This magic document contains answers to all most common questions we receive. Please read it before Contacting Us with your own question. Chances are – the same question has been already answered many times over for someone else before you :))
What types of tours do you offer?
Three Koalas Wine Tours only offers PRIVATE wine tours from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley for small to medium size PRIVATE groups. Overseas travellers, families, and groups of friends or colleagues who would like to visit the beautiful Yarra Valley on a personalized itinerary and without strangers.
Can I book just 1 or 2 seats on your tour?
Sorry, but no. We do not provide public winery tours at this stage, and if you need just 1, 2 or 3 seats on the bus, we will not be able to accommodate your request.
What is the minimum size of the group?
Usually it is 4-5 guests. Though it could be even 1 person, but for small groups (fewer than 4 people) the minimum total tour price remains the same as for the group of 4 people.
What is the maximum size of the group?
Usually we cater for medium size groups (up to 11 people) and use 12 seat mini-bus for that.
We also can accommodate larger groups (up to 30+ people), in which case we might use multiple vehicles for the tour.
Can we change the size of our group before the tour?
We do not offer an “ad hoc” tours and sometimes will not be able to meet your request for change.
Please make sure that you have provided us with a correct number of people in your group before your booking is made. If your group becomes smaller – that is usually not a problem, but if you wish to increase the group size and add a few people – that could be a problem, as we are limited by:
- Particular transport’s capacity we reserved for your group on the day
- Wine tasting and lunch bookings pre-made with wineries on a particular day
Can my friends join our group at the wineries?
Yes, this is a free country and your friends obviously can meet you at the wineries we visit as a part of the tour. However, we will not be making any additional arrangements or booking for your friends. As well as following any special timing or itinerary different from our itinerary set for the day. Your friends will have to take care of all tastings, lunch and transportation arrangements by themselves. Also we will make it clear to all venues we will be visiting, that those people are not part of our tour and are not part of our arrangements with these venues and we have no responsibilities for them in any way.
Can we pay separately?
Sorry, no. We provide service on the day to your private group as a whole and expect ONE payment for the whole group. We cannot collect payments from each group member separately.
What time do your tours start?
We offer Three Koalas Wine Tours THURSDAY to MONDAY.
- Full Day Three Koalas Wine Tours starting time is: 10 AM.
- Half Day Three Koalas Wine Tours have two starting times are: 10 AM and 1 PM.
At your Pick Up address.
What time do your tours end?
- Full Day Three Koalas Wine Tours ending time is: 5-30 PM.
- Half Day Three Koalas Wine Tours have two ending times: 2-30 PM and 5-30 PM.
At your Drop Off address.
Do you have free pick up / drop off?
Yes, we offer a free door-to-door pick up / drop off for all our tours.
What are your pick up locations?
We offer pick up and drop off at your front door. We can pick up your group at any:
- Melbourne CBD location or
- Eastern Suburbs address, broadly on the way from CBD to Yarra Valley or
- From your Yarra Valley holiday accommodation at Healesville, Warburton or Kinglake area.
Free of charge.
Can you pick up people in my group from multiple locations?
Sorry, but no. We are happy to offer you free door-to-door pick up and drop off at a location of your choice from the areas listed in the previous question, but it has to be only one address for pick up, and only one address for drop off.
What sort of vehicles do you use?
We have late model Toyota Commuter minibus (seats up to 11 guests) and Toyota Tarago minivan (seats up to 7 guests).
How do your vehicles differ from other tours?
Our modern vehicles comfortably seat up to 11 guests. This allows for an easy and fun interaction within a small group throughout the day and access to boutique locations. Other bigger bus public tours only get limited access to the more public tasting areas, with tasting delays due to large number of people there, slow transitions and too many individual schedules.
Which wineries do we visit?
There is no set schedule of wineries.
We will take advantage of the best winery experiences available on that day, to make sure you get the most value from your itinerary and have an enjoyable day. We also build an itinerary the way to maximise your taste time of the Yarra Valley.
The wineries (some included in our tour price – visiting some will attract extra tasting fees) on our “usual suspects” list are:
- Badger’s Brook Winery
- Long Gully Estate
- Seville Estate
- Killara Estate
- Whispering Hills Vineyard
- Domaine Chandon
- Greenstone Vineyards
- Coldstream Hills
- Yarra Yering
- Yering Farm
- Dominique Portet
- Innocent Bystander
- Fergussons Winery
- Many Hands Winery
- Yering Station
Here you can find quite a few of our regular wineries on James Halliday’s “Hand Picked Yarra Valley Wineries Map”:
You can be sure that we don’t offer our clients anything but great wineries with exceptional wines.
