‘Tis the season to be jolly and it’s also the season to get bucket-loads of strawberries and eat as many as your heart desires. If you’re like us and have an unhealthy obsession with strawberries (or any berry fruit really), then get your fix by heading to a strawberry farm to pick them yourself.
We’ve done the hard yards and found the cream of the crop, the best in the biz… now all you have to do is head there and eat your heart out... and don't forget the sunblock and hat.
This family-run, sweet ‘lil strawberry farm is only 40 minutes out of Auckland’s CBD. Located at 61 Bradly Road in Helensville, the farm is famous for producing only the best fruity goods. The farm’s pick-your-own (PYO) season begins every day from Boxing Day and runs through to February. With 20 dedicated strawberry fields, you're guaranteed to find the juiciest to carry home and if you need somewhere to rest there's a nice area with vintage tractors where you can take the weight off.
The ultimate fruit picking destination, Zaberri also offers the Zaberri inflatable world with an inflatable obstacle course and even zorbing and wipe out (both currently closed at time of writing), plus a real fruit cafe dishing out real fruit ice creams, and smoothies with a wide selection of flavours. PYO strawberries is open seven days a week and just in case you're over strawberries (sacrilege!) they also have a limited selection of raspberries and blackberries available to be picked.
Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens
Founder Phil Greig started out working in Orchards in Kumeu, where he found his love for quality produce, which evolved into Strawberry Gardens in 1990. The PYO is now open seven days a week, with an $8.50 entry fee per adult, with the first kilo of strawberries complimentary. Any little groms you may have in tow get to run around for free, you just pay for what they pick. Stop by their sweet little gelateria for Belgian waffles, gelato and coffee. Count us in!
Cute-as-a-button sustainable berry farm Bell's Berries is now in its third year and is named after the owners' three-year-old daughter who is just as obsessed with berries as we are. How are they sustainable you ask? They use symbiotic planting and bio bugs as well as using seaweed and other natural fertilisers on their crops and their packaging is made from sustainably sourced sugar cane. They also encourage you to bring your own containers for the strawberries you'll pick at their farm. Not only do they also offer real fruit ice cream and coffee for the big ones, but they invite those with kids in tow to help feed their lamb and goats. Open daily until March.
Clevedon & Ardmore
Where would any self-respecting list be without a mention of the legendary Clevedon Strawberries? You can PYO at both of their patches in Clevedon and Ardmore. Want to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labour? Order up a delicious real fruit ice cream, waffle, coffee or punnet to take home from either store. Out of season? Hit up their truck at the Clevedon market for that summer taste all year round. You won't be disappointed.
Zaknich Farms A.K.A Zakberry
Open from December until the end of the season, this famed berry farm in Waitakere is open daily from 9am to 4pm. Zakberry charges no entry fee and only $7 per kg you pick so consider this the spot to well and truly scratch your berry-related itch. If it's a desperate need you can always pick up a punnet or two of their excellent strawberries from New World, PakNSave and Countdown.
At a loose end today? Take a trip to one of Auckland's best beaches.
Image credit: Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens, Sweet Red, Zaberri, Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens, Bell's Berries, Zakberry, Clevedon Strawberries by wanderwithap.