Just slightly over an hour away from Melbourne’s bustling city center is the picturesque Yarra Valley. With stunning views of its surrounding mountains, Yarra River, and many well-known wineries in the area, it is no wonder that Yarra Valley is in most traveler’s Melbourne itinerary.
However, I was (pleasantly) surprised to discover that there is more to the valley than just wineries. Not only did we manage to enjoy the high-quality wine from the region, we also visited other interesting places there. Here’s our Yarra Valley Day trip itinerary from Melbourne.
9.30am – 12.00pm: Rayner’s Orchard
Start your morning in Yarra valley at Rayner’s Orchard, where various fresh and delicious fruit awaits you all year round. Once you arrive, head to the Peach Cafe and purchase tickets for the Fruit Adventure Tour which will take you on a guided tour around their beautiful orchard. Learn more about the farm’s history, farming techniques and interact directly with the founding family on this tour. If you are visiting with a large group, you may want to book your tour tickets in advance by contacting them here.
Tickets for the tour cost 29.50 AUD but this includes fruit sampling of up to 8 fruits. You also have the choice of picking and bringing home the fruits that you enjoyed eating the most for only 5 AUD per kg! Regardless of the season, there is always something growing in Rayner’s Orchard. Don’t believe me? Check out their list here.
If you are visiting from August to mid-September, you’re in luck as some of the fruit trees blossom during this period. It made me feel like I was in Korea or Japan during cherry blossom season.
Before heading off to the next destination, remember to have your fill of freshly cooked farm delicacies at the Peach Cafe. Check out the menu and price list here.
Read a detailed review of my experience at Rayner’s Orchard here.
12.30pm – 1.30pm: Lubra Bend
Next stop is Lubra Bend, a carefully designed garden overseeing the beautiful Yarra River. The garden is located on a private compound and guests who wish to witness the magnificence of the estate needs to inform the management in advance. Once your booking is approved, you will be informed of the cost of your visit which will usually include afternoon tea.
The garden features a wide variety of native Australian plants with several unique structures made by local designers. Regardless of the season, there is always something blooming in Lubra Bend. When we visited in early August, we witnessed the beauty of various camellia flowers.
1.35pm – 2.30pm: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
This stop will be every sweet tooths’ dream come true! Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is the place to go if you want to indulge in endless chocolate – yes, free chocolate tasting is available! If you’re looking to buy a non-alcoholic gift for your friends from the valley, there are many options here. From the normal chocolate bars to the seemingly-weird chocolate lip balm, I’m sure you will find something.
Remember to also have a small break at their cafe. The selection of ice cream flavors was not out-of-this-world but they also had other chocolate cakes if you need more chocolate. More importantly, you should not miss out on the stunning view of the surrounding area from the outdoor seating at the cafe.
2.40pm – 4.00pm: Domaine Chandon
Domaine Chandon is one of the more well-known wineries in the region and should definitely be added to your Yarra Valley itinerary. Wine tasting is offered here at an affordable price of 12 AUD for 6 different wines and 6 AUD will be refunded if you purchase a bottle of wine at their store.
Other than wine tasting, visitors may also embark on a self-guided tour of the facility to learn more about wine-making.
4.05pm – 5.00pm: Yarra Valley Dairy
For the last stop, we chose to visit Yarra Valley Dairy. Here visitors are able to buy and try many types of locally produced cheese. To try, simply ask one of the friendly staff at the counter and they will prepare up to 6 kinds of cheese for you.
There is also a mini wine corner, gift shop and cafe if you are feeling hungry.
If you do not fancy cheese or milk products, you may choose to visit other wineries in the are like Yering Station instead. However please note that most places in this area closes at 5pm or earlier so make sure you plan your time wisely.
Hope you have an enjoyable time at Yarra Valley!