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Orchard Life

Sanders Apples is located in Three Bridges in the picturesque Warburton Valley about 1.5 hours from Melbourne. At Sanders Apples guests are offered the unique opportunity to pick their own apples fresh from the tree and participate in scenic tractor rides around the orchard grounds. Guests are also welcome to pack a picnic and enjoy it in the beautiful orchard surroundings.

The passion for apple growing began 4 generations ago with my Great Grandfather Arthur William Sanders who purchased 5 acres of land in Donvale in the early 1920’s. He further expanded the property to an additional 5 acres, which was surprising as he had hardly any knowledge of the fruit growing industry. In 1928 my Grandpa Hugh Sanders was born and after seeing his father struggle on the orchard he decided to spend his teenage years working on local orchards gaining the knowledge and experience he would later take back to the family orchard in his 20’s. By 1968 Hugh decided he needed a larger property and he purchased 22 acres in East Doncaster. By 1976 urban sprawl had reached East Doncaster and Hugh look a huge leap of faith to relocate to an already established orchard in Three Bridges where you find it located today.

The Three Bridges property started as a small 35 acre apple orchard which has been expanded to around 100 acres of apple trees by Hugh and his 3 sons Kevin, Bob and Peter Sanders over the years. My Grandpa Hugh worked well into his 80’s before his health deteriorated and he sadly passed away in 2014.

In 2017 I discussed the idea with my dad and my uncles about opening the orchard grounds to the public and allowing them to pick their own apples straight from the tree. It was something our friends and family had enjoyed over the years and fruit U-Picks were growing in popularity especially in the Warburton Valley. I have a background in Event Management and thought this would be a great way to bring my skill set into the family business and contribute in my own way.

Our vision for the U-Pick was to not only offer the best quality fruit and a unique experience for guests but to use it as an opportunity to educate the public about the apple growing process. We also wanted guests to gain an understanding and appreciation of the hard work and dedication that goes into growing apples.

In 2018 the U-Pick opened to the public and is now in its 5th season. The apple season runs from mid-February to early May each year and is open on selected dates during this time. Guests are able to pick 4 different varieties of apples at different times throughout the season: Royal Gala, Kanzi, Pink Lady and Granny Smith. We have had such a great time meeting our guests over the years and being able to share this beautiful part of the Yarra Valley with them. We look forward to meeting many more guests over the years to come.

Sanders Apples will re-open for U-Pick on selected dates from Saturday, April 9th, for Pink Lady and Granny Smith varieties. Read more >

Kate Sanders – 4th Generation

U-Pick and Tour Manager



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