How to go about a fun daytrip cherry picking in Young
If you have ever wondered, how to go about a day trip to cherry picking capital, Young, wonder no more.
I won't be sugar coating the fact but it means an early start. I recommend to be on the road by at least 6.30am as it is a 4 hour drive west of (A) Sydney. I have also included an itemised Google Map of my itinerary.
Starting with a much needed (B) McDonalds breakfast stop at Liverpool and meeting with friends before tackling the 4 hour drive to Young with at least 2 toilet stops. Our first pit stop took us to see the (C) Big Merino in Goulburn and another at (D) Service Centre stop in Yass.
The Big Merino and me
Our arrival to Young began with our first wine tasting at (E) Grove Estate. It has been noted in my time of having visited Grove Estate, they have quietly grown an international following for their wines. I was introduced to their grape varietals such as zinfandel and nebbiolo back in the day which are now award winning reds. We didn't leave without buying a couple of wines to enjoy with our picnic lunch at (F) Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Gardens.
Having organised a group of friends to come cherry picking, we had allocated a shopping list the week before inlcuding meat, bread rolls salad, snacks and drinks and had enough food to feed a small army.
The barbeque facilities at Lambing Flat are located under pergolas and the picnic tables located a short walk away. I will tell you now, that there will be millions of flies. Half the fun is to wave these pesky critters away or eat faster. Having had a few BBQs here during the cherry-picking season, it seems to be prime fly season.
After stuffing ourselves, it's time for an obligatory photos with the marble lions and walking around the gardens to digest the food that we've eaten before continuing with our visit to Young.
Heading into the town of Young, we stop in and indulge in jam tasting and fudge at (G) Poppa's Fudge and Jam Factory for gifts for the family. A short walk away is (H) Wilders Bakery, home to the town's famous cherry pies. Such good pies that I always have a few orders from my family for these pies.
If time permits step back in time at the Lambing Flat Folk Museum, or just walk around the township of Young. However, I was on a mission to do as much in day as I could before heading home. So it was off to (I) Lindsay Woodonga Hill Winery, walking towards a shed we met with Jill and Phil Lindsay who have phenomenal amount of knowledge about wine making. I couldn't go past their late harvest Riesling and cherry port.
Before you know it, it's time for cherry picking. We've always stopped in at (J) Ballinaclash for our mandatory cherry picking session. I'm always amazed by the amounts that are picked in a 2 hour session. So I may have only picked 4kg, with my friends picking 2kg, these were the chatter bugs and 10kg for the very keen cherry pickers.
Here's an interesting fact for you. Cherries is one of those stone fruits that don't ripen once picked, so it's best picked when ripe. Walking or catching the ute with armchairs out the back to the cherry trees at the back of the farm, we were richly rewarded with the plumpest, red cherries. The problem is that we couldn't stop eating them.
This is when I call it a day and start the drive back home. Luckily, I had one lively passenger in my car, with the rest sleeping the trip home. A day of fun with friends, wine tasting, perhaps a few cherry fights and a satisfied cherry appetite.
The next quest is to part with these delicious cherries to family and have a few leftover for other cherry desserts. I'm thinking along the lines of cherry tart or pickled cherries for Christmas gifts.
What I found useful and a bit of fun was using walkie talkies to check on how others were doing, or to make sure they weren't lost.
On a side note, if you aren't up for a day trip. I totally recommend a night's stay so you can take your time to visit the cherry capital of Young. I do recommend that you book accommodation in advance as cherry picking and cherry festival are very popular events.
If you love your wines, I recommend a stop at Chalkers Crossing, I usually tend to visit 3 wineries if time permits but with pesky kids in tow, it might be a stretch.
I have stayed a few times at Colleen and Old Sil's Farmhouse. Slightly outside of Young looking onto acres of farmland. It's always another bbq dinner due to over catering as always and the funny thing is that all the flies disappear. I forgot to mention that there is also a pool to cool your weary cherry picking fingers.
Sitting outside, listening to sheep being herded, sounds of crackle, pop of insects getting sizzled by the light magnet. Seeing the stars emerge whilst sipping a few bottles of wine on the back porch with friends nibbling on fudge and chocolates specialities from Young, is the perfect end to our trip.
I have listed the places that I visited for my daytrip and included additional wineries, orchards, eating places, accommodation, the pit stop locations as well as directions from Sydney on this google map.
Make a day or a weekend of it and discover the cherry picking capital.