with Highlands and Caveat to the north and Strath Creek, Kerrisdale and Flowerdale to the west.
Yea’s commercial centre straddles each side of the wide boulevard of High Street with attractive parkland located in the street’s central strip. Fronting High Street between Pechell Street and The Crescent are the Yea Fountain Gardens, containing lawns, rose gardens, a large fountain and a monument to the explorers Hume & Hovell. The Yea War Memorial is located in the adjacent gardens on the corner of Lyons and Pellissier Streets.
Fertile farmlands produce an abundance of superb produce and cool-climate wine available direct from the farm gate or cellar. Shops, cafes, country pubs and restaurants also offer you the opportunity to sample Yea’s wonderful offerings.
The Yea River flows around the edge of the town centre and a large reserve known as the Yea Wetlands & Cummins Reserve has been developed around a group of small lakes beside the river.
The multi award winning Y Water Discovery Centre is a must-see attraction. The striking architecture, accredited Visitor Information Centre and hands-on Interpretive Centre is at the entry to these Wetlands. Visit the Y Water Discovery Centre to learn more about the wetlands’ flora and fauna or to book a guided tour.
The Great Victorian Rail Trail was once part of the Tallarook to Mansfield rail line. The Great Victorian Rail Trail meanders through undulating farmland along the majestic gum lined Goulburn River with stunning views into the foothills of the Victorian High Country. From the historic Yea Railway Station and parklands, you can bicycle just to the east of Yea on the Great Victorian Rail Trail to the historic Cheviot Tunnel where you can explore the 200-metre-long Cheviot Tunnel which was constructed with handmade bricks of local clay.
Several scenic drives can be enjoyed from Yea. Travelling south on the Melba Highway and taking Murrindindi Road, you will come to the beautiful Murrindindi Scenic Reserve. For more dramatic scenery, take Ghin Ghin Road (west of Yea) which initially passes through grazing land and crosses the Goulburn River where there is a reserve overlooking the river and a boat ramp; a great spot for Fishing. Heading further north, the road ascends through scenic gorge country to a granite plateau. This road passes through what is left of the former gold mining town of Ghin Ghin, past Mt Broughton and onto the small hamlet of Caveat, then onto Highlands. You can continue to explore the magnificent views from this plateau further to Ruffy and the famous Ruffy Store.
Sporting clubs and activities carry a strong following. The Yea Recreation Reserve with its historic Grandstand is a hub catering for AFL Football & Netball teams, Cricket and the Tennis Club. The Bowling Club is located in the centre of town on High Street; Basketball @ Community Centre @ The Yea High School; The Golf Course (18 Holes with Grass Greens) shares the Racecourse & Golf Club Reserve; Swimming Pool is in High Street; and Fishing Club rooms located on the Goulburn River on the Ghin Ghin Road.
The Yea Picnic Race Club holds very popular Race Meetings, during the Racing Season. The Yea St. Patrick’s Race Club holds an annual race meeting on a Sunday in late February each year.
Over the Australia Day Long Weekend, the Yea Rotary Club hold their Annual Art Show.
The Yea Open Gardens is always an extremely popular event, which displays beautiful local district gardens on the second weekend in November each year.
The Annual Yea Spring Show has been run by the Yea Agricultural, Pastoral & Horticultural Association for over 100 years. It is a traditional small town Country Show on the fourth weekend of November each year. Horse riding events the Cattle Exhibition are popular at the Show.
UGFM 106.9FM (Yea / Highlands signal on 88.9FM; Flowerdale 98.9FM) is the local Community Radio Station provides light entertainment whilst driving in the area as well as news, community events and local weather. Importantly, UGFM is a recognized Emergency Broadcaster which will provide emergency information if ever required.
The Yea Visitor Information Centre is located at the Y Water Discovery Centre and operates 7 days per week from 9.00am – 5.00 pm.
Volunteers are essential in operating the Information Centre and they are professionally trained to be exceptional ambassadors for our district. The VIC offers maps, an accommodation booking service and sales of local wine and produce and art & crafts.
2 Hood Street, Yea, Victoria 3717
Telephone: 03 5797 2663
Open 7 days a week, 9am – 5pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday)
Y Water Discovery Centre website: http://www.ywatercentre.com.au/