By: Tatum Stafford
Whether you’re driving to the hills or heading up the coast, there are plenty of fruit picking experiences on offer in and around Perth.
With local farms growing everything from strawberries and apples to mangoes and cherries, there’s no shortage of great spots to get your hands dirty and find the freshest fruit you can.
Before you hop in the car, just be sure to call ahead or check each farm’s Facebook page or website to see when they will be open for business. Seasonal months provided below are approximate.
Here are nine farms and orchards to get you started.
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1. The Orchard Perth, Chittering Valley
The Orchard Perth, formerly the Golden Grove Orchard, sits deep in the Chittering Valley and offers an orchard tour and tractor ride that culminates in a fruit picking and tasting session. The tour takes an hour, with plenty of chances to stop to pick and taste fruit from the trees. If oranges are in season, you may also get to taste freshly squeezed orange juice.
With plenty of different fruits grown within the orchard, there’s usually something to pick no matter when you visit. A limit of 5kg of picked fruit applies per person. You can also buy fresh fruit in the orchard’s packing shed at the end of the tour.
Fruit picking season: Usually May to November for oranges and mandarins, and December to April for other fruits like figs, lemons and pomegranates.
2. Bullsbrook Strawberry Farm
Often advertised as Ti’s Pick Your Own Strawberries, this farm is filled with rows of strawberries ripe for picking. Bring cash with you to pay for a $10 tray, which holds close to 4.5kg of strawberries, and a $2 entry fee.
You can pick (and eat) strawberries for as long as you’d like, just remember to wear closed-in shoes and bring a hat as there isn’t much shade on offer.
Fruit picking season: Usually July to January.
3. S&R Orchard, Walliston
The S&R Orchard is known for its seasonal events, with its spring Blossom Festival, Autumn Festival and Summer Fruits Festival drawing big crowds each year. The latter provides visitors the chance to pick some of the orchard’s ripest fruits to bring home.
Previous festivals have been first come, first served, with a $10 entry fee for adults. During the most recent festival, there were nectarines, apricots, peaches and sour green plums to pick. Other activities during the festival included cow milking, an animal farm, a bouncy castle and food and coffee vans.
Fruit picking season: Summer Fruits Festival, usually from December to March.
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4. Perth Mango Farm, Nowergup
Set to reopen in February 2022, the Perth Mango Farm is filled with plenty of mangoes of all sizes during its season that usually lasts for a month or two. Upon arrival, you’ll have the chance to purchase mangoes from the farm shed, or pay $10 entry and a price per kg to pick mangoes from the orchard yourself.
If you opt to pick your own, you’ll be given a bucket and a stick picker to help you reach mangoes that sit high on the trees. You’ll also have the chance to sample fresh mangoes as you pick them.
Fruit picking season: Usually February to March.
5. The Fruit Corner, Pickering Brook
The Fruit Corner offers a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables available to pick, purchase and taste onsite. Though they are best known for their granny smith, pink lady and sundowner apples, the orchard’s most recent season featured mandarins, lemons, pink grapefruits, limes, pears, blood oranges, avocadoes and even chillies.
You can pick up a bag of fresh produce in the shed, or head into the orchard to pick your own for a $5 per adult, or $2 per child entry fee. There are also homemade jams, sauces, chutney and fruit trees for sale.
Fruit picking season: Usually May to July for apples, September to October for plums, and September to December for cherries.
6. Kien's Strawberry Farm, Gnangara
Spend an afternoon picking fresh strawberries at Kien’s Strawberry Farm, only a half hour drive from the city. Once you arrive, pay $15 for a cardboard box and get to work. If you’d prefer to skip the picking process, the farm also have pre-picked strawberry boxes for sale.
The farm’s opening hours and days depend on how much fruit is left after a day of picking, so it’s best to check their Facebook page before planning a visit.
Fruit picking season: Usually August to October.
7. Carmel Cherry Farm
The ‘pick your own’ experience at Carmel Cherry Farm offers the chance to pick up to 1kg of fresh cherries, lychees or loquats, depending on the season in which you visit. When you arrive, you’ll be given a bucket and a quick demonstration on how to spot and pick the ripest fruit.
The farm has a $5 entry fee for adults (kids are free), and a $25 per kg charge for fruit you pick. Bring your own bag or box to store fruit in, and make sure you book on their Facebook page before arriving – the booking button is only live for a limited time (sometimes as little as 10 minutes). If you don’t have a booking, you won’t be allowed on the property, so we’d advise liking their Facebook page to ensure you’re notified when sessions are available.
If you’d rather pick up a box of pre-picked cherries, the Irymple Orchard in Roleystone (unofficial ‘neighbours’ to Carmel Cherry Farm) have some for sale.
Fruit picking season: Usually February for lychees, September to November for loquats and November to December for cherries.
8. Grumpy Grapes Vineyard, West Swan
Famous for their varieties of dawn, italia, red globe and flame grapes (as well as sultanas), the Grumpy Grapes Vineyard offers hands-on, pick your own grape sessions when their produce is in season. Visitors can bring their own box or bag to fill with grapes, which start at $3 per kg When you arrive, farm guide Tai will take you for a walk through the vines and give you a few helpful hints to get you started.
Fruit picking season: Usually late-December to mid-April.
9. Core Cider House, Pickering Brook
Perhaps best known for its fresh cider and spacious onsite restaurant, there are a handful of orchard tours at Core Cider House that allow visitors to pick their own fresh fruit.
The Apple Express Tour & Taste Ride runs throughout the year, and gives participants the chance to explore the orchard on a tractor, pick their own fruit from the trees, and taste fresh produce and preserves (when the season permits). Pricing is $23 for kids between 5 and 12, or $30 for adults.
There are sometimes family fruit picking sessions during school holidays, so it’s best to keep an eye on their website if you’re planning a visit during these times.
Fruit picking season: Summer for plums and pears, autumn for apples and persimmons, or winter for lemons and oranges.
Last updated: September 2021
Tile image credit: Rift Photography