Whatcha gonna do when there is a gorgeous, sunny, winter day in the Yarra Valley? Go catch Pokémon that's what!

With Generation 2 out earlier this year and Generation 3 being released towards the end of 2017, there's still lots of Pokémon to catch.  This article was originally published in August 2016 but we still found Pokémon in the same places.

For those who are unfamiliar with Pokémon, it is basically a game about catching, training and battling "pocket monsters" (the word Pokémon is pocket monsters shorten). The latest version is Pokemon Go, an app on a smartphone or tablet, which uses GPS to show where Pokémon are available in your surrounding area.  PokeStops are places to find eggs or PokeBalls. You can also put down lures to have more chance of good Pokémon spawning. PokeGyms are match arenas where groups battle to "own" the gym. These groups are usually colour coded such as Blue (Team Mystic), Red (Team Valor) or Yellow (Team Instinct) and you, as a player, can join a particular group.

We started off at Lillydale Lake to catch water and land based Pokémon. There are quite a few PokeStops and a PokeGym. There is a 2.5 km walking track around the Lake which usually takes us 30 minutes when we're walking the dogs.  With Pokemon Go, you can take twice - or even three times - as long as you're trying to dodge other Pokémon hunters as well as time spent trying to take over the gym.  Lillydale Lake is an extremely popular place in the Yarra Valley to hunt Pokémon. People have even been there at midnight with the car park full and the twinkling lights of smartphone screens seen bobbing around the lake!

After catching many Pokémon and picking up PokeBalls, we took a scenic drive through Coldstream and found a PokeGym outside Coldstream Brewery. Picked up some fresh strawberries at Gateway Estate across the road from the Brewery then drove on Melba Highway where we found a PokeStop at the Yering War Memorial outside Coombe Yarra Valley.

Although we didn't stop at Chateau Yering, we found there were 7 PokeStops and 2 PokeGyms  - worth a visit next time.  Our plan was to visit the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery for a well-earned hot chocolate.  Although we did get to drive in, there were no car parks to be found so we decided to head on to our lunch location in Healesville via the back roads.  

For those interested in wine tasting, we found Balgownie Estate and De Bortoli had both PokeStops and PokeGyms. Or for families with younger children wanting a break, a number of playgrounds, such as Dixons Creek Recreation Reserve, also had PokeStops and/or PokeGyms.

Lunch was at Beechworth Bakery (mmm... cheese and tomato toastie) and found that Healesville had the greatest cache so far of 17 PokeStops, including one at the Terminus Hotel. The 2 PokeGyms not only had high powered Pokémon they also had a lot of them, so I didn't even try to overtake them.  The strangest PokeStop I found was a mailbox in Healesville with a small aeroplane on it.

A few more PokeStops and PokeGyms were found at post offices and war memorials on the way home but, apart from winning a PokeGym at Woori Yallock, I didn't get to "catch 'em all" (just missed a pony Pokémon near the Warburton Trail though).  

Below is a list of the PokeStops and PokeGyms we found in the Yarra Valley.  I'm sure there are more but at least these will get you started on your hunt. And don't forget to take an extra battery - Pokémon hunting takes a lot out of smartphone resources!

 

POKEGYMS

  • Lillydale Lake
  • Chateau Yering
  • Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
  • Balgownie Estate
  • De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate
  • Healesville
  • Yarra Glen
  • Seville
  • Woori Yallock

POKESTOPS

  • Yering War Memorial
  • Dixons Creek Recreation Reserve
  • Hedgend Maze
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Lillydale Lake 
  • Chateau Yering 
  • Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery 
  • Balgownie Estate 
  • De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate 
  • Healesville 
  • Yarra Glen 
  • Seville 
  • Woori Yallock

Make sure to get as many Pokémon as you can - according to sources, you can evolve quite a few of the Gen 1 Pokémon when Generation 4 comes out in mid 2018.

 

By Christopher Stevenson

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