Stone fruits season has arrived and Cedar Creek Orchard is now open for Nectarine picking. Located at Thirlmere just 90 minutes from Sydney, it makes for a great day trip to the Wollondilly Shire and a good reason to visit the little charming township of Picton.
Cedar Creek Orchard is proudly a 4th generation family owned and operated orchard since the 1940's. It now boasts 23,000 trees including apples, peaches, nectarines and persimmons which are sold to both the domestic and export markets.
It is so wonderful that they open their gates for 'pick your own' fruits because it's such good fun for the whole family, young and old. The tractor train ride adds to the excitement and adventure of being in an orchard and just being able to pick your own fruit is a special experience. Nothing beats the tastes of a fresh piece of fruit straight off the tree – nature at its purest.
The trees are pruned to a reasonable height, with plenty of low lying branches with fruits within reach of the kids, so they don't miss out on the fun.
On arrival, head inside the shed and check-in to pay for your booking then gather outside in front of the shed for the tractor ride.
At the picking area, you can help yourself to the plastic bags. You will be asked to help yourself to only one piece of fruit per person. There is to be no climbing on trees and kids to be supervised. Do not drop any fruits on the ground and return any unwanted fruits the shed as it is saleable as 2nd grade.
Last Saturday, it was raining heavily in Sydney and we almost cancelled the trip but the kids were so hyped up to go Nectarine picking, we couldn't let them down. Luckily enough the rain stopped as we passed by Camden but if it rains don't worry, the shed sells ponchos – rain doesn't stop the fun!
The Orchard also produce their 'Cedar Creek Black Label Apple Juice' which consist of 100% apple juice with no preservatives, no added sugar, no added water, and NO concentrates. They had the cloudy apple juice out for taste testing and it was so refreshingly delicious we bought some 2litre bottles to take home.
Picton Botanical Gardens is a great spot for a picnic, very picturesque amongst the sprawling english gardens. Facilities include an undercover picnic area with tables and electric BBQs and toilet amenities. There is also a great pirate ship themed children playground and a lovely little pond with lots of ducks to entertain the kids for hours.
With all the rain over the past two weeks in Sydney we decided to Detour to visit Cordeaux Dam located off Picton Road towards Wollongong. The Dam was close to full capacity at 20,597 Million Gallons, it was a stunning sight, just over one metre shy from overflowing over the Dam wall.
Cordeaux Dam was built in 1918 and was completed in 1926 costing 954,000 Pound, servicing potable water to the South Coast region of Sydney.
Fruit picking can be fun but I've always wondered why they make the fruit so expensive after entry has been paid. I was at a strawberry picking farm recently and the entry fee was also $4. The price of strawberries wasn't very competitive. Good for the first-timers but I've been paid to work as a strawberry picker :)