Edged by cool-climate mountains, seaside hinterlands and grassy plains, NSW provides a fertile landscape to grow exceptional produce. Grab your cutest basket and head out to hand-harvest your own fruits, vegetables and nuts at these welcoming farms.
Spring to summer
Peaches and nectarines (September to November)
The perfect all-rounder holiday spot for families, this pet-friendly farm near Yamba not only offers PYO peaches and nectarines by the bucket, but also eco-friendly off-grid glamping, kid-friendly events and private picnics in the blossom-scented orchards. Spend a day filling a bucket’s worth of perfect peaches for $15, and let the kids run free with the farm’s menagerie of cute animals.
Cherries (November to December), figs (January to March)
While the kids fill their buckets with cherries from this Mudgee orchard, adults can try a taste of the farm’s wine at the cellar door. Figs are available later in summer and citrus groves have also been planted for future PYO experiences. Don’t leave without a cherry popsicle.
Strawberries (November to May)
The bursting red fruits you’ll pick on this Riverina farm are grown using sustainable and eco-friendly methods, so you can feel good as you pick! It’s $5 for entry and you pay $6 per 250g you pick. The farm also offers meet-the-farmer tours and a delicious farmgate shop with strawberry jam, strawberry pie and strawberry ice cream using Riverina milk.
Cherries (November to December)
On the way to Wagga Wagga, swing through the cutely named village of Wombat, where you can devour sweet cherries at Allambie Orchard for $10 per kilogram. You can also BYO picnic and enjoy your PYO cherries on the property, or tuck into a cherry pie or ice cream from the cafe. Should you miss the harvest window, you can always visit for a blossom tour during September and October.
Blueberries (December to January)
Nestled on the banks of the Clyde River just a short drive from Batemans Bay, this eco-friendly blueberry farm is tucked within NSW’s South Coast hinterland – a pristine environment for growing sweet and juicy berries. The farm is open every day during PYO season, and while blueberries are their staple, blackberries and strawberries are sometimes available, depending on the season. Don’t leave without trying their homemade berry ice cream and range of jams made with farm produce.
The scent of strawberries is synonymous with summer, but at Ricardoes in Port Macquarie, you can PYO year-round thanks to the trellised enclosures bejewelled with plump, red berries. Entry is free and you only pay for what you pick. Arm the kids with buckets and send them off to collect until their small hearts are bursting.
If you’re taking a southward sojourn from Sydney and fancy the taste of a juicy strawberry, stop into Thirlmere’s Berrylicious Strawberries and eat as many as you want for $20 per person (kids are $10 but babies under two eat for free). The greenhouse-grown berries are suspended two-metres above the ground, and are ripe and ready to be plucked and eaten every day of the year, no matter the weather.
Oranges and lemons (year-round), mandarines (May to September), avocados (August to January)
Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the gorgeous scenery following their fruit-picking foray at this pretty working farm tucked away in Peats Ridge on the Central Coast. Established in 1925, citrus and avocados are both grown here, and pick-your-own dates are set for when the fruit will be at its most fresh. Visitors are given their own Meliora farm bag upon arrival, which they can fill to the brim (approximately 12kg of fruit).
Summer to autumn
Strawberries (October to April), cherries (November to December), figs (January to March), sugar plums (February), persimmons (April to May)
While cherries are the main crop at this sprawling farm in the town of Wombat, the late summer and early autumn months bring many more fruity treasures to pick yourself, including strawberries, figs, peaches, persimmons and sugar plums. Wombat Heights doesn’t sell any of its fruit at markets, so you’ll get the chance to pluck the very best fruit. Groups are welcome – bring lunch and stay for a picnic on their lush two-acre garden grounds.
Peaches and nectarines (November), apples (January to April)
This six-generation, family-run Illawarra apple and stone fruit orchard set in beautiful Darkes Forest is a destination for more than simply munching on a hand-picked apple. When not being pocketed by visitors, apples from the orchard end up in award-winning bottles of Darkes Cider. Book a 90-minute tour to pick-your-own for $20 and you’ll get a bonus tractor ride.
Stone fruit (November to January), apples (January to May), persimmons (April to May)
The Slim family have been tending Cedar Creek Orchard in Thirlmere since the 1940s. Wander the 100-acre property on a guided farm tour, where you’ll sample fruit and watch apples being crushed for juice. You can also purchase the Slim family’s delicious fruit, juice, honey and cider (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) at the shed or, at certain times of the year, make a booking to pick your own.
Figs (December to April)
Sweet and jammy, a perfectly tree-ripened fig is a summer sensation – often too soft to transport, there’s no comparison with the figs you’ll find at the supermarket. With views toward Mount Canobolas, Norland Fig Orchard is a stone’s throw from Orange and offers fig lovers a chance to choose their own across two harvests. Norland grow four varieties, including the dark purple Black Genoa fig and the light-green-skinned White Adriatic fig. There’s a $5 entry fee and you pay for what you pick. As it’s a working farm, it’s best to call to check if they’re taking visitors.
