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Published March 2nd 2013
Mushrooms in pine forests
Compared to Northern Europe or Canada, there a not too many places in Australia when one can go for mushroom picking. Lucky enough, Sydney does have a place nearby where keen mushroom picker can spend a day or overnight searching for that rare find between late January and early May. Namely, Saffron Milk Cup and Slippery Jack can be found in pine areas of the State Forests around Oberon, less than 200 km away from Sydney.
Mushroom picking is an interesting activity on its own but you have to really know about the mushrooms, what they look like and whether what you see in front of your eyes is actually suitable to eat. Remember that you, yourself, is solely responsible to correctly identify the mushrooms you are picking. The safest bet is always to leave anything unknown untouched.
You can contact Oberon Visitor Information Centre for maps of the area and advice about mushroom picking.
The best time for mushroom picking would be after the rain, but prepare yourself well and wear long trousers and boots as leeches apparently also become active after the rain.
If you are not a keen mushroom picker, the area is still beautiful to explore as you can visit Jenolan Caves or Kanangra Boyd National Park nearby. It can be a nice destination for a weekend away with lots of opportunities for hiking or four wheel driving.
Be careful picking mushrooms. Last time I went, I'd picked the wrong ones and someone more experienced pointed that out to me. The pic supplied here is good as it clearly shows the pattern and colour of the right mushroom.