ellaslist's Fun Day of Fruit Picking at Canoelands Orchard
By Hayley Dean, ellaslist explorer
Every now and again you walk into a new place and you just know you’ve found a fantastic little gem, on the brink of discovery. Canoelands Orchards is just that place.
About an hours drive from Sydney’s centre, Canoelands Orchard is more than just another fruit picking farm by the side of a rural road. It’s a family run business, almost 100 years in the making, that just oozes with passion and friendliness.
It’s All About Family
Co-owners John and Jamie, 2nd and 3rd generation respectively, along with the team at the orchard (including Jamie’s mum, Lyn) have worked hard over the last three years to turn the commercial business into an open, family friendly experience for the public.
Pick Your Own Juicy Fruit
The property grows a variety of fruit: cherries, peaches, plums, apricots and blueberries with the main produce being nectarines. Members of the public are welcome 7 days a week to pick their own fruit (currently Nectarines from November to December and Plums from December to early January). There are not many fruit orchards near Sydney that encourage ‘pick-your-own’ and Canoelands was the first one of the season to welcome visitors into their farm.
There is a small entry fee for picking and then you pay for what you pick. Keep in mind that all fruit picked is to be purchased so fill your basket wisely! The current bargain price is $6 per kilo, which equates to about 7-8 nectarines – YUMMO!
Don’t Miss the Tractor Ride
The Canoelands team also offers tractor rides around the property for $3 per person (under 2’s are free) so you can get a great look around. The tractor took us for a tour past the horses, goats, geese and the two curious pigs, Charlotte and Babe. If you’re lucky, the farm dogs might even hitch a ride with you and steal a free pat.
From the moment we arrived, we were welcomed with open arms. In fact, by the end of our time there, my son (who is almost 2) was even calling Lyn, Nanna! The farm is so wonderfully child friendly. He loved the secret fairy garden, the play house, the old rustic farm equipment and all the farm animals – especially the guinea pigs and Milkshake the friendly white pony. Although his highlight was picking the fruit off the trees himself (then promptly eating them!).
It’s a wonderful place to have a picnic with family too. Although they don’t sell meals on-site, you can BYO lunch and take advantage of the charming undercover area that boasts a number of tables and chairs and clean toilet facilities. There is plenty of room to kick a ball, throw a footie or play a game of cricket, a favorite pastime of weekend visitors. Little ones will enjoy the play equipment and toys available. Don’t forget to grab yourself a jar of homemade “Pa’s honey” or “Ma’s jam” in the shop before you leave
Canoelands Orchard is definitely worth the drive. Head on out during the week for something different to do with your little one or mother’s group or perhaps even throw your child’s next birthday party there. Children of all ages (and grown-ups) will love their time on the property, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy eating fresh fruit straight off the land all the while knowing you are directly supporting the owners rather than the big supermarket giants!
What You Need to Know
Opening Hours: Open from 9am daily. Pick your own peaches, nectarines and plums throughout November and December
Prices: Entry Fee: $5 per adult, $3 child (5-15) or a family pass consisting of 2 adults and 2 or more children ($16). Children under 5 are free.
Telephone: Call Jamie on 0419 688 039
Driving Tip: After all that picking, we were a bit peckish on the ride home so we stopped off for a famous pie at Glenorie Bakery, only 10mins down the road on our way home.
Can’t get enough of Fruit Picking?
Check out our list of the Best Places for Fruit Picking throughout the year.
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