Fruit Picking in Sydney | A Seasonal Guide

Looking for the best farms to do some fruit picking in Sydney? Sydney is a great place to try fruit picking and there are several types of fruit to pick across the year. There are over 40 different farms offering experiences, ranging from apple orchards to strawberry fields, for at least two thirds of the year you will be able to enjoy a day of harvesting fresh fruits. And best of all you find plenty of options 90 minutes or less from the centre of Sydney.

There are over 10,000 hectares of fruit orchards in New South Wales.

Until a few years ago I had only been apple picking but since our grandkids arrived we have been back out checking out the fruit picking farms near Sydney for some family friendly fun.

Lots had changed since I last visited this topic and many websites still list orchards that have closed to the public. Some of my favourites are no longer open to the public so I decided to write up all my notes on the best places and times to pick fruit in Sydney. I hope you find them helpful.

Rather than an exhaustive list of every single fruit farm near Sydney we have stuck with our favourites so as not to overwhelm. Google can help you find more 😉

Harvest conditions change due to weather or in recent years bushfire damage, so please double check the farms you want to visit before you head out.

Fruit picking season in Sydney: when and where to go

The best time for fruit picking in Sydney is early summer through to the end of Autumn. This is when there is a good variety of fruits ripe for picking. You will find berries, stone fruits, and apples if you plan your trips between December and May. 

boxes of fresh apples in Bilpin
Pick your own or buy your apples from the farm shop

The most popular places to go fruitpicking near Sydney are Bilpin, on the way to the Blue Mountains, Kurrajong Heights, in the Hawkesbury region, and Thirlmere, located in the Wollondilly Shire just south of Sydney. 

These areas are all on the outskirts of the city meaning you don’t need to spend hours in the car to find fruitpicking opportunities regardsless of where you live in the city. You will however need a car as it’s all but impossible to go fruit picking on public transport.

The fruit picking season in Sydney typically runs from November to May.

And remember if you just want farm fresh fruit and are not that fussed about picking many of the farms and orchards have cafes to enjoy home made treats or farm shop to stock up and with ripe fruit to take home.

What fruits can you pick in Sydney?

Apple picking is the most popular fruit picked near Sydney with Bilpin NSW, having a number of farms brimming with apples and a whole lot more for several months of the year. 

There is also a range of berries, with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries available in good supply both north and south of the city.  Stone fruits including peaches, apples, pears and nectarines have a shorter season but there are good opportunities in Thirlmere, south of the city. You will even find nuts in the Blue Mountains village of Mount Irvine.

Finally if the fruit picking urge strikes in winter, citrus fruits, especially mandarins and lemons are a good option.

Fruit Picking seasonal chart for NSW

Month What’s in Season
JanuaryPears (Nashi) and apples, stonefruit (peaches, plums), berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
February Pears (Nashi) and apples, stonefruit (peaches, plums), berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
MarchPlums, apples, nashi pears, lemons, berries, chestnuts and walnuts 
AprilApples, citrus (mandarins), berries (strawberries) stonefruit (persimmon)  Nuts (walnuts and chestnuts)
May Apples, citrus (mandarins), berries (strawberries),  stonefruits (persimmon)
JuneCitrus (oranges and mandarins)
July Citrus (oranges and mandarins)
August Citrus (oranges and mandarins)
SeptemberCitrus (oranges, mandarins), berries (early strawberries)
OctoberCitrus (mandarines), stonefruit ( nectarines) and berries ( strawberries)
NovemberStonefruits (apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums), berries (blueberries raspberries, strawberries) and cherries
DecemberStonefruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots), berries (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)

Sydney Expert’s top two fruit farms for year round experiences

In a hurry? Here are our top two farms that offer a great variety of fruit and are open all year.

Canoelands Orchard

This 100 year old family farm has a great variety of fruit, farm animals to feed, tractor rides and space for picnics. They have a shop and cafe, with great coffee, if you don’t want to picnic. In season beautiful blossom trees make this a fantastic day out. Canoelands offers decent access for those with mobility challenges. Check their website for more details and for what’s in season now.

Bilpin Fruit Bowl

It’s hard to beat Bilpin Fruit Bowl for variety, they even have a good range of vegetables and some nuts to pick. Head to the cafe for a slice of one of their delicious fruit pies that feature what’s in season! They have a large shop where you can stock up on honey, cider and other kitchen essentials.

