There are now four farms where you can pick your own mandarins, all about an hours drive from Parramatta. Mandarin picking season is usually from May to August.
Here are our pros and cons for each to help you decide which farm is best for your family to visit. Although all offer a fun day out!
Keep in mind that due to COVID19 the farms have changed the way they operate. Two now require pre-booking and picnic areas are likely to be closed. Best to check their website for the latest details.
Canoelands Orchard (OPEN 7 days a week)
- Pro’s: closest farm to Parramatta/ Sydney, open 7 days a week, have EFTPOS, can also pick tomatoes, oranges. lemons and peas, picnic areas, toilet block, farm animals to feed, kids play area, kiosk, pay by the kilo.
- Con’s: entry fee ($5 per adult, $3 children 5-15yrs), mandarin trees were only planted a few years ago so aren’t that big yet.
Anderson Farm (OPEN from June long weekend)
- Pro’s: large orange and mandarin orchard, can get there by car ferry, open 3 days a week (Sat, Sun, Mon) from 10am to 4pm, picnic areas, toilet block, views of Hawkesbury River, cows to feed.
- Con’s: entry fee for each adult ($5), toilets only in two out of three sections of the farm, pick/ pay by the bucket.
Watkins Farm (OPEN from 30th May)
- Pro’s: not as far along the narrow Singleton Road (as Ford’s Farm); large orchard; picnic area; sheep and chickens near the picnic area; large car park; pay/pick by the bucket upfront so no queues when you have finished picking; lots of port-a-loos; honey and eggs for sale; there are two sections to the farm and the riverside orchard is nice and quiet and in full sun.
- Con’s: you pick by the bucket rather than by the kilo; the main orchard gets lots of shade from the surrounding hills in the morning; mostly just imperial mandarins to pick; only open weekends 10am to 4pm, min. spend per adult is $10
Ford’s Farm (OPEN from 30th May)
- Pro’s: cheapest mandarins by the kilo; you pay/ pick by the kilo; cakes, coffee, jams and handmade gifts for sale; sheep to feed; seedless satsumas available to pick; large parking area with attendants; pre-book time (limits number of people at any one time).
- Con’s: furthest away – Singleton Road between Watkins Farm and Ford’s Farm is very narrow in parts; small picnic area; only a few port-a-loos; just open weekends (9am to 5pm); mandarin season only lasts about 6 weeks.
NOTE: mandarins roughly grow on a two year cycle, with an on year (bumper crop, large fruit) and off year (smaller crop and fruit).