I’ve loved seeing and encouraging the growing interest in pick your own (PYO) farm experiences over the last few years! And to match the demand, a number of the PYO farms are expanding what’s on offer…. this includes Bilpin Fruit Bowl, which has added a massive growing ‘hot house’ full of rows and rows and rows of strawberries as well as some lettuce, bok choy and other veg. BOOKINGS are now ESSENTIAL and can be made via their website.
Bilpin is well known for being THE place to be to pick your own crisp fresh apples. But now it’s also the place to pick your own bright red, juicy strawberries and a host of vegetables.
Located at the foot of the Blue Mountains, Bilpin is a bit north west of Richmond and just over an hour from Parramatta. We went to Bilpin Fruit Bowl for our first apple picking adventure in 2017. And it’s the first PYO farm that you come to on arriving in Bilpin (from Sydney).
There’s two parts to Bilpin Fruit Bowl – the fruit and veg shop (with a cafe and toilets) that you first see along Bells Line Road. And then about 100m west of the shop, at the end of the carpark, there is the farm. This is where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables.
We got a sneak peek of the PYO set up at Bilpin Fruit Bowl yesterday – ticking fruit picking off our post-lockdown bucket list! There are literally rows and rows of strawberry ‘tables’ for as far as the eye can see, all under a ‘hot house’ so you can pick whatever the weather (just remember your gumboots as it can be muddy on the path in).
Margaret and Simon have been growing fruit in Bilpin for over 30 years and it’s wonderful that they’ve significantly expanded their pick your own farm, providing a great (almost) year round farm experience now for families…. including the addition of hundreds of chickens in the near future for ‘pick your eggs’.
PLEASE be respectful of the staff and farm when visiting…. it greatly saddened me to hear of the disrespectful behaviour of a few people – damaging trees, leaving rubbish and even going to the toilet in the farm (there are toilets back at the shop)!
Pick Your Own Fruit and Vegetables at Bilpin Fruit Bowl
I love the whole idea of picking your own fruit – kids learning where their food comes from, getting some farm fresh air, enjoying freshly picked fruit, driving through the countryside and supporting local farmers. And it has been a great way for me to get my kids to eat fruit that they haven’t been keen to try at home. My boys also love the drive up to Bilpin, spotting cows along the way. There are a number of lovely looking cafes, restaurants and shops along the way, as well as some fun playgrounds, so you can definitely make a day of it!
With the recent changes to the Bilpin Fruit Bowl farm, there are now a seemingly endless supply of bright red, juicy strawberries to pick. Plus, lettuce, bok choy and green almonds are available to pick at the moment. Over the coming months, there will be even more fruit and veg you can pick yourself, including cucumbers, apricots, cherries and nectarines.
Of course, they still have lots and lots of apple trees. Apple picking season is January to about June. And there are different variety of apples available and different areas to pick from depending when you go.
Here is a rough guide of when different apples are available to pick at Bilpin Fruit Bowl.
- Royal Gala: Mid Jan to End Feb
- Fuji: Mid Feb
- Jonathon: Apples Mid Feb
- Red Delicious: Mid Feb to End Feb
- Pink Lady: End March
BOOKINGS are ESSENTIAL via the Bilpin Fruit Bowl website. Entry is $20 for adults, $10 for children 3 to 12yrs and kids under 3yrs are free and includes eating fruit while picking. You then pay for the fruit and veg you pick to take home with you – $20/kg for strawberries, lettuce and bok choy are $2.50 each and green almonds are $25/kg. Bookings are limited to 200 people every 2 hours.
The Bilpin Fruit Bowl shop is open daily from 8am to 5.30pm. But the farm is only open for PYO on weekends and public holidays from 10am to 4pm, during picking season. They do hope to open the farm daily in the near future.
Cafe and Shop
The cafe is located inside the fruit and veg shop, that also sells honeys, Bilpin Cider and other local produce. There are a few tables inside but most of the seating is outside under an awning.
The cafe serves delicious warm apple pies made on the premises, with your choice of ice cream or cream. You can also get sandwiches, hot chips, pies, hot drinks, milkshakes and muffins. It’s simple fare but suits us fine… and there’s a few other cafes in Bilpin to choose from.
Playground and Other Facilities
There’s a little (old) playground at Bilpin Fruit Bowl, with a slide. It’s rather run down so we’re happy to report that the plan is to build a new inclusive playground in the next 2 years.
Between the playground and shop, there are toilets. The toilets are also set to get an upgrade.
Getting to Bilpin Fruit Bowl
Bilpin is only about an hour drive from Parramatta. We go via Marsden Park, where you’ll find a massive Ikea, Bunnings, Lindt Cafe and Marsden Brewhouse (with fun outdoor kids play area), and then up Bells Line of Road.
There’s a good amount of on-site parking at the shop, but limited parking near the entrance to the farm. It’s about a 200m walk from where you need to leave your car to the farm/ orchard.