Exploring Yarra Valley

Hi, guys!
Do excuse the overexposed photos, my uber smart fiancee forgot to bring our DSLR camera battery so we ended up make do with my Fuji X100T camera. I have always wanted to visit Yarra Valley mostly because I want to try the exhilarating hot air balloon ride there. Unfortunately, our full schedule couldn't work with that ride. But I'd make sure to try that hot air balloon ride in my near future!
Yarra Valley is about one and a half hour drive from our apartment located in the city of Melbourne. So yeah, I highly recommend you to rent a car if you want to go. We did enjoy the drive mostly because the streets were so empty that driving was a breeze and it was field of grass as far as the eyes can see. Our goal was of course, to take pre-wedding photos. And that we did, although not so successfully as evident by the overexposed photo below.

We went there on a Sunday and tried our luck for lunch at one of the winery there called Zonzo Estate. Again, due to our lack of research, we had no idea that the place will be so full during lunch hour. The place was fully booked and I was a little bit sad because the place is GORGEOUS. And I read all good things about their service (the waiter and waitresses were very nice despite the hectic and busy atmosphere) and delicious food. So if any of you planned to visit Yarra Valley, make sure you make your reservation. Also, I'm pretty sure most places only open on weekend. I wouldn't suggest to go here on a weekday. Unless perhaps a Friday.

Zonzo Estate.

Zonzo Estate.. You can eat while looking at this gorgeous view.

Grapes to make wine!
After about an hour of taking photos under the hot scorching sun (we did took photos around 11AM. not the smartest move) and no luck finding a table at Zonzo, we decided to call Dixon's Creek and  thankfully they did have a table for us. Dixon's Creek is not as beautiful as Zonzo (it was more casual, like a diner) but honestly, I was just relieved to fill my famished stomach. The food was not impressive; lack of seasoning for sure. And their cider was not my cup of tea either. Also, we only managed to get a table outside, so it did get pretty hot.

Luckily, things start to looking up when we finally reached Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. The place was packed and I wasn't surprised considering it was a Sunday. I did feel overwhelmed with the choices of chocolates so I ended up boxing up a chocolatier' choices. Basically, the crew will picked a few of favorites for you. Just make sure you mention what you don't like. For example, she asked wether I want something spicy or not. Deciding that would be to adventurous, I said no.

Trying to take a cute photo of us with ice creams but dear fiancee was too busy enjoying his. Ended up with a lot of awkward poses of him actually licking the ice cream. The ice cream did melted really really fast. I mean, like fast and furious fast. I was basically eating my ice cream near the trash bin.

How cute is this Koala chocolate? There's a Kangaroo option as well.
I originally wanted to take a quick look at Tarra Warra museum but we had one more spot to take our pre-wedding photos in the city so we decided to skip that. I ended up not enjoying myself that much while exploring Yarra Valley. I'm a planner and the fact that I didn't planned anything, like booking etc., really made me annoyed with myself. 

If you do plan to visit Yarra Valley, you must : 1) rent a car // 2) book your lunch and dinner spot a week ahead // 3) go earlier, like 8AM-ish, so you'd have more time // 4) wear something nice if you planned to visit winery, there's a dress code in most of them // 5) check the weather, make sure it's sunny

Well, thank you for reading and I will post my Melbourne Vacation Diary next :)
Wishing everyone a great day!


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