End of the year school holidays of began and with no plans of leaving the country this time round, I figured we should do something fun, as a family. My baby sister is obsessed with Alpaccas (she owns a Japanese alpaca plushie by the name of Alpaccasso) and have always wanted to see alpacas in real life. We’ve been talking about visiting an alpaca farm all year but my weekend work schedule hardly matches up with the girls. Since I have majority of December off, I decided, this trip had to be done.
After a bit of trawling around the interwebs, I found which farms were most convenient to get to and most importantly wether they welcome visitors as a majority of them were working farms.
Roadtrip snacks, check!
Backseat selfies to endure the hour+ drive.
I decided on Tanglin Lodge because, they weren’t too far away (about 1.5hrs towards Blue Mountains region). The previous owners of the farm lived in Tanglin, Singapore hence named the farm after it. Entry fee is $8/pp which is fairly affordable compared to other farms. This allowed us to interact with the alpacas and the owners of the farm, Geoff & Cheryl gave us an insight on types of alpacas, breeding, shearing etc. They don’t usually open up for groups under 15, there were only 6 of us so it was really kind of them to spare 2hrs from their busy schedule to accommodate us.
Her name is Skye Blue, most of the alpacas there were named after beers from around the world. They had a collection of beer bottles in their souvenir shop but funnily the owners of the farm aren’t beer drinkers!
To make the most of our trip in the area, we drove another 20-30mins to Bilpin where there are plenty of orchards for people to pick their own fruit. I found out that Pine crest orchard was open for picking that day; peach, nectarines, plums, apricot were in season. They also have apple trees in their orchard but its not quite the time for them yet. It was about 3:30pM when we arrived and they close at 4PM, we were a little late and didn’t have much expectation of what’s left on the trees.
You can bring your own bag (becareful with not leaving your plastic bags in the orchard!) or you can buy recycle bags from them for $1/ea. All fruit are $4/kg, which isn’t too bad considering it was about $3.88/kg at Coles (I checked the day before!) but you get the experience of picking the fruit yourselves AND guaranteed that they are fresh off the tree rather than have been cold storage for weeks!
Almost Apple season!
The orchard was huge; how do you know where to go? Just walk straight down this path and follow the orange flags – that’s where you’ll find the trees that are ready for you to pick from.
Team work! There were still plenty of fruit at the very top.
Something along the lines of, “lose some weight!”, I’m sure he was just joking.
The colours at the orchard were too beautiful to NOT take some nice photos in 🙂
We left with close to 10kgs of fruit that afternoon (well some for the boys’ family too). We managed to go through most of them without having to result to making apricot jam or peach sorbet.. though it would’ve been nice! At first bite, they were all so juicy and sweet at the same time – though of course you’d occasionally misjudge how ripe the fruit is and get a sour one, but let it ripen a little more and it’ll be just right! It was a really great family day out and I’m already hoping to go fruit picking again soon when we can!
Tanglin Lodge Alpacas
128 Tennyson Road, Tennyson NSW
Pine Crest Orchard
2549 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin, NSW