We chose go to Cherryhill, which has several branches across Victoria, thus we went to closest spot being the Wandin branch. Prices are usually $10 for adults and $5 for children, however if you book your tickets online you get a 20% discount.
Parking is quite spacious but the orchard was already becoming quite busy in the early hours of the morning, around 10am - meaning more people to compete with as you attempt to find the best cherries! From the carpark you can already witness some of the valley's amazing views.
After having your tickets sorted, the reception area has buses every five minutes transporting visitors to the orchards.
I've been strawberry picking and apple picking, but this was my first time cherry picking and I never realised it was so hard! We were tipped by the driver not go to the first few rows as these would have been picked already.
Venturing further out I realised after a while that being short, the first ones you go for are all no good. You need to examine them carefully as one side may look ok, but the other side is rotten. Another tip is that you go for the dark red ones, not the bright red ones no matter how enticing they look!
The most effective way seemed to be pulling branches down a little and picking the good cherries from there. The price is $10 a kilo and we all had a bucket each. Between four of us, we picked a bit less than 3kgs.
There's a few benches and a shade at the orchards, and some tables back near the carpark, so we even had a little picnic. Whilst we were eating we were also greeted by a lovely, golden labrador who I assume belonged to an employee as the website states no dogs.
Unfortunately the cherry season has just finished so look out for it again towards the end of the year! They are still open for people to buy boxes of cherries and to try their cherry ice cream until early February.
Next up, we were off to Healesville Sanctuary which was about a half an hour drive. Initially we were afraid we wouldn't fit in everything with only half the day left, but surprisingly we did.
Even better, the receptionist notified us of a bird show that would be starting in half an hour. It was impressive with some comedic talking birds and magnificent swooping eagles. The fun was when a section of the audience saw the bird flying over and had to duck. It was fun but my friend said she has seen better overseas.
We managed to get through the sanctuary in about 2.5-3 hours, so the day ended up working well time-wise. There are heaps of things to do in the Yarra Valley and it's lucky that for us, already living in the north, it can sometimes only take up to an hour or a bit over an hour to get there! Just search up what to do in the Yarra Valley and there will surely be something for you.