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As the weather cools down, we long for crisp autumn adventures out in the wilderness. The change in season also brings with it fresh new produce, perfect for unleashing the MasterChef in you. Lucky for us, there are many working farms and orchards right on our doorstep, providing a great opportunity for a fun day out in nature with the whole family. Teach the kids about farm to table freshness and take home some delicious goodies to inspire you to get back into the kitchen. See our round up below of the best places to go fruit picking near Sydney in the next few weeks and months.
Located about an hour north of Sydney, Canoelands Orchard makes for the perfect autumn day trip. The orchard is set amongst a family run farm, so along with fruit and vegetable picking, children can also see farm animals such as chickens, pigs, horses, goats, and ducks.
No visit to Canoelands is complete without a stopover at Glenorie bakery. This family run business is a traditional bakery with a rustic feel, serving breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea (Don’t miss the apple turnover!). It is a fantastic spot to relax with a great outdoor children’s play area.
Address: 27 Canoelands Road, Canoelands, New South Wales 2157
Booking: Bookings need to be made on the Canoelands website prior to visiting.
Distance from Sydney: approx. 1 hr
Entrance fee: Adult- $5 Children under 5- $3
Opening times: Weekends 10am – 3pm
Fruit/Vegetables currently in season: Tomatoes, Eggplant, Oranges, Mandarins
Fords Farm is a citrus orchard specialising in mandarins. They grow four varieties of mandarins as well as various varieties of oranges, lemons, and limes. You can also pick up some fresh homemade jams, chutneys, butters, oils, and honey to stock up for your autumn/winter cooking adventures. Nestled on the banks of the Hawkesbury river, the farm is an idyllic picnic spot to enjoy your loot!
Address: 1275 Singleton Road, Laughtondale (via Wisemans Ferry), NSW 2775
Booking: Bookings will commence this weekend via the Fords Farm website.
Distance from Sydney: approx. 1 hr 30 mins
Entrance fee: $10 per car (up to 6 people per car)
Opening times: Weekends 8am – 3pm
Fruit currently in season: Mandarins, Oranges, Lemons and Limes
Bilpin Fruit Bowl
Bilpin has a plethora of orchards best known for apple picking. Bilpin Fruit Bowl, however, has a variety of fruits and vegetables harvesting up until the end of May. The website and Facebook page are updated weekly to inform customers of produce that will be available for picking that weekend. Currently you can sample the last of the apples, black & green olives, and figs.
Once you’ve done your share of fruit picking, head over to the nearby Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens for a picnic with a sublime view of the Blue Mountains. If you prefer your lunch to be cooked for you, then we highly recommend Hillbilly Cider, just a 5-minute drive from Bilpin Fruit Bowl for the most delicious ciders paired with woodfired pizza and a gorgeous outdoor seating area. A winning combination in our eyes!
Address: 2093 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin NSW
Booking: Not required
Distance from Sydney: approx. 1hr 15min
Entrance fee: Adults- $5 Children over 3- $3
Opening times: Weekends 10am-4pm
Fruit currently in season: Apples, Figs, Black & Green Olives
Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries
If you are in the mood for a longer road trip, then Ricardoes, just outside Port Macquarie is a great option. There are two acres of greenhouses that produce hydroponically grown Tomatoes & Strawberries all year round. There is a cafe onsite, and you can also purchase freshly made strawberry conserve, tomato relish and rich tomato pasta sauce along with other local delicacies. Worth a stop over as part of a weekend getaway.
Address: 221 Blackmans Point Road Port Macquarie, NSW
Booking: Not required
Distance from Sydney: approx. 4 hours
Entrance fee: FREE
Opening times: 7 days a week 7am – 5pm
Fruit currently in season: Tomatoes & Strawberries all year round
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