Looking for a winter excursion with the kids, family or tourists, then try Watkins Family Farm.
Watkins Family Farm is located near Wiseman's Ferry about 75 minutes northwest of Sydney. From the 31st May at 10am til 4pm, every weekend until all the fruit is picked, Watkins farm is open to give visitors the opportunity to pick four mandarins.
There will be 2 large signs along Singleton Road directing you to turn into a dirt track to Watkins Family Farm. You will have to follow this narrow dirt track for 1km before you reach an open paddock where there is plenty of parking. As we arrived during the peak picking time, it was a little chaotic but soon forgotten.
Pick your own at Watkins Family Farm
Following the families walking along the bridge over the creek to the farm, you see the signs to prepay $10 for a bucket which would contain 5-7kg of mandarins. Also on sale are honey, eggs and a shed full of grow your own mushrooms bundles.
In each bucket there are is a list of simple rules; one bucket between two adults, place the peel in the bucket to keep the farm clean, sample 2 mandarins and keep to an honesty system with what you have picked.
There are chickens and sheep so bring along some bread to feed the animals, as that will keep the kids entertained.
Feed the chickens
The orchard is dotted with orange and spectacular with the surrounding sandstone escarpments. It is recommended to come early as it gets particularly busy at lunchtimes. Once you have picked your mandarins, there is an area where you can place your picked produce into plastic bags for easy transport back to the car.
Entry is free with plenty of paddock parking. There are picnic chairs and tables available as well as portaloo facilities. But bring a picnic and a rug to enjoy the green space.
Watkins Family Farm
As we wanted to go back to a lookout that we spied driving on our way to Watkins farm, we ended up having a bite to eat overlooking the Hawkesbury River at Hawkins Lookout and enjoying the sunshine.
Please be advised not to use Laughtondale Gully Road (your GPS will direct you that way). The road is dangerous and difficult to navigate. Travel on Old Northern Road all the way into Wisemans Ferry and when you see the township there is a road on your right (Singleton Road).
Excellent family day out, the mandarins are sweet and juicy and the honey is an absolute must try! We went on a Saturday morning and then headed out to Wiseman's Ferry Hotel for lunch - which was very family with a free bouncy castle and activities for the kids.