Archive for January, 2011

January 25, 2011

Bilpin: my favourite place for orchards and cuteness!

Do you like the succulent taste of fresh-off-the-tree fruit? How about vistas so picturesque they almost bring a tear to the eye? Maybe lots of quaint old buildings and a restaurant that people drive from Sydney to experience – then folks, you will just have to trek it to Bilpin. Bilpin is a small blink of an eye and you miss it town about an hour and a half’s scenic drive from Sydney, (a little more if you strike freeway traffic), and due to its altitude is perfect for growing fruit, (especially apples), as well as being a lovely cool spot if it’s hot and humid in the burbs.

OK get ready cause I’m going to get all Google maps on ya… firstly head to Richmond, the flagship of our Hawkesbury area, good for watching cricket on the town pitch, (look out for the stand reminiscent of the Bradman era), and plane spotting at the RAAF base, (there’s a cool little park across the road complete with a miniature plane the kidlets can climb inside). On the weekends if the weather is good you can watch the towing planes and gliders taking off and landing. From Richmond follow the Bells line of Road, (yes, that’s really its name), over the Hawkesbury river then up through North Richmond and Kurmond, past the turn off to Kurrajong, (another really cute village, more on that in another post). Now you’re beginning to really climb, the road has lovely sweeping bends and some tight hairpin corners perfect for a drive and as you head up the aptly named Bellbird Hill be sure to open the windows or your visor and listen for the sound of them, they never fail!

Here is an example of the scenery to expect on your drive: this is a laneway that runs off the main road in Kurrajong Heights…

I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the gate to someone’s house:

There is a lookout on the right as you exit Kurrajong Heights, with a view that stretches all the way to Sydney, I’m afraid the photo doesn’t really do it justice but you get the general idea…

Stay on the Bells line of Road and soon you’ll have all the fruit you can handle!! A few of the growers will let you pick your own, some have cute stands by the side of the road, some such as the Bilpin Fruit Bowl have big shops laden with jams, preserves, pickles, fruit pies, mustards etc as well as the fruit.

We got talking to the lady who owns the stall in these photos…her great grandfather used to log in this area using a bullock and dray…this International truck belongs to her 92 year old grandfather who used to use it to cart logs as well…it has fairy lights on it for Christmas…how cute would it look all lit up at night?

Directly opposite this old shop is the Apple Bar, (confusing name, it does have a little bar inside but is actually a restaraunt), and the food there is worth the drive on it’s own! But…more about that on my next post…