Harvesting Apples & Other Fruit in Bilpin
While we don't have our own orchards open to the public for apple picking in Bilpin, we have listed a number of popular orchards below that are an easy walk or drive from Bilpin Springs Lodge for you to visit and enjoy during your stay with us.
Please contact the orchards directly to find out what is in season.
Apples ripen at different times of the season, and vary again between orchards due to their micro-climate, and weather of the season. So the time for picking apples and other fruit can range from January to as late as May.
Nestled amongst the hills and valleys surrounding Bilpin Springs Lodge are orchards and farms with their own micro-climates suitable for growing a whole range of delicious fruit varieties. You can take your own bags, or use a basket or bag provided by the orchard.
As the weather impacts the time when fruit will be ready for harvest it is advisable to call and check which fruit is ready for picking as the charts on the various websites may vary by up to 2 weeks.
The Hawkesbury Harvest Directory lists additional farm gates, markets and locations for you to pick your own food throughout the region.
Bilpin Springs Orchard
Just a 2 minute walk down the road from the lodge, Bilpin Springs Orchard historically sent their fruit to the markets, and in the early 90’s, transitioned to become a purely ‘Pick Your Own’ Orchard.
The range of fruit available for picking includes Plums, Pears, Quinces, Figs, Persimmons and various varieties of Apples and Blueberries. The orchard grow apples that are commonly found in the fruit shop, such as Pink Lady and Red Delicious Apples, however Bramley Cookers and Gravenstein are lesser known varieties that are popular with the visitors.
The season for harvest generally starts from late January to June, providing there is fruit to pick. To avoid disappointment call or email first.
A list of the apple varieties and a comprehensive seasonal guide can be found on the Bilpin Springs Orchard website.
Details: You can take your own bags, or use a basket or bag provided by the orchard. There is no entry fee at the gate but a minimum purchase of $5 is assumed.
Address: 2550 Bells Line of Road
Bilpin NSW 2758
Ph: 02 4567 1294
Pine Crest Orchard
Pine Crest Orchard is a 2-minute drive from Bilpin Springs Lodge and mark the official start of their fruit season on Boxing Day, December 26th and it continues until April.
Located behind the Bilpin school, Pine Crest Orchard have Apples, Plums, Berries, Nuts, Nashi and Traditional Pears available to pick from the tree. Each year the picking season starts with apples such Tydemans and Akane, followed Gala and Jonothan Apples. Walnuts and Chestnuts are generally available in April and May. Raspberries and Blackberries are available also.
Details of the different fruit varieties and their best time for harvest are listed on the Pine Crest Orchard website.
Details: No entrance fee. Pay for what you pick from January to May. Take your own bag or use a basket provided by the orchard. To avoid disappointment call or email first.
Open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until April.
Address: 2549 Bells Line of Road (Just behind the Primary School)
Ph: 02 4567 1143
A 5-minute drive from Bilpin Springs Lodge, the Shields Family has grown fruit on their property since 1955, and the property has been an orchard for over 100 years. In the early 90’s the orchard opened its gates to welcome visitors to pick your own fruit.
Visitors enjoy picking old English varieties such as Bramleys and Cox Orange Pippens. Other varieties include Braeburn, Firmgold, Late Fuji and Pink Lady. Peaches are also available, from November to January. A list of the entire range of apple and peach varieties can be found on the Shield’s Orchard website, and you can sign up to be notified when your favourite variety is ready for picking.
In line with their passion to educate, and connect people back to the source of where their food comes from - during blossom time between September and October in Bilpin, families can go and plant their own potato patch at the orchard for free. A few months later, in around March, the family receives an email to notify them that their potato patch is ready. On arrival you look for your signposted plot, and can harvest up to 3kg of potatoes to take home.
Details: Shield’s Orchard is open daily in season (Jan to mid May) while fruit is available. Always call ahead and let them know you are going to avoid missing out. No entry fee, only pay for what you pick. You can take your own bags, or use a basket or bag provided by the orchard. More details can be found at www.shieldsorchard.com
Address: 2270 Bells Line of Road Bilpin
Ph: 02 4567 1206
Bilpin Fruit Bowl
The Bilpin Fruit Bowl is just a 5-minute drive from the lodge and is the only farm in NSW where you can go and pick your own veggies in addition to picking fruit.
Take your own bags, or use the bags supplied to pick from a range of fruit such as peaches, apples and strawberries. All vegetables are chemical free, and visitors can roam over the 4 acres of vegetables and pick the food for dinner right from the plant.
The variety of vegetables is broad, and will suit those with a ‘particular’ palate as well the adventurous eaters. Broccoli, Beans, the fashionable Kale, Cabbage and Corn are among the list of vegetables available in the picking season.
In the shop you can pick up apple pies and cakes and slices made on the premises. The shop also stocks local honey, local jams and other souvenirs.
Details: You can take your own bags, or use a basket or bag provided.
Fruit and Veggie picking is available on weekends, and the iconic Bilpin Fruit Bowl store is open 7 days a week. See the Bilpin Fruit Bowl website for more details.
An entry fee of $2.50 per person applies, while children under 5 enter free.
Address: 2093 Bells Line of Road Bilpin NSW 2758
Nut Picking in Mt Irvine and Mt Wilson
Slightly further afield, Mt Irvine and Mt Wilson are home to many of the chestnut and walnut farms of the Blue Mountains and provide a lovely day trip from the lodge. The main season for picking nuts is in autumn, which is a crisp and colourful season to be visiting. A small number of properties open in March and April for visitors to pick nuts for eating and cooking. Gloves and buckets are supplied. Get in touch with farms before heading out, as the season for nut picking is very short and you may be left with no nuts.
The villages are small and buying lunch is not an option. It is the great opportunity to take a picnic lunch and enjoy some of the lovely picnic spots in the area.
The Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine Village Website has information on the various things to do in addition to nut picking to make your day out a complete adventure.
Campanella Cottage at Mt Wilson
Details: 2-10 Davies Lane, Mt Wilson
Ph: 02 4756 2035
Fern Hill Farm at Mt Wilson
Details: 52 The Avenue, Mt Wilson
Ph: 02 4756 2008
M: 0418 676 468
Nutwood Farm at Mt Irvine
Details: 22 Danes Way, Mt Irvine
Ph: 02 4756 2191
Kookotonga Farm at Mt Irvine
Details: 247 Mt Irvine Road
Mt Irvine NSW 2786
Lat 33S 24' 6" Long 149E 39' 1"
Ph: 02 4756 2136
Hawkesbury Farmgate Trail App
The Hawkesbury Harvest have developed an app for both iphone and android smartphone users, to guide users in reconnecting with food growers, and in making your own Farm Gate Trail throughout NSW.
Using the ‘close to me’ function, you can have the location, contact details and opening times for the various orchards, olive farms and markets around Bilpin and the Hawkesbury all at your fingertips. At a glance you can see how many kilometres away a particular orchard or farm is from you, and then even get directions on a map.
It is particularly handy if you are short for time and not sure on how long it may take you to travel to a particular location. Before heading out, you can check on the app.
The ability to search specifically for ‘farmer’s markets’, ‘produce’, ‘pick your own’ or ‘things to do’, allows the user to find things of particular interest, and quickly make a list of places to visit for the day, or the weekend.
After your visit, mark your ‘favourites’ to save you having to look them up again next season.
Download the app for iPhone here: The Farm Gate Trail
Download the app for Android here: The Farm Gate Trail