Fruit picking with your family

Fruit picking is a fun activity for families. Many of the farms also offer things like tractor rides and animal feeeding. There are sometimes lovely picnic grounds and facilities to help you make a day of it. 

The easiest spots for Sydney families is to go fruit picking are Bilpin or Thirlmere, depending on which part of the city you are starting out from. We have added details about

If you have younger kids then we suggest a berry farm, strawberry picking is available throughout the year and even works in bad weather as much of the picking is done under cover. Berrylicious strawberries at Thirlmere is a good option.

Tips for a successful fruit picking farm experience

Before you head out for your Sydney fruit picking experience we suggest you consider these tips.

  • Check if you need to book  – new government regulations mean that most farms limit the number of visitors per day. The first time I went apple picking I was surprised to find that the first three farms we visited required bookings. We were not prepared and ended up having to head to a local fruit shop to stock up. During school holidays this is even more important.
  • Look over the entry requirements and accessibility – There may also have age restrictions – some farms do not allow younger children so check this if you plan on taking kids under school age. Some farms are more accessible than others when it comes to mobility requirements.
  • Don’t wear the wrong shoes – Some farms may not allow open toe shoes for safety reasons but also the ground can be a bit mushy. A change of shoes might be handy if you are planning other stops on your day trip.
  • Bring your own bag or containers to collect your fruit – it’s better for the environment and with plastic bags no longer available many farms don’t offer bags.
  • Scissors – for some types of fruit it’s handy to bring a pair of sturdy shears or scissors to cut the fruit off the trees particularly citrus.
  • Gloves – while not essential if you are a softie like me you will appreciate some gloves if you plan on picking a lot of fruit.
  • Bring cash – not all farms accept cards so a stash of cash is the best bet.
  • Follow the farms on their social media – You will find updates about the coming harvest season. You will find a Facebook page or Instagram account for most of the farms.
Fruit Picking farms in Sydney sign with farm rules
Most farms have rules in place to keep everyone safe

It’s worth knowing that while you can sometimes get good value for money fruit picking it may not always be cheaper – but you do get the freshest fruit that has not been sitting in supermarket chillers for months on end. Plus you get to spend some time with family and friends having fun outdoors. 

Apple picking in Sydney

Season: February to May

Apples are in abundance from February to May, although some years the season does run a little early. If you want to go apple picking in Sydney one of the most popular places is in Bilpin, which is about a 90 minute drive from the CBD.   

apple trees in Bilpin

Where to go apple picking near Sydney

Drive north west from the city centre for about one and a half hours and you will find Biplin,on the Bells Line of Road. Bilpin is considered the apple capital of NSW

  • Pine Crest Orchard –  2549 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin – great for your first experience with low entry fees and no need to book so you can try it out without spending too much.
  • Bilpin Springs Orchard – 2550 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin – a small family owned orchard only open in season. Lovely for a low key experience.
  • Bilpin Fruit Bowl – 2093 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin – Bilpin Fruit Bowl is a good choice if not everyone in your group wants to pick as they can hangout in the cafe.

If you head to Bilpin consider driving on a little further and enjoying the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah.

Bilpin Fruit Bowl in NSW

If you live in the south of the city head towards Wollongong and make a stop in Darkes Forest.

  • Darkes Glenbernie Orchard -259 Darkes Forest Rd, Darkes Forest (not to be confused with Glenberinie Family Farms who harvest sunflowers. Darkes have plenty of apples and also make cider and mead and sell their own honey.

Citrus picking near Sydney

Season:  May to August

If you want to stock up on citrus to chase away the winter blues (and flu’s) Sydney’s got a few great options. From mandarins, oranges, to lemons, limes and cumquats these zesty fruits will certainly add some sparkle to your fruit picking adventure. 

Oranges on tree

Citrus fruits are predominantly a winter harvest, with the peak season ranging from June to August, although you can find some fruit in May. This makes it an excellent activity for those cooler months when other fruits are off-season. 

You will find more than mandarins and lemons though with things like Kaffir and Tahitian limes, and even cumquats. Keep your eye out for native Australian finger limes if you visit Canoelands orchard, they go great with gin!

