It’s getting hot in here: Yarra Valley’s Herb and Chilli Festival returns this March

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It’s getting hot in here: Yarra Valley’s Herb and Chilli Festival returns this March

Herb and Chilli Festival
Words by Juliette Salom

All things herbs and chillies and rock’n’roll, one of the Yarra Valley’s hottest food and wine events returns for another festival circuit of spicy flavours and tingled tastebuds.

The Herb and Chilli Festival will be taking place in Wandin in the Yarra Valley, on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, on March 16 and 17 this year.

Summer might be coming to its end, but the hottest weekend is yet to happen. With a packed program of cooking demonstrations, eating competitions, kids’ activities, food stalls, and, of course, some red-hot rock’n’roll, the Herb and Chilli Festival will be offering something to tickle every sort of tastebud.

Herb and Chilli Festival 2024

  • March 16 and 17
  • Wandin, Yarra Valley
  • Tickets here

Over 80 stalls, a chilli cookoff and so much more

Returning for its twelfth year since its debut in 2012, the festival is ramping up for a year that will be bigger and better – and spicier – than ever. Supported by thousands of festival goers that keep returning to the picturesque valley for their favourite event in the state’s food and wine calendar, the festival boasts over 80 stalls to browse and buy all things herb and chilli. Whilst a seemingly niche genre of food to throw a party over, the Herb and Chilli festival continues to be a success for its ability to provide something for everyone. Be it competing in the chilli cookoff or shopping for plants from Renaissance Herbs or listening to the live music and entertainment the festival will have on show, all facets of the community have been considered in this weekend’s program.

Live music from zydeco legends Harmaniax


One of the highlights of entertainment that festival attenders can keep an eye and ear out for will be the cajun/zydeco dance band Harmaniax. Dubbed as bringing the unique sound of Louisiana with an Australian twist to festivals all over the country, Harmaniax have been a constant figure in the Melbourne pub scene for over ten years. Made up of Billy Abbott, Paul Jonas, Nick Thorpe, Geoff Le Blanc, Paul Dalby and Michaela Burke, Harmaniax will be playing the kind of blues-inspired tunes that everyone loves to move and grove to, or even taste a chilli or two to.

A great weekend for everyone with something on offer for all kinds of herb and chilli enthusiasts, families are very much welcomed, with children under 14 able to enter free with any paying adult. Attendees are even able to travel to the festival hassle-free with the event’s very own Chilli Express shuttle bus service running from Lilydale Train station to the festival grounds, as well as a return trip once the festivities are finished. You can book the bus service on the Herb and Chilli Festival website, alongside selecting the type of festival ticket best suited to your weekend, with options of a day pass, a weekend pass or a family pass, as well as discounts for concessions.

A spice journey around the world


For all chilli and hot sauce lovers, this will be an event not to be missed. The festival provides the chance for all spice obsessives to trial Australia’s best hot sauces, even including some special 2024 releases. Food fanatics can try flavours from a range of international spice hot spots, from Mexico, Turkey and India to South America, Europe and everywhere else in between. No spice is safe at this festival.

For those whose spice levels linger around that of the lemon and herb kind, you won’t be missing out either. With a range of herbs on display, the festival also will boast a selection of tasty treat stalls with everything from homemade ice-cream to local berries and exotic cakes.

From boutique wines to chilli beer

Of course, the Herb and Chilli Festival isn’t known as one of Victoria’s favourite food and wine festivals without having an exciting range of beverages on display. There’ll be an impressive selection of local drinks to tipple, with everything from wines and beers (as well as even some chilli beer!) to juices and coffees, it won’t be hard to find something to wash down all that spice with.

Get excited, get hungry and, most importantly, get your tickets to this fun family-friendly weekend of herb and chilli, set nowhere more beautiful than the rolling hills of the Valley. Tickets for the Herb and Chilli Festival are on sale now.