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The best fruit-picking farms in NSW

Even though school holidays are well over, it’s the perfect time of year for the tastiest family activity – fruit picking.

With an abundance of stone fruits, berries and nuts coming in season as summer seeps into autumn, orchards and farms around the state are becoming the perfect place to visit for a weekend family day trip. All under half a day’s trip from Sydney, these orchards offer pick your own (PYO) experiences and will even let you take home your healthy bounty!

Bilpin Springs Orchard

Bilpin Springs Orchard is the home of so many apple varieties (Image: Bilpin Springs Lodge)

Nestled within the Blue Mountains, Bilpin is perhaps the most popular spot for a weekend of fruit picking. Being the birthplace of Bilpin Apple Cider, this charming roadside suburb is known as the “Land of the Mountain Apple” and is surrounded by apple orchards. Bilpin Springs Orchard produces everything from Granny Smith apples to lemons and quinces and all their produce is available for picking – especially in February and March. In February you can expect Fragar peaches, Nashi pears, plums, persimmons and Royal Gala apples, while March will provide figs, Jonathon, Red Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious and Braeburn apples. Bilpin Springs is open to the public on weekends – bring your own bag or borrow a bucket from the orchard and get picking!

Bilpin Springs Orchard
Where:
2550 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin, NSW
When: Saturday – Sunday, 7am – late
More info here

Pine Crest Orchard

Blackberries come into fruition around early summer but apples, peaches and plums are available right now (Image: Pine Crest Orchard Facebook)

Just across the road from Bilpin Springs, Pine Crest Orchard is a family business that is passionate about sharing their abundance of produce with the public. Most of their apples are only $4 per kilo and during February and March you will see Royal Gala, Jonathon, Red and Golden Delicious and Fujis as well as white and yellow peaches, blood and ruby plums and even raspberries, blackberries and cherries. Pine Crest Orchard has no entrance fee – all you have to pay for is the fruit you pick.

Pine Crest Orchard
Where:
2549 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin, NSW
When: Friday – Sunday until late April
More info here

Shield’s Orchard

Shield’s Orchard will spoil you for choice with so many varieties ripe throughout autumn (Image: Weekend Notes)

If you still haven’t picked enough apples, Shield’s Orchard has perhaps the largest array of apple varieties including the “Julie” apple which is bred exclusively at Shield’s Orchard. From February to May, Shield’s have Royal Gala, Jonathon, Bramley, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Red Delicious, Braeburn, Firm Gold, Fuji, Splendour, Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Sundowner. A small, family owned business, this orchard is open 5 days a week during the year’s most fruitful months.

Shield’s Orchard
Where:
2270 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin, NSW
When: Friday – Sunday, 10am – 3pm
More info here

Nutwood Farm

Nutwood Farm gets a regular downpour during the autumnal months (Image: Wolter Peeters/Blue Mountains Gazette)

For those looking for something a little more savoury, Nutwood Farm will be opening in March and providing twenty hectares of chestnuts and walnuts ripe for picking. Set on the edge of Wollangambee National Park, Nutwood Farm is a stunning expanse of towering walnut and chestnut trees which have stood for almost thirty years. Chestnuts will start to fall from mid to late March and walnuts fall a few weeks after. Nutwood Farm is a short drive from Bilpin and is a perfect spot to visit after picking Bilpin’s famous apples.

Nutwood Farm
Where:
22 Danes Way, Mount Irvine, NSW
When:
Open from March, Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm
More info here

Kookootonga Nut Farm

Fallen chestnuts are sometimes still encased in their burrs (Image: Kookootonga Nut Farm Facebook)

One of the very few farms open 7 days a week, Kookootonga has a long tradition of allowing the public to pick and purchase produce. Offering chestnuts and walnuts, Kookootonga’s trees are over 100 years old and the farm is one of the Blue Mountains’ first and has been welcoming pickers since the early 1900’s.

Kookootonga Nut Farm
Where:
247 Mount Irvine Road, Mount Irvine, NSW
When: Open 7 days from March
More info here

Ford’s Farm

Ford’s Farm provides thousands of sweet mandarins to satisfy every kid’s sweet tooth (Image: Weekend Notes)

Mandarin lovers will be in heaven at Ford’s Farm which is just an hour and a half from the Sydney CBD. Offering Imperial, Satsuma, Emperor and Hickson Mandarins in the cooler months from May, Ford’s Farm is the perfect destination for a Sunday sojourn and afternoon picnic. Lemons, Tahitian and kaffir limes and cumquats are also on offer for picking during the early months of winter. Although our coldest season is far away, the shed at Ford’s Farm sells homemade jams, chutney, cordial, pure honey, vinegars and oils all year round – we recommend taking a day trip to the historic Wiseman’s Ferry township and continuing along the Hawkesbury River to the picturesque farm. Entry is just $5 and fruit is priced per kilo.

Ford’s Farm
Where:
1275 Singleton Road, Laughtondale, NSW
When: Season commences 27 May, 10am – 4pm
More info here

For more information on PYO farms and orchards around NSW, visit Harvest Trails and Markets.

(Image: Pine Crest Orchard Facebook)

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