Wiseman’s Ferry Mandarin Picking

posted in: Day Trips, Life | 0

by Rebecca Lee

Every year, about this time, the smell of mandarins spins me right back to primary school. No lunchbox would be complete without one. After lunch, the sticky, heady scent of citrus would fill the freezing classroom and I would gag.

These days I do enjoy a Mandy, and there is nothing better than picking your own at Watkins Family Farm or Ford’s Farm in the fresh country air of Wiseman’s Ferry.

The drive to the farms take just over an hour from Ryde, through the nurseries of Dural and Glenorie and onto some lovely country scenery. You might like to take a toilet break at the Glenorie Bakery which serves their famous pies along with full meals in a lovely outdoor setting and live music!

A tip from the farm: Hornsby Council have closed Laugtondale Gully Road (a shortcut through the National Park).  Your GPS generally sends you down this road bypassing Wisemans Ferry.  Council have not put up a detour sign instructing you where you need to go so keep going as far as you can down Old Northern Rd. At Wiseman’s Ferry township, turn right into Singleton Road and Watkin’s are just over 10km along on the right hand side. You will find Ford’s Farm about 10mins further on (traffic pending as the road is single carriageway at times). Avoid travelling on Laughtondale Gully Road (GPS often sends you that way – the road is very rough).

At both Watkins and Ford’s parking is plentiful in a big field, wear wellies or sensible shoes. Both farms are flat and easy for walking or pushing prams and wheelchairs.

Watkins Family Farm

1006 Singleton Rd, Laughtondale near Wisemans Ferry NSW

Phone: 0418 233 466 | Email: mark@watkinsfarm.com.au

Open weekends from 10am- 4pm

  • Free entry 
  • Cash only (nearest ATM is a 15min drive)
  • Mandarins are bought by the bucket- they’re $10 each and pretty huge. 1 bucket bought us about 6kgs worth of the juiciest, most delicious mandarins.
  • The farm also has farm fresh eggs and local honey for purchase.
  • Other amenities include basic toilet facilities, picnic tables and farm pets for the kids to meet

Ford’s Farm

 1275 Singleton Road, Laughtondale near Wisemans Ferry NSW

Phone: 02 4566 3127 | Fax: 02 4566 3127 | Email: fordsfarm1275@gmail.com

Open weekends from 10am- 4pm

  • $5 entry per car
  • Cash only (nearest ATM is a 15min drive)
  • Mandarins, lemons and limes are $2/kg  Cumquats are $10/kg
  • The farm also has farm fresh eggs, their own local honey and jams for purchase.
  • Other amenities include basic toilet facilities, picnic tables and some very friendly sheep – just don’t feed them the citrus!! 
If you don’t fancy a picnic, a 10min drive from the farm is the historic Wiseman’s Inn Hotel. The bistro serves pub-style meals, but the real draw card here is Kidtopia! Open weekends and public holidays, you will find a free jumping castle, play tractor, ducks to pet, outdoor blocks and the perennial favourite- face painting! They also have a museum on site to learn more about the historic area. Just a walk up the hill from the ferry. There’s a number of cafes and a grocery store should you need supplies. TIP: If you think you might need petrol, be sure to buy at Wiseman’s Ferry township as its the last one for ages!! Lets just say it was a nail biting drive back to Dural..

All in all a fabulous family day out and a great way to stock up on your vitamin C. Get in on this season now before all the Mandarins are picked!