Throwing 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 Winter. 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.
Mandarin picking is VERY popular! The season kicks off late May.
Address: 1275 Singleton Road, Laughtondale
Open: Saturday and Sunday. 8am to 3pm. At this stage the farm is opening for pick your own from 29 May but bookings required.
Address: 951 to 968 Sackville Ferry Rd, Sackville North
Open: At this stage the farm is opening for pick your own from June. Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am to 4pm.
Website: Click here.
Other fruit available: Oranges (from June)
Canoelands Orchard – open now
Canoelands Orchard is our pick (‘scuse the pun!) for tomatoes. 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 also produces mandarins plus some eggplant and lemons, limes and oranges may be ready to pick.
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 usually ends early July with tomatoes but check out Canoelands Orchard’s Facebook page for the latest information.
Bilpin is the place we head for apple picking. Past Richmond, at the foot of the Blue Mountains this is a beautiful part of NSW and a place that you’re guaranteed to pick up a delicious apple pie – a secondary perk! While you’re out this way it’s worth stopping off at Bilpin Cider Co. We also like the look of a cafe called The Hive Berambing.
Address: 2070 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin
Open: Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. They are open until June and check Facebook after that. They also have some farm animals for the kids to check out.
Website: tntproduce.com.au or Facebook