Over the weekend, I went with family to Woori Yallock, just 60km east of the CBD. What’s good to do there? I would definitely recommend visiting Rayner’s Orchards. The orchard grows over 350 varieties of fruit including stone fruits, guava, kiwis, pomegranates, figs and persimmons etc…
The orchard is open all year around, but during the summer months, it is your heaven for all things stone fruit. During the spring, all the peach blossoms are in bloom, so the entire hillside transforms into a landscape of pink and white flowers. In the winter months, the orchard is home to all your citrus fruits.
The first we did when we arrived was to visit the on-site Peach Cafe. As soon as we opened the door and walked inside the cafe, we were greeted by the warm smell of butter, and sugar running up our noses. The reminiscent smell reminded me of being inside grandma’s kitchen.
We had a Sweet Corn and Chicken Pie, a Beef and Burgundy Pie, and Gourmet Chicken focaccia. The two pies were severed with an accompanying tomato chutney and salad. The salad looked really appetizing and fresh (unlike the ones you see served up at the food court in shopping centers). It was vibrant, generous in size and had the right amount of thousand island dressing.
As for the focaccia, it was super tasty. The bread was light and fluffy and the filling was fresh. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have been let down by focaccias. Sometimes the bread is burnt, other times the chicken inside is overcooked and rock solid, or the spinach or the salad is wilted and yellow. The one at Peach Cafe was utter perfection – fresh, tasty and delicious.
Because we were pleased with out main meals, we also decided to try out their dessert, so we ordered a Peach and Blueberry Pie with homemade Peach Ice-cream. The filling inside the pie was too sweet. But for those who have a very sweet tooth, you would like it.
The Peach Cafe also sells homemade chutneys and jams in cute little jars, as well as takeaway sweet and savory pies, and bags of seasonal fresh fruit. Outside, there is also a mini nursery where you can buy various dwarf fruit trees.
After a filling lunch, we went on the tractor tour which runs hourly. Although it was a bit costly ($25 pp), you may as well join it because you did drive all the way out to Woori Yallock and it would be a bit of shame just to head home empty handed.
As part of the tour, you can eat as much fruit as you want. It was probably a bad idea to eat such a big lunch before hand. To others reading this: if you plan to join the tractor tour, make sure you do so with an empty stomach. I was so full, I didn’t each as much as I could have. Apart form the all-you-can-eat option, guests are also welcomed to pick their own fruit to take home at an expense of $5 per kg.
The tour began with the tour-guide handing each of us a small green tomato like fruit. I don’t recall the name of it, but we were told it tastes like a tomato crossed with an onion. I bit down in it, and immediately I had this salty, garlic like taste creep into my mouth. I didn’t really like the taste of it but I can imagine it might taste good in a savory dish maybe?
After that, the tractor stopped at 7 or 8 different fields, and each time it stopped, the tour guide would generously pick large peaches, nectarines and plums for everyone to eat. At first I was a bit skeptical because I like to wash the fruit before I eat it, but because everyone around me was gulping the fruit down in utter joy, I thought #yolo why not haha.
Apart from all the fruit picking and eating, the tractor also took us to a beautiful sunflower garden. The sunflowers were taller than me! Although the whole point of the tour was to pick fruit and eat it, I think the highlight for me was visiting this beautiful sunflower garden.
- Rayner’s Orchards is located in Woori Yallock, just 60km east of the CBD
- Their on-site Peach Cafe is a must visit: good savory food though the peach pie was a tad on the sweet side
- Rayner’s Tractor tours run hourly and a bit costly too ($25pp), but patrons are allowed to eat as much fruit as they possibly can during the tour.
- Picking fruit is at $5 per kg
- For those who don’t want to join the tour, you can buy fresh fruit from the Peach Cafe.
- Beautiful sunflower garden and stone fruits (during the summer), peach blossom viewing (during the spring) and citrus fruits in Winter.
- Rating 8/10