Where to go to pick citrus fruit

You can enjoy citrus picking at various farms around Sydney. The Hawkesbury is the closest region to Sydney. One of the most popular is ‘Watkins Family Farm’, renowned for its lush orchards of mandarins.

Orange and mandarin picking in Sydney is close to Sydney is found in the Hawkesbury Region.  

  • Watkins Family Farm – 1006 Singleton Rd, Laughtondale – is usually open from June to October. This 8th generation family farm is best known for their mandarin crops but you can also find Tahitian limes, lemons, grapefruit, finger limes, and oranges.
  • Anderson Farm – Sackville Ferry Rd, Sackville North – On the banks of the Hawkesbury River you can pick Imperial and Hickson mandarins, Seville and navel oranges and good old bush lemons.
  • Fords Farm – 1275 Singleton Road, Laughtondale via Wiseman’s Ferry- Fords Farm specialise in mandarins and cumquats. They have a great value entry fee per car (currently $10).
Enjoying a day of fruit picking at Anderson Farm in the Hawkesbury Valley. Credit: Destination NSW
Enjoying a day of fruit picking at Anderson Farm in the Hawkesbury Valley. Credit: Destination NSW

If you want to explore the region perhaps spend the night in Penrith.

Where to pick stone fruit in Sydney

Season:  December to Februrary 

If you’re a fan of stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, and plums, you’ll find no shortage of options near Sydney. In Sydney the season typically spans the summer from December to February. Plums often continue into autumn with some varieties available in March. 

Apricots at Cedar Creek Orchard
Cedar Creek Orchard, Credit: Destination NSW

This time of year sees a variety of stone fruits at their peak, ripening under the Australian summer sun, ready for you to enjoy. 

Best Places to pick peaches, plums and nectarines near Sydney

Let’s have a look at some of the best places for picking peaches, plums and nectarines near Sydney.

If you live in the south of the city your best options are: 

  • Cedar Creek – 269 Mulhollands Rd, Thirlmere – Cedar Creek is the spot to go Persimmon picking. They also offer nectarines. You are transported to the trees on a people mover which adds to the fun.
  • Glenbernie Orchard – 259 Darkes Forest Rd, Darkes Forest 

Both of these options make a great day out when combined with a trip along the Grand Pacific Drive on your way back to Sydney.

Remember, harvest times can vary slightly each year due to weather patterns. Always check with individual farms before your visit to confirm that the fruit is ready for picking.

From Sydney’s north or western suburbs it’s probably better to head to Bilpin 

  • Pine Crest Orchard – 2549 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin 
  • Bilpin Fruit Bowl – 2093 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin
  • Canoelands – 27 Canoelands Rd, Canoelands (20 minutes north of Dural) – While best known for the stone fruits Canoelands has been operating since 1923 and grows a huge variety of fruits. They are open year round and also offer high teas, tractor rides and have a cafe. It is an accessible property but call first to get advice before you visit.

Berry picking spots in Sydney

Season: November to March

Berry lovers will find plenty of ripe berries on offer in summer with crops at the their best from Decemeber to February. Raspberries start a finish a little earlier than blueberries and strawberries can be found grown under cover year round. 

You should find they have blueberries and strawberries at Canoelands Orchard, while Glenbernie Orchard also has some berries for picking most years.

Strawberry picking in Sydney

Season:  available throughout the year

Strawberry picking is a good year round option. Usually, the best season for strawberry picking in Sydney is from October to January, but some farms offer year-round picking thanks to ever-bearing varieties. Be sure to check with the specific farm for their picking schedule.

strawberries almost ready to pick

Best places to pick strawberries near Sydney 

  • Berrylicious Strawberries – 200 West Parade, Thirlmere – These guys are usually open most of the year, usually closing between July and October. The berries are grown in a hot house and are pestiside free. Check their Facebook page for opening dates.
  • TNT Produce – 153 Kurts Road, Bilpin – this is a fun place to visit with farm animals to meet when you finish picking. Dogs are welcome on leash.
  • Blueberry Hills – 464 Comleroy Rd, Kurrajong – This farm offers blueberry picking in season and also has a lovely farmstay if you decide a getaway is in order. Their blueberry harvest dates will be available on their Facebook page soon.

Tips for picking strawberries

Strawberry picking near Sydney is a popular option for families so we suggest you arrive early in the day to get the best pick of the fruit. Remember to only pick what you can eat and avoid the pale coloured strawberries as they are usually not very sweet. 