Can we pick the wineries?
Yes, and we will do our best to accommodate your preference but it may not always be possible. We are happy to take you to the wineries of your choice, as long as those wineries permit us to visit that day. And as long as you are prepared to pay their tasting fees.
How do you decide which wineries to visit?
Three Koalas Wine Tours knows the Yarra Valley. So our choice of wineries aimed to deliver the best tour experiences based on:
- Great reviews from our previous customers
- Boutique, “off the beaten track” non-touristy locations
- Excellent distinctive wines, moderately priced
- Warm, friendly and informative hosts
- Diversity of the experiences you’ll get on the day
Most of people quite happy to leave boring task of choosing and booking wineries for their day in the Yarra Valley entirely to us.
Seriously, we have done it hundreds of times!
And there are quite a few things we take into account, apart from already mentioned above, when putting together every our itinerary:
- Group size (this is a very serious factor)
- Type of the tour – Full Day or Half Day
- Your wine and wineries preferences
- Travel time between wineries
- How much time left till the day of the tour
- Lunch requirements
- And even time of the year!
We haven’t received any customers complaints on our choice as yet. Besides, if you are willing to trust us with the tour itinerary – you will NOT be paying any tasting fees at any winery we visit on our itinerary .
Can we include brewery or cidery on the tour?
Yes, there are a few boutique breweries and cideries in the Yarra Valley that offer guests a paddle tasting for a fee. We are happy to take you there, as long as those breweries and cideries permit us to visit that day. And as long as you are prepared to pay their tasting fees.
How long will we spend at each winery?
The average time is about 30 min – 45 min at each winery. But there is no set time. Some winery tasting will last longer than others. It all depends on a particular winery and how busy they are at that time. It will also depend on your group. How quick or slow you will be going with the tasting.
How many wineries we will visit on the tour?
- Full Day Three Koalas Wine Tours usually have time for visiting 4 – 5 wineries.
- Half Day Three Koalas Wine Tours usually have time for visiting 3 – 4 wineries.
The exact number of wineries we might visit on a day depends on a few factors such as: size of your group, your choice of wineries, day of the week and selection of lunch venue.
What is included in the price?
- Door-to-door comfortable, air-conditioned transport from/to any Melbourne CBD or inner Eastern Suburbs location, or from your Yarra Valley holiday accommodation at Healesville, Warburton or Kinglake area. Return.
- Creating the perfect Itinerary for the day and booking of wineries and restaurants for your group.
- Professional, industry accredited and knowledgeable driver/guide.
- Wineries tasting fees on our itinerary.
What is not included in the price?
- Wine or any purchases from the wineries direct.
- Tasting fees at the wineries you requested instead of wineries on our itinerary.
- Tasting fees of premium wines NOT offered as standard on a regular wine tasting list.
- Brewery, Cider House or Gin Distillery tasting fees.
- Cost of lunch.
When is my booking confirmed by you?
Our availability to accept your booking is valid at the time of our communication and subject to change without notice. Booking of the actual date is not confirmed unless and until the deposit for it is received by Three Koalas Wine Tours.
Can I change or cancel my booking?
Yes, you can cancel for free up to 48 hrs prior to your booking. You can also change your booking date and we will do our best to accommodate any late changes.
In the event of a last minute cancellation of your booking the following fees apply:
- Up to 48 hrs ⎼ no fee.
- Within 48 hrs ⎼ 50% cancellation fee.
- Within 24 hrs ⎼ 100% cancellation fee.
Booking fees Pre-Paid by us on your behalf to the third party (winery, restaurant, tickets etc.) and your holding deposit are not refundable.
Are there any extra charges?
No there are not. All tour prices on our itinerary are fully inclusive.
Are there any winery tasting fees?
No. If you are happy to follow our tour itinerary, then our prices are all inclusive.
However, if you request to visit a particular winery not on our itinerary, and this winery charges tasting fees, or you would like to have a “premium \ limited range” wine tasting (where available), then you will be asked to cover these fees by yourself.
Does bad weather affect your tours?
