There are lots of places to go fruit picking with the family in the Yarra Valley, but only one orchard has fruit to pick all year round – Rayner’s Orchard!
Rayner’s Orchard is a family-owned farm that grows around 450 varieties of fruit. In the warmer months, you’ll find stone fruit such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, plumcots, pluots, apriums, peachums and nectaplums! In the cooler months, there are apples, pears and various citrus – lemons, oranges, Australian limes and mandarins.
If you want to pick fruit then you’ll have to take a Tractor Tour around the orchard; you can’t just wander around the farm on your own. There’s no need to book ahead, just drop in and join the next tour as there are seats for around 100 people.
Our guide Cam (the son of the founder Len) travels for around 1 hour, stopping to let us try many varieties of fruit.
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There are lots of opportunities for tasting and you can eat as much fruit as you like on tour! We pop the best ones in our bag to take home for $5 per kilo.
I’ll bet even the most fruit-adverse child won’t be able to resist plucking fruit straight off the tree and tasting the sweetness.
Did you know fruit is really only naturally ripe for about ten days of the year? This means every week the tour is different with different fruit ready for eating.
I like to think I’m a pretty avid and wide-ranging fruit eater but during the tour many times I exclaim ‘wow I’ve never heard of that’ or ‘I’ve never seen that’.
After your tour you can buy fruit trees to take home and check out the goods on offer at the Peach Cafe, chill out with some scones and fruit jam and enjoy the relaxed surroundings. They make their own fruit pies and stonefruit ice cream.
Rayner’s Orchard also run Fruit Bottling Workshops most of the year when you can learn how to preserve fruit and then take home your own bottled fruit! Bookings are essential for bottling sessions.
Click here for more things to do in the Yarra Valley with kids
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- RACV members get 15% off tours and products;
- You can only visit the farm via a Tractor Tour;
- No pram access on tours;
- Toilets available at Peach Cafe, no change facilities;
- High chairs at Peach Cafe;
- take home fruit is $5 per kilo, eat as much as you want on tour;
- Free parking.