A romantic’s guide to the Hawkesbury by a flower farmer

A day among the blooms is the perfect romantic escape for couples looking to do something a little different on Valentine’s Day. Here Marika tells us about their flower-picking experience and spots nearby to rekindle your spark.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Jan 14 -
3
min read
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Marika Sariba and her husband John run Glenbernie Family Farms, a flower farm in Kurmond, in the Hawkesbury region. Glenbernie Family Farms offers a pick-your-own flower experience, where visitors can wander the golden sunflower fields, take happy snaps and pick their very own perfect bunch to take home.

 

Tell us about Glenbernie Family Farms.

We’re an urban farm, just over an hour from Sydney. We’re known as a ‘slow flower farm’ — promoting the farming of local, seasonal and sustainable flowers. It's quite hilly terrain here, but it has really beautiful soil, which drains well because of the hills. The sunflowers love all the rich soil. We started the farm because my husband, John, and I wanted to work together, but we also did this for the community; we wanted to bring people together and give them a natural, wholesome experience. 

Glenbernie Family Farms in Kurmond, Sydney

Glenbernie Family Farms, Kurmond- Credit: Aan Carpenter

What sort of flowers do you grow on the farm?

We are known for our sunflowers, but we also grow dahlias, delphinium, zinnias, cosmos, daisies and more.

Glenbernie started as a wholesale farm, why did you decide to make your flowers available for the public to pick their own bunches?

We were selling our flowers at Sydney Flower Market through a wholesaler, but in March 2021 we experienced major floods that closed our access to the market. Our bridge was flooded for almost a week. Our local community couldn’t do anything either and were getting quite distressed. We had lots of sunflowers in the field and we thought it would be a nice experience for everyone to come into the farm, pick flowers, have a good time and try to forget about their problems. Everyone had a great time and we thought other people might enjoy it as well.

 

What makes a flower-picking experience on your farm perfect for couples?

People love the fact that they get to choose the flowers they take home. It's not just looking at the flowers, it’s a bonding experience and I don't think many people get to experience something like that very often. We've also had proposals at the farm — it’s just such a beautiful, romantic and special place.

Flower Bouquet at Glenbernie Family Farms in Kurmond, Sydney

Flower Bouquet, Glenbernie Family Farms

What restaurants would you recommend for a romantic date night in the region?

I really love The Village Kitchen in Kurrajong. It's an organic and seasonal cafe with a beautiful atmosphere. It has fantastic views over the Sydney Basin. Shane, who runs the kitchen and restaurant, is a great guy and his service and food is amazing. I also recommend Schembrae’s in Kurrajong, a  Mediterranean restaurant with beautiful views.

Selection of locally sourced salami from Goose On The Loose at Schembrae's at Kurrajong in Hawkesbury

 Antipasto plate, Schembrae's at Kurrajong

How would you spend a romantic weekend in the region?

A drive out to Colo River is an incredible experience if you like a bush wander. The gorge there is one of the largest in the world. Also, fruit picking in Bilpin is a fun experience.

Couple enjoying a day of apple picking at Shields Orchard, Bilpin

Shields Orchard, Bilpin

What do you love most about working at the farm?

The sunrises over the farm are stunning and inspire me every time I see them. The sun makes the flowers glow from behind.

What else have you got planned for the farm?

We plan to create more boutique offerings for proposals – we want to build a cabana and offer grazing platters, along with photography packages. It will make a lasting memory and something couples can look back on.

You can pick your own flowers at Glenbernie Family Farms every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

 

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