As the sun warms up and the orchards burst to life, it can mean just one thing in the Hilltops Region: it's cherry season! If you're a foodie, a road tripper, or you just want to explore the region, you're in luck because the 2021 cherry season will be in full swing from mid-November through December. The cherry orchards are bursting with juicy fruit, the cellars are stocked and the best thing? It's an easy road trip from Canberra to the orchards.
The National Cherry Festival
The headline event of cherry season is normally the National Cherry Festival in Young but Covid means this year's festival will go ahead in a scaled-back format. This year it will run from 3 December 2021 to 12 December 2021 and there will be a focus on highlighting and celebrating the cherry season. The 2021 program will include small community events held across a ten-day period. The lineup is still being finalised but it is anticipated that the events will include the coronation of the Cherry King and Queen, a photo competition and art show, farmers markets, a local shopping promotion, and a virtual reality activity. Check the National Cherry Festival Facebook page for updates closer to the event.
Take a Hilltops Region Food and Wine Road Trip
This cherry harvest season is the perfect time to explore the gourmet delights of the Hilltops region. With fresh cherries and stone fruit straight from the tree, berries and plenty of local wines, the region is ripe for foodies to explore. To plan your road trip, check out these places to pick your own cherries. Don't feel like picking under that hot summer sun? You can also stop at a roadside stall and grab some cherries, pick up a cherry pie or cherry ice cream or even indulge in wine tastings at a cellar door.
You can pick your own cherries in the Hilltops Region's plentiful orchards
If you want to discover all that cherry country has to offer and get into the gourmet groove, the region also has fantastic farmer's markets, distilleries, fudge and honey stores and more. And if you've been enjoying New Gold Mountain and want to delve into the history of the region and learn more about the goldrush days which shaped the region, there are museums in Young and Boorowa as well as the Lambing Flat tribute garden.
The Hilltops Region includes the towns of Young, Boorowa, Harden-Murrumburrah and Jugiong. The region is an easy drive from Canberra and you can easily make a day trip of it but if you want to extend the fun, there are so many little gems just waiting to be discovered so why not plant your road trip and get set to indulge at the Hilltops cherry harvest in 2021.
I can't remember when I last tasted cherries. We used to live across the road from a chap who turned his whole back yard to orchards and he grew the largest and juiciest cherries I've ever tasted. When they auctioned their house he had baskets of them for the potential buyers to feast on and after it sold, the new people took out all the trees.