Fruit Picking with Kids at Bilpin Fruit Bowl
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By: Yvette DuBourdieu, ellaslist Founder
Fruit Picking is a gorgeous and inexpensive outdoor activity with kids. The NSW season starts late Nov / early December with ripe juicy stone fruits like peaches and nectarines, so on our way to visit friends in the Blue Mountains we stopped in at the famous Bilpin Fruit Bowl to get our fill of peachy perfect delights for our tummy’s and a lovely gift to take to our friends.
Our journey was an easy 90 minutes (from the East) through lovely scenic countryside – our girls 7 & 2.5 were excited all the way about who was going to pick the most.
Getting Fruity (and Veggie) at Bilpin Fruit Bowl
A short 5-minute walk takes you to the orchards, past the apple trees growing heartily for picking later in the year, and up to the Peach Fields. We met owner Margaret at the gate for a chat and a quick tour. Margaret has over 10,000 fruit trees and it’s the only farm with a huge veggie patch so you can pick your own vegetables too. Margaret tells us you can even adopt your own fruit tree – which is popular with primary schools – for only $150 per year you can have a tree to yourself which yields 40-50kg of fruit – that’s a lot of peach pie!
Pay for what you Pick
Entry to the fields is $2.50 pp and kids under 3 are free, and you pay for what you pick by weighing in your fruit-loot at the end.
The Early Bird Gets the Best Peaches
The orchard is split into ready to pick zones, with a new section opened each weekend. Now unfortunately (for us) this place is popular with tour buses, and arriving in the later morning meant that most of the low hanging fruit in the ripe section had already been plucked. Fortunately for us we had a 6 ft 2" husband with us and kids who love to balance on his shoulders so there was plenty of juicy fat peaches higher in the trees that we could easily reach.
So here’s a HOT TIP! Arrive early! The farm opens at 10am so get there on-time to get the pick of the peaches. (more tips below)
We were in the orchard for around 45 minutes, playing hide and seek around the trees, who can spot the biggest peach, and the kids competing how many each could collect. We weighed in and headed back to the central shop and restaurant area for morning snacks.
Bring a Picnic
Had we been more organised we would have brought a picnic as there is a lovely shady grassed area to hang out in, but their on-site shop sells local honey, homemade jams, souvenirs, and delicious baked pies, slices and cakes made from fruit straight from the orchard. Overall we spent 2.5 hours at Bilpin Fruit Bowl - a lovely half-day out and a perfect stop off enroute to the Blue Mountains. We’ll definitely be back at apple picking time (Around Autumn time).
- New sections are opened each weekend, so visit on a Saturday rather than Sunday – there’ll be more fruit to pick.
- Go early to beat the tour buses. Arrive at opening time (10am) to beat them, not only will you beat the heat but you’ll have the pick off all the low hanging and more reachable fruit.
- Hat and sunscreen are a must – the orchards can get very hot, plus a bottle of water.
- Make the kids go to the loo at the entrance before you walk up to the orchards.
- Dress the kids cute and bring a lovely basket – you’ll get great photos of them skipping up and down the orchard.
- Don’t wear your best shoes or sandals – there’s lot of squashed fruit on the ground, as you spend most of the time looking up for your next juicy pluck – you won’t be noticing where your stepping.
- Take water to rinse the fruit before you eat it.
- There’s some lovely shady parkland and play areas at the fruitbowl – so take some snacks or a picnic to round of your visit.
What you need to Know about Bilpin Fruit Bowl
The farm is open from the end of November 2015 and will remain open until the end of May 2016 (They may close sooner if they run out of fruit).
The farm is open on weekends only and public holidays strictly between the hours of 10am and 4pm
The Shop Opening Hours – 10am to 4pm, 7 days a week, Closed Xmas Day only
Bilpin Fruit Bowl is located at 2093 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin NSW which is exactly 20.93 km from the Hawkesbury River Bridge at North Richmond. To find them you should follow Route 40 from Richmond.