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We used Vinetrekkers, and I have to say this was by far the very best day trip during our 12 day stay in Melbourne, Paul who runs the company was the very best host / driver / guide you could ask for, very high standard of presentation, small groups that bond well, wonderful wineries and not at all presumptuous in the act of tasting the many fine wines, the scenery is stunning, look out for wild Kangaroos!!....Healesville was well worth the visit, not at all busy, we had our own guide who was super, a chap from the UK, but he knew so much about al the animals, a special place and well run, if you want a perfect day, as we did in the 38C heat, then choose Vinetrekkers, you cannot beat them for delivering something special that you will always treasure.
Highly recommended. Paul, our guide, was amazing and had put together a thoughtful itinerary. We never felt rushed, either at Healesville, where we saw a wide range of animals, or at the vineyards. Our delicious lunch was in a beautiful setting. Cheese and wine was a great finale to a memorable day.
I really enjoyed how this tour gave me the best of both worlds.
During the morning portion of my trip, I visited the Healesville Sanctuary. I enjoyed the sanctuary because it's a really great way to see a wide variety of Australia, New Zealand, and Tazmania's wildlife. I was the only person on my tour who did the sanctuary in the morning vs. the full day wine valley tour, so I ended up with a personal tour of the entire sanctuary and my tour guide at the sanctuary made it a very special and informative visit.
After spending the morning at the sanctuary - I met back up with the rest of my group for the afternoon Wine Tour. The lunch at Yering Station Vineyard was delicious. We had the choice between 6 entrees and 6 wines. We sat in the dining room with large glass windows overlooking the valley. The view was stunning. The tastings at both Yering Station Vineyard and De Bortoli Winery were fantastic and of course the wines were delicious, but what really made it special was the knowledge of our tour guide - Paul. He made sure everyone had a fun, informative, and personal experience at the winerys.
I would HIGHLY recommend this tour to anyone visiting Melbourne!
Me and my 16-year daughter first went to the Healesville Sanctuary. It was a great experience, seeing koalas, kangaroos and rare views of platypuses. We were guided by two volunteers who provided great descriptions and insights on the animal life. Then to the wineries. I had a great time there too.
I'd like to recognize a superb service provided by Stephen, our tour guide and driver. One of the nicest and most knowledgeable ever.
If you ever go to Melbourne, this one-day tour is highly recommended for you!!
We were the only 2 that chose to go to Healsville Sanctuary out of a group of 10. There was no problem dropping us off for a 3-hour visit to the Sanctuary and then picking us up to rejoin the rest of the group. We were still able to visit 2 wineries I believe the rest of the group went to 4 wineries without us. Lunch was at Yering Station and was absolutely delicious, with a beautiful view to enjoy as we ate.
Healsville Santuary was enjoyable, too. This was our first time to Australia so we were excited to see some of the native animals. This place did not disappoint. Being nocturnal, the koalas were all asleep in the trees. However, the new viewing platform allowed us to view them at the level at which they were sleeping. The kangaroos were resting, too, but a few were wandering about and even came close enough to allow us to pet them. Great photo ops! There were plenty of rangers around that were happy to discuss the animals, which was helpful.
All in all, a wonderful day!
The tour guide Paul was more than excellent. He was sincere, caring, professional, patient, knowledgeable and also wiling to take an extra step to make us feel enjoyable.
We had a group of 5. All very nice and decent people. We did have a fun and memorable day.
grahambenton United Kingdom
What an absolute pleasure it was to be hosted by Paul who certainly knows his stuff including how to engage with all his guests and how to get them all interacting. The sanctuary is actually worth a full day tour but the volunteer guides get you round the best bits and wherever you want to be to see what you want. Be aware most of the animals are nocturnal so you won't see them all such as the platypuses. Lunch was excellent, the best duck I've tasted and the recommended Pinot Noir complimented it well. The view from the balcony is to die for. On to the wine tasting at Yerings and De Bortoli both of which were enjoyable, we learnt a lot, especially how the Italians compliment their wines and cheeses. On the way back Paul does his best to ensure Kangaroos are seen in the wild stopping a number of times. On return to the pick up point Paul even bought the two honeymoon couples, we were one, a bottle of wine, just an example of the excellent service from start to finish. Thoroughly recommend the tour for a good day out.
Stephen was a warm and engaging host and driver. The Healesville Animal Sanctuary was amazing - recommend getting a guided tour so you can see it all in the 2.5 hours allotted. The lunch at Yering Station was nice although their wines were just OK and the tasting was crowded. De Bortoli was great.
This tour was fantastic! The driver, Joseph, was super friendly. There were 11 of us on the van, and 7 of us were dropped off at the Sanctuary first. My only complaint on this trip was the Sanctuary portion. We were assigned a guide to walk us around and stay with us the entire time. When we asked about doing the Animal Experiences i.e. feed the kangaroos we were told we wouldn't have time and it would be too busy, when in reality we DID have time to do what we wanted to do. We also felt limited because of this guide. We weren't free to wander around the zoo and see what we wanted to do. As a result we got stuck watching a 30 minute bird show that we had zero interest in seeing because the guide dropped us off there and said she's be back when it was over. Otherwise the sanctuary was a nice place. I think it's more of a zoo than a sanctuary, though. It even says zoo when you arrive.
We did two wine tastings after the sanctuary, and they were great. Lunch was delicious! The wine was good. It was an excellent afternoon! I'd definitely recommend this tour, but don't be afraid to speak up if there's something you want to do.
We always try to book one tour so that we aren't mindlessly wandering the area without any real knowledge and this was a nice blend of Australian culture and wine! This probably would have gotten a 5 star but the weather was not the most cooperative for the sanctuary portion-not their fault. Still, very informative as to the wildlife of Australia. You will be able to get your shots of what everyone from home wants to see kangaroos, koalas and platypus' but be prepared to be patient for the koalas because they sleep-a lot! We were taken to 2 wineries in the Yarra Valley wine region where we were treated to a delicious lunch of beef, chicken or fish and our guide threw in some chips! Our guide, Stephen, was very friendly with the local winery staff and put together an enjoyable package of wines and cheeses. Stephen was very friendly and accommodating and made a point to address each of our 10 group members by name. Very enjoyable day and would love to come back on a warmer, dryer day.
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