A weekend visit to South West Sydney gives you the chance to learn about sustainable lifestyles, to meet the growers, and to connect with where your food comes from. Our personalised small group ‘Fork’n Foodies‘ tour takes you on an adventure from farm to fork, visiting farmers, butcheries, a fresh produce market, and orchards. On the fully escorted tour you get to sample local produce, enjoy a farm tour, as well as a cooking demo by ‘the farmer’s wife’ at one of our stops. More information can be seen here, but if you prefer to navigate your own way we’ve made a few suggestions below.
Back in 1803, John Macarthur secured 5000 acres (Belgenny Farm) to develop the wool industry. Since then, the region has been linked with outstanding produce due to the rich fertile farming land available. Today the land offers a variety of farms that still offer outstanding produce and are open to the public. They include: Leppington Valley Farm, Piccolo Farm, and Cedar Creek Orchard.
If you’re after a true organic experience you can’t beat Field to Feast farm in Catherine Field. Hapi and Cath have been supplying Sydney with fresh produce since 2008 and they warmly welcome you to their farm each Saturday to not only experience their amazing produce, but also to tour the farm. Once you’ve bought fresh from the farmer it’s hard to go back to buying anywhere else, which is why this is one of the favourite stops on our Fork’n Foodies tour.
The boutique farm is set on 5 acres and grows a wide variety of fruit, herbs and vegetables, using traditional dryland farming techniques. Dry farming is a traditional Tongan way of farming that simply means relying on natural rainfall to irrigate the garden beds.
Cedar Creek Orchard in Thirlmere offers a unique ‘Pick Your Own’ experience weekly (seasonal) and bookings are essential. We can arrange a personalised tour of the farm for you, and can include this stop on our Discover the Dilly customised tour.
Their shed sales opening hours do change so please check times if you are not visiting as part of our tour. Shed sales include: apple juice, juicing apples, apple cider, apple cider vinegar & local pure honey are available year round.
Another favourite with the locals is the Camden Fresh Produce Market which is held each week at Camden Town Farm. It’s the only genuine farmers market in NSW operating on a working farm. Every Saturday morning, between 7am and 12pm, up to 30 stall holders gather on the flood plains. They sell everything from artisan breads, pies, cakes and cheeses, to olive oils, dips, eggs, open-range meats and organic produce, as well as plants, ciders, and honey.
The number of markets operating across the Macarthur region is growing rapidly and each offers something different for you to explore. Cobbitty Village market is a true country experience and has been operating for over 30 years. Similar to other markets in the region, they are not on every week so you need to time your visit. Picton Market is another country experience worth checking out if you are in the Wollondilly area.
The Macarthur region is also home to many beautiful gardens including the Australian Botanic Garden in Mount Annan, and the Picton Botanic Garden. The Australian Botanic Garden is a 416-hectare garden, between Campbelltown and Camden. It is the largest botanical garden in Australia, specialising in native plants, with a collection of over 4000 species.
The Australian PlantBank, located at the Australian Botanic Garden in Mount Annan, is a science and research facility of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. It houses the Trust’s seedbank and research laboratories that specialise in native plant conservation. The state-of-the-art facility is positioned globally as a symbol of preservation of the natural cycle from the germination of seed to the propagation of forests. The ‘Secrets of the Seed Vault’ tour generally runs once a month on a Saturday morning. Bookings are essential.