Though the adventurous amongst us may plough through the rainforests in search of wild growing banana trees, or roam through open farmlands in search of a low-hanging apple, most would prefer a little guidance when it comes to picking fruit.
The Gold Coast is surrounded by an abundance of fruit bearing trees and, thankfully enough, a few farmers dedicated to education through experience. Chuck on your overalls and sharpen your secateurs, it’s time to pick some local fruit.
The Longan Farm
Roll your sleeves up and grab a bucket, the longan is a close relative of the lychee aka the greatest damn fruit in the world, making this farm well worth the hour and a half drive from the Gold Coast. Also growing honey gold mangoes in February and March, The Longan Farm allows visitors to come on particular days—stay tuned to their Facebook page—and harvest their own fruit at a per kilogram rate.
Freeman’s Organic Farm
Though you may have grabbed a few apples from their roadside stall or marveled at the views from their picnic bench, taking David’s personalised farm tour adds a whole new dimension of wonder to the Freeman’s Organic Farm experience. Tickets are just $15 for adults and free for children and students. They run every Sunday for approximately one hour from 10am—no bookings required, just present yourself at the Top Fruit Stall and you’ll be picking your own seasonal fruits and vegetables in no time.
Tropical Fruit World
With over 500 weird and wonderful fruit varieties growing on their property, Tropical Fruit World is the crème de la crème of fruit picking experiences (which somewhat justifies the $47 ticket price). Within their dedicated fruit tasting sessions you may find yourself sampling the likes of cheese fruit, caramel fruit, champagne fruit or ice-cream bean. Whodathunkit? Or perhaps just chowing a bunch of berries straight off the bush.
The Farm Byron Bay
With a stack of incredible workshops spanning ethical farming, bee keeping, permaculture design and organic growing, The Farm at Byron Bay is a hands-on experience. They encourage their guests to wander around, take in the surroundings and reflect on the concept of wellness—wellness of the land, the body, the mind and the community. In doing so, they invite us to hug their chickens, talk to the farmers and explore the food and flowers growing in abundance. The Farm folk have even been known to host classes teaching the fermentation process of local honey into wine, but that’s another story…
Mount Nimmel Blueberry Farm
Not content on a few measly hours picking fruit? Sounds like you need to sign up for a seasonal stint on the Mount Nimmel Blueberry Farm. Requiring pickers from April/May to September/October each year, the 1.5-metre bushes offer gentle work. Strolling through the idyllic orchard just outside of Mudgeeraba must be one of the best ways to earn a living we’ve heard of.
Can’t get enough of local farms? He’s a few more fabulous farms within easy driving distance of the Gold Coast.