Known as the Cherry Capital of Australia, the historic gold rush town of Young is famous for its fruit. Surrounded by orchards, olive groves and vineyards in the cool climate Hilltops wine region, you’ll discover history, fun festivals and outdoor adventure in this abundant region. 



Australia’s cherry capital 

The fertile soils of the Young region are burst with fruit all year round, but the most famous are the cherries. During cherry-picking season, from November to January, you can pluck your own fruit straight from the tree. Visit Ballinaclash Orchard and Cellar Door, Valley Fresh CherriesStony Creek OrchardBackcreek OrchardHill-Lock Orchard and many more. 

Sign welcoming visitors to the cherry capital of Australia, Young

Streetscapes, Young

A fun way to celebrate this delight is the National Cherry Festival in December, which includes a parade and pie-eating contest. There are orchards to explore at other times of the year, with fruits such as plums, apricots and strawberries to pick or buy. You can also find fresh local produce at the Young and Region Farmers Market or the Koorawatha Markets

Hilltops wine region 

The Hilltops wine region's high altitude and distinct seasons are ideal for growing both stone fruits and cool climate wine grapes. Set around the towns of Young, Boorowa and Harden, there are around 20 vineyards in the region with their vines at more than 500m above sea level. The Young Visitor Information Centre, inside the heritage railway station, is a good place to start, offering tastings of many local drops. 

A handful of Hilltops wineries are open for tastings. Enjoy the views of Young from the cellar door of the acclaimed Grove Estate Wines or enjoy a slice of Italy at Freeman Vineyards, home to Australia’s only plantings of Rondinella and Corvina (open by appointment only). Chalkers Crossing Winery specialises in French-inspired wines and at Ballinaclash you can sample both wine and cherries. 

Food & drink 

All this delicious produce and drinkable wine makes its way onto the menus of fine local cafes and restaurants. In Young, start the day with breakfast at Hussy Specialty Coffee and in the evening head for The Cranfield, a chic restaurant and wine bar set inside the historic Masonic Hall.  

The Cranfield - Credit: Hilltops Council

The Cranfield - Credit: Hilltops Council

For local jams and sweet treats, drop in to Poppa’s Jam and Fudge Factory. Around 25 minutes out of town, Bulla Creek Brewing Co is set on a fifth-generation family farm and promises craft beers and food trucks every weekend. 

Outdoor dining at Bulla Creek Brewing Co, Monteagle

Bulla Creek Brewing Co, Monteagle - Credit: Bulla Creek Brewery Co

Gold rush heritage 

Gold fever struck the Young area, then known as Lambing Flat, in 1860. About 20,000 European and Chinese miners flocked to the goldfields within a year, leading to the famous Lambing Flat Riots. Learn about this fascinating and volatile history at the Young Historical Museum

Take a self-guided heritage walking tour of Young along the Hilltops Architecture Trail, which takes in the city’s most striking buildings. The Lambing Flat Chinese Festival recognises the contribution of the Chinese community to Young. Step back in time at Glencara, a 1910s homestead that now offers a fun family outing with its rustic maze and beautiful gardens. 

Getting there & where to stay 

Young is around four hours’ drive from Sydney and two hours from Canberra. It’s also a great stop on a Sydney to Melbourne road trip. The nearest airports are in Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Bathurst, all around two hours away. There are many places to stay including motels, B&Bs, riverside camping and farm stays. 

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