If you love truffles, dogs or even better, both, the Truffle Farm should rocket to the top of your must-do list. Going on a truffle hunt is an opportunity to get out into the fresh air and see some working dogs do their stuff as they sniff out the funky truffles. You can add options to eat some hearty, truffle-laced foods for a great Canberra winter experience – like a little piece of Europe has landed right on your doorstep.
Majura Valley Farm
Offering the opportunity to pick your own sunflowers and corn, this is one very photogenic farm. The Majura Valley Farm's sunflower fields are gorgeous during the season and as well as picking some to bring home, you can wander the sunflower maze and get lost in the beauty. The farm also offers a farm gate shop with other produce fresh from the farm including eggs, lamb, vegetables and even compost and worm castings.
Kembla Cherry Orchard, Royalla
Open in December and January, Kembla Cherry Orchard is a super-close option for Canberrans wanting to pick some cherries fresh from the tree. The fruit is available during December and January but seasons vary so check the Facebook page for specific dates close to cherry season.
This boutique truffle farm set on 8.5 acres is located in Pialligo. With over 800 truffle trees producing rich and tasty truffles each year between June and September, you can head to Pialligo Truffles for a truffle hunt and even turn the experience into a farm stay with accommodation available in the property's luxury yurts. You definitely won't be roughing it though, each yurt has bedrooms, a modern bathroom, living areas and a self-contained kitchen (perfect for cooking up a truffle-laden feast!).
This vegetable farm offers pick your own days with different harvests available as the seasons change. Especially good for the chilli lovers out there, this is the largest chilli farm in the ACT and surrounding areas with a whopping 15 000 chilli plants and seven varieties to choose from ready for you to come and pick. They also offer tomatoes, beans, snow peas, corn zucchinis, leafy greens, eggs, honey and more. Keep up to date with pick your own days on their Facebook page here.
Amberly Eggs have a refrigerated farmgate offering beautiful free-range eggs. You can even bring your own carton to reuse as a sustainable option. The hens here roam 100 acres protected by a couple of maremma dogs and you can see them living their best free-range life when you stop by the farm gate. This is a cash-only honesty box so make sure you bring some money so you don't miss out.
For a cosy autumn snack, roasted chestnuts have got to be high on the list. As autumn descends, you can hit the road to Hoskintown and buy some at the Tweenhills Chestnuts farmgate or even pick your own (they fall to the ground when they're ready so this option is possibly easier than it first sounds).
Wallaroo Road Cherries
This cute little cherry farm, Wallaroo Road Cherries, is located on Wallaroo Road, around 20 minutes by car from the Canberra CBD. The farm is family run and you can pick your own fruit during the season with picking dates advertised on their Facebook page. You get buckets to fill and containers to bring your cherries home in so all you need to do is bring some energy and an appetite.
Santa's Shaped Christmas Tree Farm and Wallaroo Road Bespoke Christmas Trees
For a festive pick your own experience, head to one of the Canberra region's Christmas tree farms, Santa's Shaped Christmas Tree Farm and Wallaroo Road Bespoke Christmas Trees. You can wander the rows of pines and choose your favourite. It will be cut and bagged up ready for you to bring home for a very merry Christmas.
As well as these farms, there are seasonal pop-ups all over the city - cherries, flowers, apples, veggies and more appear at roadside stalls, from caravans on the highway or at sheds that open during the season. You never know what you might find once you start looking. The fact that this bounty is available in the heart of the city makes it all the more magic - the 'bush capital' at its best!