Last Winter, I had my heart set on taking my kid apple picking, and romping through the orchard with smiles on our faces and jaunty scarves, warming our fingers on mugs of homemade apple cider from a farm stand crock pot. With fruit picking orchards in Bilpin, just a short drive from Sydney, it would be a picturesque day out.
Only one problem. Apple picking season is actually at the end of summer.
So, we went mandarin orange picking, instead, because that’s apparently what’s ripe in the Winter. But, I’ve had apples on the brain all this time. So, even though we wore shorts and would not suffer any chilled fingers, we thought it would still be a fun day out to pick apples in Bilpin, NSW.
There are a few “Pick Your Own” apple orchards in Bilpin, and we chose Pine Crest Orchard. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived (*y’all, don’t turn your GPS off for “just a few minutes” to save battery. A 90 minute drive could turn into a 3 hour excursion, with tears and familial angst. That is something that could happen. To someone.*). The good news was that it was very quiet that time of day, with only a couple of other families around, so we really could romp jauntily through the rows of trees.
The woman who greeted us was so friendly, and gave us a hand-drawn map of the four types of apples, two types of pears, and the plums that were available for picking … “go to the scarecrow, and turn right.”
We decided to try a few of each type of apple, as well as some plums, which will still need to ripen a bit. We let Hushpuppy do the picking, and she was so excited and proud of her selections. “I like apples! I like plums!,” she chanted up and down row after row of fruit trees.
Satisfied with our haul, we went inside to pay. Partner-in-Crime took note of the little contraption on the counter, which our host was nice enough to demonstrate for our astonished 3 year old. Her “slinky apple” was her treasured takeaway, and we were happy to munch on some apples of our own on the drive home.
On the way out, we made an impromptu stop at The Pines Orchard cafe, lured in by their signs for fresh apple pie. It seemed in the spirit of the day, and we shared a quarter pie with ice cream for $6. Money well spent!
For the rest of the evening, Hushpuppy instructed us that she was “a farmer” – very proud of her day’s work.
If you go…
Bilpin is approximately 90 minutes from Sydney CBD.
Pine Crest Orchard is located at 2549 Bells Line of Rd.
Apples are $4 per kilo. Bring your own bag or buy one for $2.
Public toilets available.
We found this article from Ella’s List helpful in finding Pick-Your-Own orchards