Cherry Picking Near Hunter Valley: A Guide to the Best Orchards

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Planning Your Visit

Families gather under the warm sun, baskets in hand, surrounded by rows of lush cherry trees in the picturesque Hunter Valley, planning their visit for a day of cherry picking

Cherry picking is a fun activity for the whole family, but it’s important to plan your visit carefully to ensure you have the best experience possible. Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your cherry picking adventure:

Season

The cherry picking season typically runs from November to January in the Hunter Valley region. It’s important to check with the local pick-your-own farms to see when they are open and what varieties of cherries are available for picking.

Weather Conditions

It’s important to check the weather forecast before heading out to the orchard. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and bring a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. If the weather is rainy or stormy, it’s best to check with the farm to see if they are still open.

Cash or Credit Card

Most pick-your-own farms in the Hunter Valley region accept cash only, so it’s important to bring enough cash with you. Some farms may accept credit cards, but it’s best to check in advance.

Admission and Entry Fee

Most pick-your-own farms in the Hunter Valley region charge an admission fee, which includes a basket for picking. The entry fee may vary depending on the farm, so it’s best to check in advance.

Pick Your Own Farms

There are several pick-your-own farms in the Hunter Valley region where you can go cherry picking. Here are some of the top farms to consider:

Cherry Avenue Farms 🌱

Cherry Avenue Farms is a family-owned and operated farm that has been growing cherries for over 60 years. They offer a variety of cherries for picking, and their orchards are wheelchair accessible. They also provide free picking baskets for their customers.

U Pick Orchards 🌷

U Pick Orchards is located in Morgan Hill and offers several varieties of cherries for picking. They do not require reservations and do not charge a parking fee. They also offer u-pick pricing at around $6.25 per pound.

Brentwood Cherry Picking 🌳

Brentwood Cherry Picking has three locations in Brentwood and offers several varieties of cherries for picking. They also offer apricots, nectarines, and peaches for picking.

Local Information

For more information on cherry picking in the Hunter Valley region, check out the local pick-your-own farms’ Facebook pages or read reviews from other visitors. It’s always a good idea to do some research before heading out to the orchard to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Fruit Varieties and Picking Tips 🍒

Cherry-picking season in Hunter Valley is typically from late November to early January. During this time, visitors can pick their own cherries, sample fresh produce, and learn about different cherry varieties.

There are many different types of cherries available for picking, including Rainier, Bing, Skeena, and Sweetheart. Rainier cherries are yellow and red, while Bing cherries are dark red. Skeena cherries are firm and sweet, while Sweetheart cherries are large and juicy. Visitors can learn about the different cherry varieties and sample each one to find their favorite.

When picking cherries, it is important to look for ripe fruit that is plump and firm. Cherries that are too soft or have brown spots should be avoided. To pick cherries, gently twist the stem until the fruit comes off the tree. Be careful not to pull too hard, as this can damage the branch.

In addition to cherries, many farms in Hunter Valley also offer other types of fruit for picking, such as peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, berries, and apples. Visitors can also purchase already-picked walnuts, blackberries, blueberries, and apricots for purchase.

For those who want to make jam or freeze cherries, it is important to choose cherries that are firm and sweet. Rainier cherries are ideal for making jam, while Bing cherries are best for freezing.

Some farms in Hunter Valley offer organic, organically grown fruit for picking. Visitors can learn about the benefits of organic farming and sample fresh, pesticide-free fruit.

Here are some of the top farms in Hunter Valley for cherry picking:

  • Cherry Hill Orchards: This family-owned farm offers a variety of cherries for picking, as well as other fruits and vegetables. Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the orchard and take a tractor ride through the farm.
  • Payne’s Orchard: This farm offers a wide variety of cherries, as well as peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots. Visitors can also purchase freshly baked pies and other treats.
  • Rayner’s Orchard: This farm specializes in Rainier cherries and offers a unique “Cherry Discovery Walk” where visitors can learn about different cherry varieties. They also offer a range of other fruits and vegetables for picking.

Overall, cherry picking in Hunter Valley is a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you want to learn about different cherry varieties, sample fresh produce, or simply enjoy a day in the orchard, there is something for everyone.

Additional Activities and Amenities

When visiting Hunter Valley for cherry picking, visitors can enjoy a variety of additional activities and amenities.

One great option is to visit a family-owned and operated farm that offers more than just cherry picking. These farms often have farm animals that children can interact with, such as rabbits, chickens, and goats. Some farms even offer tractor rides, hayrides, and corn mazes for visitors to enjoy.

Another fun activity is to pick up some local honey while cherry picking. Many farms in the Hunter Valley area also produce and sell honey made by their own bees. This is a great way to support local farmers and enjoy some delicious, fresh honey.

For those looking to make a day trip out of their cherry picking adventure, there are plenty of other attractions to visit in the area. The Hunter Valley Gardens, for example, is a beautiful botanical garden that features a variety of plants and flowers, as well as a playground and water fountains for children to enjoy.

In addition, the Hunter Valley is known for its many wineries, so visitors can take a break from cherry picking and enjoy a wine tasting or tour. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area that offer delicious, locally-sourced food.

Overall, visitors to the Hunter Valley can enjoy a variety of activities and amenities in addition to cherry picking. Whether it’s interacting with farm animals, picking up some local honey, or exploring the beautiful botanical gardens, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Top Farms

Here are some of the top farms in the Hunter Valley area that offer cherry picking:

  • Gilroy U-Pick: This family-owned farm in Northern California offers a variety of sweet cherries for visitors to pick, as well as other fruits and vegetables throughout the year.

  • Guldseth Cherry Orchard: Located in Cherry Valley, this farm offers organic u-pick cherries during cherry season, as well as other fruits throughout the year. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of other activities, such as picking loquats and plums in June and apricots in July.

  • Villa del Sol: This central coast farm offers u-pick cherries, as well as a variety of other fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Visitors can also enjoy tractor rides and other activities.

  • Brentwood Farms: This family-owned farm in Brentwood, California offers a variety of cherries for visitors to pick, including Brooks cherries and Rainier white cherries. Visitors can also enjoy other activities, such as visiting farm animals and exploring the farm store.

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