It rings true that sometimes the best gems are in our own backyard! I’ve lived in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne since I was eight (with a brief hiatus in the middle when I first got married – we moved to an inner suburb for something a bit different!) and yet … never once have I visited Petty’s Orchard.
So, on a hot Summer day, bubba and I paid a visit. It was such a lovely experience!
Getting There: 1 Homestead Road, Templestowe 3106, Victoria. Very easy drive. Lots of signage. Lots of parking (no designated ‘spots’ as such, just designated parking space). Free parking, no time limits.
Food: There’s a nice little cafe right near the parking. The food is well priced and the coffee was super decent! The apple pie was uhmazing. The only thing is the menu tends to skew towards those with a sweet tooth. If you’re after something savoury, there’s not much except for pies and sausage roll. I did have a little bit of trouble finding something that bubba could eat (given her dairy allergies). She ended up having nibbles of the apple pie which was fine – she was much too distracted by everything else that was going on. A little tip, you order inside first and then take the number with you to find a table. It’s a bit confusing when you first walk in as to whether you wait to be seated etc. A few high chairs available (the ikea kind). See that magpie in the photo below? It kept eyeing our food and in the end even managed to snatch a bite! So, uh, if you’re scared of birds … this may be quite an experience.
Things to Do: There’s plenty of space for bubba to run around – there’s a nice flat bit in front of the cafe that bubba loved (see photo below).
I’d read reviews that there’s a nice fenced playground – but when we went there, there wasn’t much in terms of the playground (looks it they were undergoing repairs or something? Or maybe we completely missed it?) We didn’t really walk around the orchards, as it was a super hot day. But there were various toys and books available in the cafe, which entertained bubba.
There’s also supposed to be a walk near the river (we didn’t go). And there’s a nice little section inside where you can purchase fresh produce. It’s a bit expensive but it’s organic and without nasties etc – so it’s a great option for us when the farmer’s market isn’t an option.
If you’re someone who’s interested in the history behind the places you visit, this place was set up in the 1850s and was run by three generations of Petty’s before it was purchased by Parks Victoria in 1981. They have a heritage fruit collection looked after by the Heritage Fruit Society; they conserve the antique apple varieties and you can have tastings etc throughout some parts of the year (think by appointment or something?).
Entertainment Value to Price Ratio: 3.5/5 I love that it’s an outdoor activity in nature; we live in Australia which is so beautiful and we’re so lucky to have such beautiful spaces available to us. I often feel like as a family, we don’t really make the most of it. There’s no entry fee, but I think most people would be ‘tempted’ to grab a bite or a coffee at the cafe. If you coincide it with your lunch, you save a bit 😉 As I mentioned before, the food is pretty well priced.
We’ll probably visit again, perhaps on a less hot day and have more of a walk around. I think if your children are older, they might get even more out of it.
Bye, bye Petty’s Orchard, you’re a gem of a find!
PS. This is not a sponsored post, and I’m not affiliated or associated with Petty’s Orchard 🙂