Throwing all the kids in the car and heading off fruit picking is a great activity that the whole family can enjoy! It’s a great way to show kids where their fruit comes from while also being out in the sunshine and fresh air. We’re lucky here in the Hills to have fabulous farms right on our doorstep – as we all know, with young kids there’s no such thing as enjoying a long, leisurely drive!
Here are our tips for places to visit this Spring. Most places charge a price for for what you pick. Also, things change due to seasons and weather, so make sure you check the farm’s website or Facebook page for opening times before you set off. And don’t forget to take your own bags.
Mandarins & oranges
Mandarin picking is VERY popular! The season kicks off late May but continues through to September.
Watkins Family Farm
Address:1006 Singleton Road, Laughtondale
Open: Saturday and Sunday. 10am to 4pm. Farm will continue to open for Pick Your Own in September.
Website: watkinsfamilyfarm.com.au or Facebook
Other fruit available: Cumquats, Limes
Address: 951 to 968 Sackville Ferry Rd, Sackville North
Open: At this stage open throughout September.
Website: Click here.
Other fruit available: Oranges, until December.
Nectarines, peaches, plums
Canoelands Orchard is our pick (‘scuse the pun!) for stone fruits. It has been owned by the Christie family since 1923 and is now managed by Hills District Mum Jaime and her husband Nathan. The orchid’s main produce is nectarines, but they also grow plums, peaches, passionfruit and tomatoes.
In addition to picking your own, you can explore the property. There are guinea pigs, chickens, horses, sheep, cows, pigs and goats. The animals are beautiful and friendly. They also have some play equipment for little ones and a large grassed area perfect for a picnic. And during the school holidays there’s a free tractor ride at 11am (outside of this, it’s $3 per person).
Pick your own stone fruit usually starts late October but check out Canoelands Orchard’s Facebook page for the latest information.
Cedar Creek Orchard
Address: 269 Mullhollands Road, Thirlmere
Open: Saturday and Sunday. Check website for times
Other fruit available: Peaches and Nectarines (from late November).