There are places all over New South Wales where you can pick your own fresh strawberries, juicy yellow peaches, crunchy apples and sweet blueberries right from the source. Most farms will charge by the bucket or basket, making it significantly cheaper and much more enjoyable to pick you own. Make sure you give each farm a call to check what’s available for harvest before you head out – the seasons can be pretty unpredictable.
At Huntley Berry Farm (just past Wollongong) you can pick everything from strawberries and raspberries, to boysenberries and blackcurrants – most are in season from mid-November until May. Montrose Berry Farm in Sutton Forest specialises in raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries and updates its website when available. On the south coast, Clyde River Berry Farm specialises in blueberries and is generally open every day in December and January. Pick tomatoes and strawberries all year round at Ricardoes, north of Port Macquarie.
Generally in season: December to February.
Pine Crest Orchard in Bilpin, Campanella Cottage (walnuts are only $8 per kilo) near the Blue Mountains, and Nutwood Farm in Mount Irvine all grow and harvest different varieties of walnuts and chestnuts throughout autumn.
Generally in season: March to May.
Pick juicy mandarins at Watkins Farm near Wisemans Ferry; mandarins, limes, lemons and cumquats at Ford’s Farm near the Hawkesbury River, and navel oranges at Schofields Orchard in Richmond. Anderson Farm, also near the Hawkesbury River, harvests mandarins and Seville oranges up until December.
Generally in season: May to August.
Most cherry orchards are around four hours away from Sydney, in the southwest region near Young. If you’re willing to travel, head to Allambie Orchard, Ballinaclash Orchard (also a cellar door), Lavender Hill (nine different varieties of cherries) or Lynton Orchards (where you can also pick apricots, nectarines and plums).
Generally in season: October to January.
Apples and stone fruit
Bilpin Fruit Bowl near the Blue Mountains has 10,000 trees, with fresh yellow peaches, nectarines, and many varieties of apples available from December until March. Nearby Bilpin Springs Orchard and Pine Crest Orchard both grow nashi pears, apples, plums and peaches. Canoelands Orchard specialises in nectarines, but also harvests plums, peaches, tomatoes, passionfruit and blueberries.
Generally in season: November to April.