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Mushroom Picking on the Mornington Peninsula

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Food and Wine | Outdoor | Walks
by Lorraine A (subscribe)
Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published May 12th 2014
Calling all mushroom lovers
Picture of POISONOUS mushrooms and toadstools. DO NOT CONSUME

Mushroom picking on the Mornington Peninsula has always been a popular thing to do. In the early days when I was a child you would always see a few Italian couples out picking mushrooms on the side of the road with plastic buckets. It took us a long time to catch on to the phenomenon but with the popularity of eating food less travelled and with more emphasis being placed on simple nutritious food it's taken mushroom hunting to whole new level. After all, it's always more satisfying when you can go to a scenic location, pick your food and take it home to put in the pan with some butter and serve it on toast.

Picture of POISONOUS mushrooms and toadstools. DO NOT CONSUME

Whilst you do need to know what you are picking so you don't end up eating a poisonous mushrooms and cursing the food less travelled option, there are two options.

First option is to take along an experienced mushroom hunter or to research the differences between edible wild mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms. This may sound easy but some mushrooms are not obvious and look like types you may find in the shops but instead are a poisonous variety and can potentially cause hallucinations, or for you to become seriously unwell or in some cases it can be fatal . Some good websites to look at are fungi map and Australian Fungi.

Picture of POISONOUS mushrooms and toadstools. DO NOT CONSUME

With 10,000 species of fungi in Australia, 7000 of which haven't even been named yet, let alone had their potential dangers documented. It's advised not to pick wild mushrooms unless you are confident you know what you are looking for. One of most poisonous mushrooms to avoid is the aptly named Death Cap which can be found in the area and can be mistaken for the harmless Straw Mushroom.

The second option is the preferable one of joining a mushroom hunters group to learn about the different varieties and find out which are edible. Cameron Russell takes groups mushroom hunting from Moorooduc Estate and have been extremely popular over the years. You can read a review of the tour here and here. The tour cost is $50 for adults, $30 for children and includes tea/coffee with homemade biscuits and sauteed mushrooms on toast after the hunt. For times and dates of mushroom hunts click here.

Picture of POISONOUS mushrooms and toadstools. DO NOT CONSUME

T'Gallant winery hold a Wild Mushroom Recognition & Appreciation Tours during May and June from the winery in Main Ridge. The tours are run by Riccardo Messora, head chef, and last 2 hours ( 11am - 1pm or 1pm - 3pm) and cost $45. This includes mushroom soup, mushroom & gorgonzola wood-fired pizza paired perfectly with a glass of T'Gallant Cape Schanck Pinot Noir. For more info, click here.

Picture of POISONOUS mushrooms and toadstools. DO NOT CONSUME

Some of the best places to mushroom hunt on the Peninsula is in Red Hill. Have a look along the sides of the road on White Hill Road and Arthurs Seat Rd, along with the Red Hill Rail trail ( especially underneath the pine trees where you will find slippery jacks. Try Red Hill Rd, Bittern - Dromana Rd and anywhere you can get access to the base of pine trees.

Picture of POISONOUS mushrooms and toadstools. DO NOT CONSUME

Happy mushroom hunting.

# Please note that most of the pictures within this article contains mushrooms and toadstools that are poisonous. Do not eat any toadstools or mushrooms that look like these.
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Why? To pick wild mushrooms
When: May and June
Where: Mornington Peninsula
Cost: $45 - $50
Your Comment
We would love to do this sometime - I just love your amazing mushroom pics.
by Lucy (score: 3|1157) 2009 days ago
Dear Lorraine, I love the article about mushroom picking but am concerned that you have featured photos of poisonous toadstools. It would be very easy for someone following your postings to think your images are of mushrooms. I suggest you do a quick edit and only post mushroom pics, there is lots of information available about identifying poisonous mushrooms online
by Harry & Kate (score: 0|5) 2006 days ago
I'm also concerned about the pics. Despite the disclaimer at the bottom of the article, an article on edible mushrooms should have pics of edible mushrooms please!
by kateg (score: 0|8) 2003 days ago
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