Stone fruit (January to February), apples and figs (March to May)
Summer at Hillside Harvest family orchard in Orange is filled with the sweet scent of peaches, plums and blackberries. Visit any day of the week to harvest your fill of seasonal goods or leave the kids to do the work while you enjoy a coffee in the Farm Store and Cafe. An entry fee applies and it’s best to call ahead to check what fruits are on the trees.
Apples (January to May), chestnuts and walnuts (March to April), persimmons (April to June)
Growing apples and pears for more than 40 years, this family-run Blue Mountains orchard also offers PYO chestnuts and walnuts (bring gloves for the chestnuts), as well as chestnut ice cream. Apple varieties include all the favourites, including lesser-known types like Tydeman’s and Akane.
Apples (January to June), persimmons (April to June), tomatoes (May)
The perfect day out for couples, friends, families and groups of all sizes, picking your own produce at TNT in Bilpin offers plenty of delicious rewards. Pick fresh tomatoes from the vine, sweet and crunchy persimmons, pink lady apples and more depending on the season – and stop by the store for Bilpin honey, Bilpin apple juice, local jams, oils, olives and more.
Apples (February to May)
Crisp, sweet apples from the Blue Mountains are some of Australia’s best and their flavour seems is more fragrant when plucked from the branch. Head to Shields Orchard in Bilpin during apple harvest to do just that. With 12 varieties each ripening at different times, you can usually start picking Royal Gala from February and carry on until the last of the Sundowners arrive in May. You’ll need to book but there’s no entry charge, you simply pay for what you pick.
Apples (February to June), cherries (December to January)
This Batlow farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains is abundant with fruit trees, the oldest of which were mere seedlings in the 1920s. If you’re en route to Beechworth via the Snowy Valley Way, be sure to pop by the farmgate store to fill the boot with fresh apples, cherries and berries. Come summer, you can self-pick a bucket of cherries and twist the first Gala apples from their branches. From there, other varieties roll out, including Kanzi, Fuji, Granny Smith and Pink Lady, until the picking season ends in early June.
Chestnuts and walnuts (March to April)
You’ll need to be quick to catch the fleeting chestnut season that graces NSW every autumn, lasting for just two months. Stop by Nutwood Farm in Mount Irvine in the Blue Mountains to PYO chestnuts and walnuts for $11/kg. The grounds are perfect for kids to run around on – just make sure to wear strong-soled, enclosed shoes and gloves to protect yourself from spiky chestnut burrs!
Pine mushrooms (April to June)
Join professional forager Diego Bonetto as he guides you into Penrose State Forest in the Southern Highlands to search for and harvest edible pine mushrooms. Part treasure hunt, part ecological education, the workshop will leave you with a box of delicious fresh fungi, as well as a tasting of your haul fried in oil and garlic cooked up by Bonetto.
Apple & Persimmon Tour (May to June)
If you’d prefer for someone else to transport you on a fruit-picking expedition, join a tour with Ozia Tours. Leaving from Sydney or Parramatta, this full-day tour takes you to the famous apple-growing town of Bilpin, where you can PYO for a discounted price of $5 per kg for apples and $10 per kg for persimmons. The tours stop by a nearby brewery for an apple cider and lunch, before finishing at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah.
Kookootonga Chestnut & Walnut Farm
Chestnuts and walnuts (March to April)
Also nearby in the Mount Irvine region, Kookootonga has been owned by the Scrivener family since 1897, and the farm’s first chestnuts and walnuts were planted more than 100 years ago. The farm is still family-run and visitors can head over to PYO chestnuts for $10/kg and walnuts for $12/kg. There's a cottage for overnight stays, and if you want to bring every member of the family, dogs are allowed on leads.
Truffles (June to August)
The arrival of the cooler months brings one of the dining industry’s most prestigious ingredients, the truffle. You can forage for your own in a range of farms across the state: go on the hunt with Walter the dog at Oakshade Truffles in Mudgee; unearth premium fresh black and white truffles from the soil at RedGround in Oberon, where you can also stay the night; join a truffle tour at Robertson Truffles in the Southern Highlands; hunt with the dogs and a small group at Gulaga Gold on the South Coast; search the English and French oak trees at in Goulburn; sign up for the annual 'Forage & Feast' experience at Orange's , where the hunt is followed y a decadent three-course meal; or join the family-run farm hunt at Blue Frog Truffle Farm in Queanbeyan.
Mandarins (June), cumquats (July)
The Watkins of Wisemans Ferry in the Hawkesbury have been in the citrus business for well over a century. In the winter months, come along on weekends and holidays to pocket plump and juicy mandarins of the Satsuma, Imperial and Emperor varieties to Pick Your Own (PYO) for just $10 per bucket.
Oranges (July to September)
In adorable Dooralong on the Central Coast, head to Cedar Farm to fill your buckets with fragrant and sweet oranges. Grab a picking stick and head into the 15-acre orchard to select your own spray-free Navels. Once your arms are laden, weigh your haul and pay only $1.50 per kilogram. Opening times vary, so check their Facebook page before you go.