Cherry lovers listen up, it's that time of year when the glorious red globes are ripe and ready for the picking! The town of Young has declared itself the Cherry Capital of Australia and for good reason - the outskirts of the town lined with row after row of cherry trees happily growing delicious fruit and between November and December, many farm gates swing open to welcome hungry cherry lovers.
Many of the town's orchards offer either pick your own experiences or a farm gate shop (where the hard work has already been done for you). If you choose to pick your own, it's a great way to see how the fruit grows. Depending on which orchard you visit, you can picnic while you pick or take a guided tour of the orchard, packing sheds and more to see how fruit gets from the farm to your table. Some innovative orchards also offer up a range of value-added cherry goodness - pies, jam, juice and even wine made from cherries are among the gourmet goodies waiting to be discovered.
If you time your visit for the first weekend in December, Young hits peak cherry fever with the National Cherry Festival celebrating all things cherry. Complete with a parade, cherry pie eating competition, cherry pit spitting competition, markets and even the crowning of the cherry queen, if you love cherries (or even just country festivals) this is one to pencil in.
And the best thing about Young's Cherry season is that it's only a short drive from Canberra making it the perfect way to spend a weekend escaping the city for some country air and the freshest of fruit. A word of warning, picking your own cherries under the summer sun can get hot so make sure you pack a hat and sunscreen before you get picking. Then hit the road, choose an orchard or two to explore and enjoy a delicious day in cherry country.