Visiting Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley Australia

Apart from attractions in the city centre, Melbourne also has a lot to offer if one is willing to venture to its outskirts and further. In fact, a day trip out of the city is considered as one of the must things to do when you’re in Melbourne. There are options to do a road trip to the Great Ocean Road, day trips to watch the penguins on Phillip Island or catch the steam train, Puffing Billy in the Dandenong Ranges, or just to enjoy the landscape and vineyards in Yarra Valley.

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
 
Some of the chocolate selections at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
Some of the chocolate selections at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
Located about 1 hour from Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), Yarra Valley is popular not just for its vineyards and forests, there are also Healesville Sanctuary and Tarrawarra Museum of Art. And then, there is also Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, where you can undertake a chocolate tasting tour before deciding to indulge in some chocolate shopping spree whether for yourself or family and friends back home.

Chocolates from Yarra Valley
Chocolates waiting to be tasted
Located in Yarra Valley, not only you get to indulge in your love for chocolates (they offer over 40 flavours and 150 varieties of hand-crafted chocolates and ice creams!), you also get to enjoy the scenery of a beautiful countryside while doing so. What sets Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery apart from other chocolate factories in Melbourne, and possibly Australia however, is that they employ 6 European chocolatiers to not just ensure that their product is of the highest quality but also comparable to the world’s best chocolates from Europe. (And what’s better, chocolate size here is more than double that of European’s size, i.e. 17g instead of the usual 7-8g!) Other than chocolate tasting, you can also watch the chocolate making process through the large viewing windows of the kitchen.

Chocolate Factory in Yarra Valley
Dimitri, a chocolatier from Belgium, working on some chocolates
Location: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, 35 Old Healesville Road, Corner Melba Highway, Yarra Glen, Victoria 3775.
GPS Coordinates: -37.64437437.644374, 145.400063145.400063

Rayner’s Stone Fruit Orchard

Rayner’s Stone Fruit Orchard Yarra Valley
Rayner’s Stone Fruit Orchard
About 30 minutes’ drive from Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, there is Rayner’s Stone Fruit Orchard. This fruit orchard, which opens throughout the year, grows and sells over 300 varieties of fruits, including unique cross breeds like apricot + plum, cherry + plum, nectarine + plum, etc. You can get on a tractor tour here around the orchard to try and have a taste of these fresh fruits while at the same time learn about them.

There is also a small cafĂ© in the compound where you can try and buy a variety of fruit products. If you’re there in the summer, be on the lookout for some kangaroos too! There could be up to 100 kangaroos roaming around the orchard then.

Location: Rayner’s Stone Fruit Orchard, 60 Schoolhouse Road, Woori Yallock, Victoria 3139.
GPS Coordinates: -37.79964, 145.551465145.551465

Warratina Lavender Farm

Warratina Lavender Farm Yarra Valley
Warratina Lavender Farm
Not far from Rayner’s Stone Fruit Orchard, about 15 minutes’ drive and located at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, is the family-run Warratina Lavender Farm. First started off as a hobby some 20 years ago by its owner who continued working full time as an operating theatre nurse until her recent retirement, the farm now boasts rows and acres of lavender of different species.

These different species of lavenders are used for food products (such as jams, ice creams, and biscuits) as well as non-food products (e.g. potpourri, pillows, heat packs, toiletries, etc.), some of which are sold in their gift store and promoted at markets and garden shows, including the International Flower and Garden Show in Melbourne where they have won seven Bronze Medals for Warratina landscape designs.

They have picnic areas on the site for families and groups to enjoy the fresh country air. If you prefer to stay indoor however, you can also enjoy refreshments at their Lavender Cottage Tea Rooms. The owner’s 2 sons also run a raspberry farm just next door.
Location: Warratina Lavender Farm, 105 Quayle Road, Wandin Yallock, Victoria 3139.
GPS Coordinates: -37.78875837.788758, 145.444275145.444275

All of the above places can easily be covered in a day road trip from Melbourne. It’s about 50 minutes’ drive back to Melbourne CBD from Warratina Lavender Farm.

About the writer

Rusli Wahab is a Malaysian traveller who blogs about his travels at Ramble and Wander.  He was in Melbourne on a Familiarisation Trip with Tune Hotels, AirAsia X, Tourism Australia and Tourism Victoria. Read his other article on Alternative Things to do in Melbourne.

Tune Hotels now have more than 40 hotels in 8 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India, Japan, United Kingdom and Australia. Tune Hotel Melbourne is the first Tune Hotel in Australia.

AirAsia X is a long-haul, budget airline based in Malaysia. The airline flies twice each way daily between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne. Other than Melbourne, it also flies to 5 other cities in Australia including Adelaide, Darwin, Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney.

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