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Couple fruit picking at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm

The best places for fruit picking near Melbourne

Sink your teeth into some farm-fresh produce at these nearby pick-your-own farms

By Delima Shanti

You don’t have to slave away for months in your garden to get super fresh fruit. Head out of town and pick your own fruit at orchards and farms in regional Victoria. There are berry farms and stone fruit orchards just a little more than an hour away out of the city, but before you visit here is a fruit picking rule of thumb before you go: check the website or call the farm if you’re not sure if they are open for harvest season as the farm may be closed due to seasonal conditions.

For more out-of-town adventures, check out our guide to the best day hikes from Melbourne, or tick off the 50 things to do in Melbourne before you die

Pick your own fruit

Cherry Hill Orchard
Photograph: Supplied

CherryHill Orchards

Things to do Yarra Valley

Come to Yarra Valley’s CherryHill Orchards from November through to early January to pick yourself a basket of ruby red cherries fresh off the trees. The orchard’s shop, open during the cherry season, stocks cherry beverages from juice, sodas, and even beers like the Cherry Vanilla Porter. In spring, the orchard runs an annual cherry blossom festival, a great day out for the whole family when the orchard turns white with spring blossoms. Picking is $15 for adults and $6 for children, and you can eat as much as you want while you're there.

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm

Travel Main Ridge

Just try not eating the juicy strawberries at Sunny Ridge straight off the ankle-high plants. (Do the right thing and pay for a punnet first). The strawberry season generally runs from November to April, though availability is based on seasonal conditions (the fruits need sunshine and minimal rainfall), and whether the farm has been picked out for a particular period. Picking prices are $10 each for adults (includes a 500g punnet), $5 for kids (250g punnet) and $25 for a family.

Raynard's Orchard
Photograph: Supplied

Rayner's Orchard

Attractions Farms Yarra Valley

This family-run fruit orchard in the Yarra Valley grows more than 450 varieties of fruit including stone fruits, citruses, exotic fruit like feijoa and guava and more. Visitors can pick fruit for most of the year, though fewer varieties are available between September and October. In spring, look out for peaches, nectarines, oranges, lemons and rhubarb. Go on a tractor tour of the orchard with farmer Len or one of his sons ($32.50 for adults, $27.50 for kids) to sample some fruit and learn about your favourite healthy treats.

Sunny Creek Berry Farm, West Gippsland
Photograph: Supplied

Sunny Creek Organic

Attractions Farms Sunshine North

This organic berry farm in the Strzelecki Ranges lets you pick your own berries. The farm grows strawberries, loganberries, blackberries, boysenberries, gooseberries, currants, around 40 types of raspberries as well as apples, feijoas, chestnuts and persimmons. It is open daily during the Victorian summer school holidays but outside that period you'll have to ring on the day to check availability. Currently, the farm is open every weekend until Easter and by appointment on weekdays. Entry is $8 for adults and $6 for kids, pick-your-own berries go for $17.50 a kilo. The farm shop also sells a variety of jams and jellies (all organic, of course). 

Peach picking
Photograph: Christiann Koepke/ Creative Commons

Naturipe Fruits

Things to do Melbourne

Just outside Bacchus Marsh, this farm offers the chance to pick peaches, nectarines, cherries, strawberries or apples, depending on the season. It's very economical, with entry for everything except cherries absolutely free (cherry picking is $6 for adults, $4 for kids). You weigh what you pick and pay for it at the end (prices for different fruits vary) then load up the car with your fresh fruit treats to take home. Fruits are available most of the year, from October to May. You can also buy strawberry jam, strawberry sauce and strawberry vineagar from the shop. Just so you know, the farm does not have EFTPOS facilities, so bring cash to pay for the fruits of your labours. 

Generic strawberries
Photograph: Creative Commons

Beechworth Berries

Attractions Farms Hastings

Beechworth Berries is a regular at regional Victorian farmers' markets, but you can pick strawberries fresh from the farm. The strawberries, grown waist-high for easy picking, are best between October and January and between April and May. Grab a bucket and pick a minimum of 500 grams of strawberries (250g for kids) at $14 a kilo to take home, and swing past the farm gate shop (open daily during season) to pick up some homemade jams. 

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