Frequently Asked Questions

This magical document contains answers to all the 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 :))

Tour Types

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.

Tour Groups

 What is the minimum size of the group?

Usually, it is 4-5 guests. Though it could be even 1 person, for small groups (1 – 3 people) we charge a flat small group tour price.

 What is the maximum size of the group?

Usually, we cater for small to medium size groups (up to 11 people) and use 12 seat mini-bus for that. Or medium to large groups (up to 24 people) and use 25 seat bus.

We also can accommodate larger groups (up to 30+ people), in which case we might use multiple vehicles for the tour or hire a coach bus. Please, talk to us if you have more than 24 people in your group to see if we can take your booking.

 Can we change the size of our group before the tour?

We do not offer “ad hoc” tours and sometimes will not be able to meet your request for change.

Please make sure that you have provided us with the 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 capacity we reserved for your group on the day
  • Wine tasting and lunch bookings pre-made with wineries on a particular day

The number of people in your group and a balance due for that number are locked in a week prior to the tour date and cannot be changed after that time without our specific agreement.

 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.

Tour Times

 What time do your tours start?

We offer Three Koalas Wine Tours  DAILY.

  • Full Day Three Koalas Wine Tours’ starting time is 10 AM.
  • Half Day Three Koalas Wine Tours has two starting times 10 AM and 1 PM.

At your, Melbourne Pick Up address. Yarra Valley Pick Up is half an hour later

 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 Melbourne Drop Off address. Yarra Valley Drop Off is half an hour earlier.

Tour Transport

 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 complementary FREE 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 or
  • Port Melbourne Cruise Ship Terminal

Free of charge.

Certainly, we can provide return transfer at practically any Greater Melbourne address, outside the above locations, but that will incur an additional transfer surcharge and will not be complimentary.

 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 use Toyota Commuter minibuses (seats up to 11 guests) and Mitsubishi Rosa bus (seats up to 24 guests). We can use any one of those vehicles in any combination depending on group size and bus availability on a particular day.

Tour Wineries

 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 maximize your taste time of the Yarra Valley.

Our major specialty is – small boutique wineries and we build your personalized Itinerary around these smaller, family-run, lesser-known, hidden gems among Yarra Valley wineries…

The wineries on our “usual suspects” list are all the usual wineries you would expect to visit in the Yarra Valley, with a strong accent on boutique wineries:

  • Badger’s Brook Winery
  • Long Gully Estate
  • Mandala Wines
  • Seville Estate
  • Helen & Joey Estate
  • Killara Estate
  • Whispering Hills Vineyard
  • De Bortoli Wines
  • Soumah Wines
  • Oakridge Wines
  • Medhurst Wines
  • Hellen’s Hill Estate
  • Cosmo Wines
  • Pimpernel Vineyards
  • Domaine Chandon
  • Greenstone Vineyards
  • Coldstream Hills
  • Yering Farm
  • Corniola Wines
  • Steels Gate Wines
  • Yileena Park Winery
  • Dominique Portet
  • Billanook Estate
  • Tokar Estate
  • Innocent Bystander
  • Fergussons Winery
  • Many Hands Winery
  • Yering Station
  • etc.

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 on our BYO tour option where possible. We are happy to take you to the wineries of your choice, as long as those wineries permit us to visit that day. 

For our INCLUSIVE  and PREMIUM tour package, we select and book itineraries ourselves.

 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
  • Reasonable tasting fees

Most of the people are quite happy to leave the 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 what already mentioned above when putting together our itinerary:

  • Group size (this is a very serious factor)
  • Type of the tour – Full Day or Half Day
  • Your wine and winery preferences
  • Your budget
  • Travel time between wineries
  • How much time is left till the day of the tour
  • Lunch requirements
  • And even the time of the year!

We haven’t received any customer complaints about our choice as yet.

Can we include distillery, brewery or cidery on the tour?

Yes, premium tasting fees at Domaine Chandon, Four Pillars gin distillery, Coldstream Brewery and Cidery, etc… are included in our PREMIUM package tour.

On BYO and INCLUSIVE tour options these fees are NOT included. But we are certainly happy to take you there as well, as long as they permit us to visit that day and you are ready to pay their fees.

 How long will we spend at each winery?

The average time is about 30 min – to 45 min at each winery. But there is no set time. Some winery tastings 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 has time for visiting 3 wineries.

The exact number of wineries we might visit on a day depends on a few factors such as the size of your group, your choice of wineries, the day of the week, the selection of lunch venue, etc.

