7 May 2020

Canberra Day Trips: Seven spots to pick your own fruit

| Canberra Day Trips

From strawberries and peaches to apples, the Canberra region has no shortage of delicious produce. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Savouring a sweet, juicy strawberry, feasting on a delicious yellow peach, or biting into a crunchy apple are some of life’s most simple but enjoyable pleasures. And when you pick your own fruit straight from the tree or bush, it’s even better because you can be sure it’s fresh, sun-ripened and bursting with intense, full flavour. Here’s our guide to getting out into the fresh air and sunshine and discovering beautiful ripe fruit ready for the picking.

Over summer, the Canberra region becomes a treasure trove for people who enjoy picking their own fruit. Some of our favourites include an apple orchard in the ACT suburb of Pialligo and a cherry orchard just over the border near Royalla.

Berry farms can be found on the South Coast and Sutton Forest. The Hilltops Region near Young is known for its juicy, delicious cherries in the lead up to Christmas time, but it also produces plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs and olives.

Why you’ll love it

  • You’ll save money. Most farms charge by the bucket or basket for a fixed price per kilo or container, and it’s much lower than what you’ll find in shops
  • Buying directly from the producers benefits their bottom line too, and helps to keep them in business
  • You’ll get the freshest possible fruit and minimise the food miles it travels
  • Picking your own is a tangible reminder of where our food comes from, especially for kids, and an opportunity to connect with nature, with a delicious reward for your efforts
  • Getting to most farms involves a scenic drive through picturesque countryside

Where to pick your own fruit

Here are some of our favourite pick-your-own farms and orchards.

Clyde River Berry Farm is on River Road, South Brooman (off the Princes Highway between Bateman’s Bay and Ulladulla). Open over the summer, the main crop is blueberries, but the farm also produces youngberries, boysenberries, blackberries and raspberries. There is good signposting once you turn off the highway. Find the farm on Facebook.

Montrose Berry Farm in Ormond Street, Sutton Forest is a working berry farm open over summer, when visitors can pick blueberries, raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries, autumn raspberries, redcurrants, and hazelnuts. You’ll find all the news about the crops and their seasons on their Facebook page.

Kembla Cherry Orchard is the home of five varieties of premium cherries in the Canberra region. It is located in Royalla Station Estate, off the Monaro Hwy, 20 minutes south of Tuggeranong and offers pick your own cherries (pesticide and fungicide free) in the lead-up to the festive season. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

Tanbella Orchard is at 20 Beltana Road in Pialligo. It grows over 50 varieties of apples, nashis, pears and peaches, and is open from February through to May. Find all the updates on their Facebook.

Cedar Creek Orchards is at 269 Mulhollands Rd Thirlmere, and allows people into the orchard during some fruit seasons to pick stone fruit and persimmons. Bookings are necessary and can be made online. Check out their pick your own persimmon experience. It involves a tractor ride, a ride on the Persimmon Express, a lesson in how to pick persimmons and time to stroll through the trees and pick your choice of the bounty. See more on their Facebook page.

Allambie Orchard can be found at 3725 Olympic Highway. It’s a family owned and run business in the rolling hills of the south-west slopes in NSW, set on a picturesque 63 acres in the delightfully named rural village of Wombat. They specialise in pick your own cherries which means the very best are available for picking. Find them on Facebook here.

Main Range Orchard is at 920 Boundary Road Young. They open for pick your own cherries during cherry season on Saturdays and Sundays. Guided tours of the orchard and packing facility, followed by a taste of lovely crisp and crunchy cherries, are also available.

Things to know

  • Harvest time and availability of crops is seasonal and can vary from year to year, so check opening times before you go.
  • Most orchards/farms update their websites and Facebook pages regularly with the most current information about when they are open and which crops are available.
  • It’s a good idea to bring an esky or suitable containers to store your fruit on the way home.
  • Bring some sturdy shoes for while you’re walking around the farm or orchard. Footwear can get pretty dirty, so bring an old pair.
  • Remember to bring sun protection and plenty to keep you hydrated. Fruit picking is thirsty work!

More information

Have you picked your own fruit in the Canberra district lately? Do you have any recommendations or tips to share?

Original Article published by Canberra Day Trips on The RiotACT.

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