Cherry picking: The perfect pre Christmas getaway

Season: Late October -January

The cherry picking season is mid to late-October and peaks at Christmas but continues until the end of January and even into February some years. This year is not looking so good for some growers with Roth Family Orchid announcing their crop will be a small one this year with the first open weekend likely being 16-17 December.

Did you know there are at least 9 varieties of Cherries grown in NSW?

You will need to be prepared to jump in the car and drive at least 2.5-3 hours west to find cherries as there are no cherry orchards near the city. 

Ripe cherries on the tree
Cherries on the tree waiting for you to come and pick them!

Most of the NSW cherry orchids are in the Central West between Bathurst, Orange, and Young but you will also find cherries closer to Sydney in Parkesbourne, west of Goulburn, Mudgee or Raglan.

If you have time to make a weekend of it head to Young, NSW, the Cherry capital for the Annual Cherry Festival usually held the first weekend in December. 

Sign welcoming visitors to Young, the cherry capital of Australia.
Welcome to the NSW Cherry capital Credit: Destination NSW

If you are making a special trip just to pick cherries contact the orchard in advance and check if you need a booking or if weather has impacted the crop this year. 

It’s worth noting that many farms have a minimum weight to pick per person so if there is a group of you, you will end up with LOTS of cherries to work your way through. 

Where to pick nuts in Sydney

Season: March- May

Are nuts a fruit? They sure are!  You can pick chestnuts and walnuts in March, April and May. Other nuts like almonds and pecans are also available. Nutwood Farm is the only one I have personally visited so far but I highly recommend you make a drive to Mount Irvine, it’s such a beautiful spot. If you time it right, you can see the autumn colours the town is famous for while you pick your chestnuts and walnuts.

Girl holding Freshly picked chestnuts at Nutwood Farm, Mount Irvine.
Freshly picked chestnuts at Nutwood Farm, Mount Irvine. Credit: Destination NSW

Where to pick nuts near Sydney

  • Kookootonga Nut Farm – 247 Mt. Irvine Road, Mt. Irvine  – This chestnut and walnut farm is only open between March and April. Owned by the same family for over 100 years there are picnic grounds but no cafe and no shops nearby so bring supplies. (dogs welcome)
  • Nutwood Farm – 22 Danes Way Mt. Irvine – Head to Nutwood for more chestnuts and walnuts. Their Facebook page will announce 2024 harvest dates.
  • Pine Crest Orchard – 2549 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin – Pine Crest also offer walnuts and chestnuts in March and April, open weekends and public holidays.
  • Bilpin fruit bowl – offers green almonds in late September.

How much does fruit picking in sydney usually cost?

Fruit picking prices in Sydney vary depending on the location and the type of fruit being picked. On average, most orchards charge between $10 to $20 per adult for the entry fee and picking rights.

You then usually pay by the kilogram of fruit picked. It’s important to check the pricing structure of each farm before visiting to avoid any surprises.

Bring cash or a credit card to pay for the fruit. Many of these family owned farms will have a cash-only policy, so it’s important to bring enough money to pay for the fruit you pick. Some farms may also accept credit cards, but it’s always best to check beforehand.

Is fruit picking in Sydney only available on the weekend?

While it is certainly easier to find spots to go fruit picking on weekends, several orchards are open during the week including Canoelands orchard and Bilpin

Are children welcome at all fruit picking farms?

Yes, children are typically welcome at fruit picking farms. However, it’s always a good idea to check the farm website before planning you visit.

Family enjoying a day of chestnut picking at Nutwood Farm, Mount Irvine.
Family enjoying a day of chestnut picking at Nutwood Farm, Mount Irvine Credit: Destination NSW

While you are there check out any rules the farm may have put in place. Fruit picking can be a fantastic educational experience for kids, teaching them where their food comes from, while letting them indulge straight from the source. However most farms have rules in place to keep everyone safe. They make great conversation for the drive to the orchard 😉 

Also encourage them to be gentle so they don’t damage the fruit and you end up needing to make jam instead of going home with buckets of fruit to munch! 

Supporting NSW Farms through Fruit Picking

If you are happy to drive a little further, you will find fantastic fruit picking opportunities in the Central West of NSW, in towns including Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee, and Young in Hilltops Region of NSW.