Farmer for a day: Summer fruit picking in Australia
Looking to shake up your farm-to-table food experience? Then make your next holiday destination Australia. Australia’s fruit-picking season is open for a limited time only, so what are you waiting for?
On the menu this summer in Australia: country air and lots of fresh fruit. Australia’s summer (December to February) is bountiful with fruit-picking adventures, hands-on bottling workshops and a wide selection of juicy produce available — that’s right, it’s not just about strawberries. It's a tasty and fun activity for the whole family.
Be dazzled by colourful fruit bowls, bottled preserves and pick-your-own fun at fruit farms offering affordable activities for everyone, just a short trip away from the big cities.
Rayners Orchard, Victoria
Come for the orchard tours and stay for the fruit-themed activities at Rayners Orchard, just under a 90-minute drive north of Melbourne, in the Yarra Valley.
Home to over 450 types of fruit, including peaches and apricots between December and March, as well as unique mixed varieties such as pluots, a hybrid of apricots and plums, and nectarplum, a fruit with both nectarine and plum traits, the farm offers tractor tours around its orchard daily. On these fruit-fest tours, sample up to 12 types of fruit.
For more hands-on fun, opt for a U-Pick tour that lets you pick as many fruits as you like daily for just AUD $5 per kilogram! Or create the perfect souvenir at a fruit-bottling workshop — free for kids accompanied by at least two adults.
AppleShack, Glenbernie Orchard, New South Wales
What better way to celebrate the Australian summer than with a day spent on a beautiful apple orchard?
Treat your taste buds to a wide range of crisp apple produce, including cider, jam and vinegar from AppleShack in Glenbernie Orchard, just over an hour drive from Sydney. Fill your basket with apples, peaches and nectarines from the orchard between November and April and be sure to feast on all the raspberries you can eat!
Hillwood Berry Farm, Hillwood, Tasmania
If you prefer your fruits small and sweet, then Hillwood Berry Farm in scenic Tamar Valley, Tasmania is the place to be this summer.
Just 30 minutes north of Launceston, the family-owned farm offers pick-your-own experiences that let you pluck strawberries (from November to May), raspberries and blackcurrants straight off the vine for just AUD $10 per kilogram.
Once you have filled your punnet to the brim, make a beeline for the on-site café, open daily from 9am to 5pm, for scones and homemade berry jam, and its famous Super Deluxe Ice Cream Sundae. The farm also sells a range of cheese and wine, made from grapes next door, for a true farm-gate experience. Kids will be delighted by the farm’s menagerie, which includes ducks, dogs, sheep and even a cockatoo.