No. Three Koalas Wine Tours will run rain or shine.
Can a tour be cancelled by Three Koalas Wine Tours?
Yes, in the exceptional natural circumstances like extreme fire danger or flood. Or in case we all at Three Koalas Wine Tours become seriously ill and incapable of conducting the tour. You will be notified before the event of any cancellations and be fully refunded.
Is there a lot of walking on your wine tours?
No, there is not a lot of walking involved. May be 50 – 100 meters or so at any given winery. You have to be mobile enough to get in and out of a van. That is about all. There are optional walks around some vineyards if you wish to take them, but that would be entirely up to you.
What wines are included on the tour?
All regular wine tasting during the visiting wineries on our itinerary are included. Additional glasses of wine, premium rage wine tasting or any purchases from the wineries direct are not included.
Can I bring my child?
Generally – no. Sometimes we can accommodate children, but most often not. Please contact us if this is an issue for you.
Can I bring my dog?
Generally – no. Though, some cellar doors are OK with dogs and if you require it, sometimes we can build your itinerary around these wineries, if this is an issue for you.
Is there place on the bus to store wine that I buy?
Yes, we have a plastic cooler box on the bus specifically to store your wine during the tour.
What do I wear?
There is no dress code for the wineries. Just dress appropriately as you would in any other licensed venue. Also dress comfortably for the season you are visiting. Smart casual is king!
Is lunch included on the tour itinerary?
Yes, we have allocated lunch time on our Full Day wine tours.
Half Day wine tours do not have enough time for that, and there is no allocated lunch time on Half Day wine tours itinerary.
What type of lunch could be booked with the tours?
You can choose which type of winery lunch you would prefer for your Yarra Valley wine tour ⎼ a la carte (order from the menu) lunch at one of many Yarra Valley fine winery restaurants OR one of a table d’hôte (meal served at a fixed price) lunch type below.
Two / One course:
- Two course lunch along with a glass of wine – $45 pp.
- One course lunch along with a glass of wine – $35 pp.
- Antipasto and Pizza to share along with a glass of wine – $35 pp.
- Tapas style (cheese, seafood and meat) along with a glass of wine – $30 pp.
- Pizzas to share along with a glass of wine – $30 pp.
- Cheese or Charcuterie platter to share – $15 pp.
You need to chose ONE option for the WHOLE group, as they are available from the different wineries.
At the moment we will visit one the following wineries for table d’hôte style meals, depending on your choice of the lunch option:
- Tramonto Kitchen & Bar
- Soumah Vineyard
- Killara Estate
- Fergussons Winery
- Many Hands Winery
- Greensone Vyneyards (Cheese platter)
As we are not earning any money from lunch arrangements, we will not be able to provide any further information on these offers. Please visit above wineries websites or contact them direct if you need to learn more about their menus.
For a la carte style lunch the choice of winery restaurants is much broader, naturally.
Is lunch cost included in the tour price?
No. As we are not earning any money from lunch arrangements the cost of lunch is not included in the tour price. We will book lunch venue for you according to your preferences, and you will pay on the day to the winery direct.
Do you accommodate vegetarians and people with other dietary restrictions?
Yes. Many restaurants nowadays can cater for all dietary requirements. Here is an exact example of dietary requirements request from one of our former groups that we could successfully satisfy:
- 1 x vegetarian
- 1 x vegan
- 1 x vegan with no gluten
- 1 x no gluten, lactose or fructose
- 1 x no gluten, lactose, fructose, shellfish or nuts.
Or here is yet another example:
- One person that is vegan and gluten free
- Two vegetarian
- Two people allergic to nuts
- And one person allergic to tomato and bbq sauce
- One just gluten free
Please let us know your dietary requirements at the time of booking.
Are we allowed to bring our own sandwiches/food to eat between wineries?
You can bring your own food. There are picnic tables at some wineries and you are very welcome to use them. Travel times between wineries are generally around 10 – 15 minutes. Surely you are able to survive without food for 10 minutes? :)) But PLEASE, consumption of food or drinks (except water in screw top containers) is not permitted on board our vehicles! Three Koalas Wine Tours offers Yarra Valley wine tasting experience, not a “party bus” style entertainment…
Three Koalas Wine Tours endorses RSA (responsible service of alcohol) and behaviour on and off the bus at all times and reserves the right to refuse ongoing service due to reasonable non-compliance.