April 24, 2019
Tour the Valley
John and Joan Lloyd are local ‘Healesvillians’ who live and breathe our region. Five years ago they set up Tour the Valley to run private tours for people wanting to see the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges just with their own friends and family. The beauty of a Tour the Valley Tour is that you fill out their questionnaire on their website which tells them what you want to include in your day, and they create an itinerary based purely on your selections. On a public wine tour, you go where the tour company take you – on a private tour, you get to call the shots!
Even though our region is famed for its fine wines, not every visitor is interested in spending the day wine tasting. Many are interested in fruit picking, seeing indigenous animals, kayaking on the Yarra, catching their own trout for lunch, visiting our art galleries, the famous chocolaterie, a dairy, or trying our local brewed beer, cider or aromatic distilled gin. Whatever you want to do and see, Tour the Valley build it into your itinerary – and they are renowned for going above and beyond – you only have to see the reviews and number of repeat customers to know that.
Their personalities and those of their drivers, shine through and each group come away feeling they have really experienced the region, ‘with a local, like a local’.
As their website states, ‘everything’s better from the back seat of a Chevy’! So, if you are after a unique day out in a stunning teal ’64 cruiser, look no further. Imagine being driven through this beautiful region of ours in Stella, a Chevy convertible – she’s a classic cruiser with pristine upholstery and that distinctive purr from the V8 under the bonnet.
Andrew (Stella’s owner) is a bit of a wine buff himself too, when he’s not behind the wheel of his pride and joy, he can be found pouring wine at Helen & Joey’s cellar door, one of the Yarra Valley’s newer and extremely popular wineries. He loves creating totally bespoke days out for his customers, and purposefully doesn’t go where the crowds go.
If you’re staying at Rex’s and getting married or going to a wedding or simply want a day out in style – give Andrew a call and see if Stella’s free!
You may have read about Wine Compass, as they have had some great articles in the press and take tours to three of Victoria’s best know wine regions – Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley and Heathcote.
They run private as well as public tours and they do a mean hen’s tour and we know a great many hen’s party come to stay at Rex’s, as we have so much space, we’re perfect for groups! 🙂
Founder Adam Nicholls is a wine enthusiast and felt that the average wine tours he’d been on, had left him wishing they’d gone deeper into the knowledge and actually taught him more about the wines and wine making process. So, he set up Wine Compass with that in mind and his tours are more in depth, often with a masterclass, meeting the wine maker or having a tasting from the barrel in the winery’s barrel room.
Check out their website if you’re interested in visiting one of these wine regions in more depth.
Pooches & Pinot
These days dog owners often like to holiday with their dog. So, if you’re staying in the Yarra Valley with your four-legged friend, or wanting a day trip to the Yarra Valley from Melbourne with your hound, Pooches and Pinot is for you. They run private wine tours for people with their dog, and take you to all the pet-friendly cellar doors and venues, where you and your pooch are welcome. You’ll be surprised by how many of our cellar doors are pet-friendly – it’s quite the thing these days.
Pooches is run by a local Healesville couple who are dog owners themselves so know all the best places to take you – as part of your tour they also include a walk at a beautiful but mystery location that even the majority of locals wouldn’t know about.
They offer half as well as full day tours and you can either PAYG and buy your own lunch and tastings during the day or you can take the Dog’s Bollocks package, where you don’t put your hand in your pocket at all – they take care of everything and even shout you a bottle of wine – it’s the real VIP experience.