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Today we headed to Bilpin to do peach and plum picking.  It seems very satisfying picking the food we will eat rather than walking into the supermarket and buying it and it brings back fond memories of doing strawberry picking with my cousins when I was a child.

We all enjoy the process of getting fresh fruit from the trees and BJ particularly likes picking the fruit.  I can’t say it is the most wheelchair accessible outing but we find it okay as an occasional thing to do.

The kids peach picking at Pinecrest Orchard, Bilpin

Last year was our first experience and we headed to the Pinecrest Orchard at Bilpin.  The kids had a fun time filling buckets with the peaches which we distributed to family and friends as we had quite a load by the end of the day.  Many hands fill many buckets.

BJ picking the plums

Today it was just the four of us visiting the orchard and we were keen to get some plums.  Buckets are provided on arrival and directions given to where the ready to pick fruit can be found.

BJ and Hubby pushing their way through the orchard

Being an orchard there are no concrete paths, so you do need to be prepared to put a bit of muscle behind a manual wheelchair.  Today the ripest fruit was towards the back of the orchard (wouldn’t you know it!) but this is changing all the time according to how much fruit is left and where it is the ripest.

Peach picking at Pinecrest Orchard, Bilpin

I like this outing because it definitely encourages teamwork.  AJ helped BJ by lowering branches for him to get that perfect peach which always seem to be the one high up.

It is really great for BJ as an activity in co-ordination as he has to really look and use his hands to get the peaches off the trees.  In the past BJ tended to use feel rather than looking at what he was doing so once again I could see an improvement in his ability.

If you don’t live in Sydney I would suggest checking out fruit picking in an area near you.  It is a great activity for all ages and a bit of therapy can be worked into the outing.

peachpicking7At the end of the day you end up with some lovely fresh fruit, which is ripened on the tree and hopefully has loads more flavour than the ones in the supermarket.

extra tips

This year the peaches, apples and plums are $4 per kilo.

Parking is available in front of Pinecrest Orchard but it is not designated disabled parking.

Please note this particular orchard has some gravel at the start and some hills.  Hubby managed fine but you should be warned that muscle power is required.

For more information about opening times head to Pinecrest Orchard’s website.

The closest, truly accessible toilet we have found is at Bellbird Hill Lookout at Kurrajong Heights.  This is a fabulous place to enjoy the views back to Sydney and it has a restroom at the lookout.

For a delicious meat pie or pastry head to Pie in the Sky on Bells Line of Road.  The cafe is wheelchair accessible or pack a picnic rug and enjoy a picnic on the grassed area beside the cafe.

If you are looking for a meal head to Apple Bar, Bilpin.  It has wheelchair access into the restaurant and disabled parking spaces at the door.  Although they have a larger toilet facility it is a very narrow passage way with a heavy door to get to the restroom.  It didn’t look like a large enough space to turn to get into the bathroom.

During apple picking season we always head to Shield’s Orchard as they have areas which are easier with the wheelchair.  I wrote a blog about our apple picking experience which you can read here.

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