Go West Day Tours is a locally owned and operated business running day tours in the Melbourne and greater Victorian region. Taking tourists out to the Great Ocean Road and Yarra Valley, to name a few, I recently interviewed Terry Smit from Go West Tours on their day tour into the aromatic Yarra Valley from Melbourne.
Tell us about your tour…
We operate daily tours to the delightful Yarra Valley, which is approximately an hour’s drive from Melbourne CBD. Our tour focuses on a broad range of gourmet produce, rather than just the wineries of the Yarra Valley, so it has wide appeal across a range of nationalities & backgrounds.
How did you tour company begin?
Go West Tours began operations back in September 2000, just a couple of weeks before the Sydney Olympics. We started operation with just a single bus and only operated tours from Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road.
Over the years we have expanded and now have a fleet of 10 touring vehicles and over 40 staff, operating tours to 5 different destinations.
What do you love about operating here?
The Yarra Valley is just a brilliant place to visit, being as close as it is to Melbourne’s city & eastern suburbs. Operating tours here allows our guiding team to live in the city and to work in the country, which is great from a life-balance viewpoint.
The producers in the Yarra Valley are also excellent to work with and understand the necessity of working together to continue to build the region as a destination.
What makes your wine region special and stand out from others around Australia?
The Yarra Valley is, without doubt, Australia’s premier cool climate wine region, and therefore specialises in the production of wine varieties that thrive in the cooler climate, such as Chardonnay & Pinot Noir.
The region also produces some wonderful Rosé & Moscato wines, as well as some excellent Botrytis wines. Apart from this, the Yarra Valley’s history in the dairy industry ensures the production of some terrific cheeses too.
How does your tour show off the region?
Our tour visits not only different parts of the Yarra Valley (the Maroondah highway as well as the Melba Highway) but also highlights numerous different types of produce.
While many tours to the Yarra Valley have a heavy wine focus, we have chosen to include fruit, cheese & chocolate destinations, so as to give visitors a broader range of experiences in their day.
What is your favourite part of the region and your tours?
Personally, I love interacting with the staff at the various destinations that we visit. Most of the people who work here also live in the Yarra Valley and are attuned to the agricultural lifestyle & pace of life.
If you make an effort to get to know these people they are some of the warmest, most welcoming and hospitable people you could ever wish to meet.
What’s your favourite variety of wine?
Personally, I love a big red, so I’m easily tempted by a well-aged Shiraz.
Describe your wine region in one word…
Describe your tours in one word…
Go West Tours operate daily guided tours into the Yarra Valley with lunch and winery visits from Melbourne. You can read more about the tours here and book your spot on their next tour online today.
Images: Go West Tours