Yarra Junction is located two km east of where the Little Yarra River joins the Yarra River. Yarra Junction’s location on the fringes of the Great Dividing Range provides a strategic link between Mount Baw Baw and Gippsland to the south-east and Healesville and the Hume Highway to the north-west.
During the early 1880s a community village settlement on 10 hectare blocks was formed, and the area was named Little Yarra Junction. A primary school was opened in 1894. In 1901 the railway between Lilydale and Warburton was opened.
Yarra Junction was a conveyance point for timber brought in by bush tram from Noojee, Powelltown, Brittania Creek and several smaller settlements to the south-east. Its growth began to approach Warburton’s, and in 1910 the administrative centre for the Upper Yarra shire was shared with Warburton, and later transferred to Yarra Junction. Yarra Junction’s centrality to the region was strengthened in 1961 when the Upper Yarra High School was opened.
Yarra Junction has a range of shops, cafes and community facilities (including Library, Community Link & Upper Yarra Family Centre) along its main street (the Warburton Highway). On the north side of the Highway, the former railway line (closed 1965) is now the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail adjoined by a substantial reserve with bowling greens, tennis courts, oval, a sports centre and the Upper Yarra Historical Museum in the old railway station. The reserve is home of the Yarra Junction Football & Netball Club.
Make a stop here for lunch or coffee and then meander down to the Museum to learn more about our region's past. The Museum's greatest treasure is the restored Heritage Station built in 1888 at Lilydale and relocated to Yarra Junction in (circa)1915. It is a delight; the fresh paint glistens and the new red oxide roof, chimney pot and finials all enhance your visit. You have to time your visit, though, as the Volunteers open the Museum only on Sundays for visitors (for groups on other times as well).
Just outside Yarra Junction township along the way to Warburton lies the magnificent Blue Lotus Water Gardens. The gardens occupy 14 acres and are Australia's largest water garden featuring thousands of lotus flowers and water lilies.
‘Yarra Junction’, Victorian Places, 2014, accessed on 24/10/2021
Val Smith, Yarra Junction: a pictorial history, Wesburn, 2010