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Yarra Valley Day Trip: Cherryhill Orchards & Healesville Sanctuary

Home > Melbourne > Animals and Wildlife | Day Trips | Family | Outdoor | Zoos
by Mon's Adventure (subscribe)
Documenting roadtrip adventures and foodie outings. See more at!
Published January 12th 2014
A recent trip to Yarra Valley involved some fun cherry picking in Wandin and a visit to see the animals at Healesville Sanctuary.

Fruit picking has become a favourite pastime on roadtrips, as it tends to be a straightforward activity suitable for friends and family.

The bonus about Yarra Valley is that you also get to see its signature green hilly views in the distance, and if you're lucky enough to get a sunny, Melbourne day the scenery is quite spectacular.

Cherryhill Orchards
Our view from the carpark

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.

Cherryhill Orchards
Before getting on the bus

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!

Cherryhill Orchards
Searching for the best cherries!

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.

Cherryhill Orchards
Our freshly picked cherries

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.

Cherryhill Orchards
The view from the orchards

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.

Healeseville Sanctuary
An amazing bird at the show

In another bird section, visitors were able to hold some bird food and lure the birds to come feed on it.

Healeseville Sanctuary
Feeding the birds

We followed the map around the sanctuary and saw everything from reptiles to native Australian animals such as emus and Tasmanian devils.

Healeseville Sanctuary
Making friends with the emus

Some areas were quite impressive in that the animals were in the open, such as the bird areas. Being near the animals makes the experience that much more exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.

Healeseville Sanctuary
Pelicans lolling about

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.

Healeseville Sanctuary
Bye little Tasmanian devil!

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Why? To spend a day doing various activities in the beautiful Yarra Valley
Where: Cherryhill Orchards: 474 Queens Rd, Wandin East VIC 3139
Healesville Sanctuary: Badger Creek Rd, Healesville VIC 3777
Your Comment
What a fun day. I've been cherry picking at Cherry Haven, I find my tummy in trouble if I eat too many cherries all at once. The Healesville Sanctuary is great. We love going there.
by choud (score: 2|164) 2836 days ago
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