Tour Pricing

 What is included in the price?

  • Shared lunch and regular wine tasting fees on our INCLUSIVE tour option
  • Two-Course winery lunch with a glass of wine and premium tasting fees on our PREMIUM tour option
  • Door-to-door Transport Safety Victoria registered, comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for your group from/to any Melbourne CBD or Melbourne Metropolitan area Eastern suburbs location to the Yarra Valley wineries. Return.
  • Creating and booking the perfect Yarra Valley itinerary for you to minimize travel time and the tasting cost and maximize diverse Yarra Valley experiences according to your preferences and interests.
  • Professional, industry accredited, friendly and knowledgeable driver/guide with extensive local wine knowledge and Yarra Valley touring experience.
  • Bluetooth speaker to play your favourite music on board, bottled water to keep you hydrated and a cool box to safely store your purchased wines.
  • Fuel, road tall and parking costs.

 What is not included in the price?

  • Wine or any purchases from the wineries directly.
  • Tasting fees (if you choose BYO tour option).
  • Cost of lunch (if you choose BYO tour option).

 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 security deposit for it is received by Three Koalas Wine Tours.

 Can I cancel or change my booking?

If you wish to cancel your Yarra Valley wine tour for any other reason the following cancellation fee applies:

  • Bookings cancelled at least 14 days (21 days for groups of 22+ ppl) before the event date will be given a full refund.
  • Cancellations between 13 and 8 days (20 and 15 days for groups of 22+ ppl) before the event date incur a 50% cancellation fee.
  • Bookings cancelled within the full 7 days (14 days for groups of 22+ ppl) of the event date incur a 100% cancellation fee.
  • Fees Pre-Paid by us on your behalf to the third party (winery, restaurant, tickets etc.) are not refundable.
  • Failure to pay the tour balance on time is considered a cancellation with the above cancellation fee rules apply.

The number of people in your group and the balance due for that number are locked on a balance due date and changing that number after that time could result in a different price per person based on a new group size.

One change of the tour date is allowed and it is FREE, providing that we can fit your new requested date in our touring calendar and that we haven’t paid any third-party fees (winery, restaurant, tickets etc.) for the original date. In which case those fees will be charged to you.

 Are there any extra charges?

No there are not. Apart from the fees stated above all tour prices on our itinerary are fully inclusive.

 Are there any winery tasting fees?

Yes. There is no such thing as free wine tasting left in the Yarra Valley anymore. Current wine tasting fees at most of the wineries are – from $10 to $25 per person, per tasting.

However, we have special arrangements with a few wineries, that charge our clients discount rates for the wine tasting. We can suggest them to you (BYO).

And, of course, we will timely advise you of what kind of wine tasting fees you can expect at the wineries you might select for the day on a BYO tour yourself.

Tour Info

 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 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.

 Can I bring my child?

Our buses are not equipped with child seats required by law in the State of Victoria, so we cannot accommodate children under 7 years of age on board our vehicles.

 Can I bring my dog?

ABSOLUTELY!!! Some wineries are generally OK with dogs and if you require it, we can build your itinerary around these wineries. This is going to be a bit different Itinerary compared to our “human only” tours, but it is definitely doable.

 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!

Tour Food

 Is lunch included on the tour itinerary?

Yes, we have allocated lunchtime on our Full Day wine tour Itinerary. Half Day wine tours do not have enough time for that, and there is no allocated lunchtime on Half Day wine tours itinerary.

 Where do you book lunch for your Yarra Valley winery tours?

As we are not earning any money from these Yarra Valley wineries’ lunch deals, therefore we will not be able to provide detailed information on these offers. Please visit the above wineries’ websites or contact them directly if you need to learn more about their menus.

We try to book your food experiences, not in the newest 5-star restaurant in town :)) — no! We want you to enjoy hearty meals and warm personalized hospitality preferably in a smaller family establishment and learn from local boutique winery-restaurants about their suppliers, farms, and history of producing high-quality food in the area.

For a la carte style lunch the choice of winery restaurants is much broader, naturally.

 Is lunch cost included in the tour price?

YES. Winery lunch is included in our price on INCLUSIVE  and PREMIUM tour options.

NO. On the BYO tour option cost of lunch is not included in our price. We can book a lunch venue for you according to your preferences if you wish, and you will pay on the day to the winery directly.

 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 a dietary requirements request from one of the 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 a 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 any ongoing service due to reasonable non-compliance.

Thanks, and see you on one of Three Koalas Yarra Valley Winery Tours!

Vlad & Maria :)