Blueberry Picking at Blueberry Country Ngatea
Last week we featured some strawberry picking this time how about some blueberries?
Blueberry picking usually peaks on January so it’s a perfect timing to do this just after picking strawberries after Boxing Day and unlike strawberries you don’t have to bend over and pick your berries because blueberries grow on small trees not plants. If you are in Auckland and interested in PYO blueberries your nearest farm would be in Blueberry Country located in Ngatea roughly a 95 km drive from Central Auckland.
Like any fruit picking farms they have facilities in the place like toilets and a restaurant. The fruit patches and the facility is quite far from each other, you need to drive around especially when the opened fruit patch is on Gate 4. Also if you are planning to go here I advise you to not drive a low profile vehicle as the road inside the farm where you will be driving through is not paved and quite bumpy so a 4×4, MPV or van would be suitable.
As you enter the premises it’s all organized so you won’t get lost, people are stationed everywhere ready to direct you from where to enter and park. When we visited the place we were directed to Gate 4 and there are lots of visitors, we have to queue our car going in to the premises.
We were then handed with buckets and an information form to fill up basically asking your name and where you are form. From there you will be escorted by an ATV to your designated parking spot. Very impressive! Parking is quite near from the berry patches so it’s quite accessible from this point, and like any other fruit picking it is suggested to wear a sunscreen as the sun will be scorching hot during summer here in New Zealand.
There are rows and rows of trees and unlike strawberry picking it’s quite hard to move from one row to another as these are tree bushes, you need to go to the end of the row of trees before you can go to another. I guess you won’t need to do that anyways as you can pick a lot of berries in one, so in one sweep your buckets can easily be filled up even you are with other groups.
Once you are satisfied with your harvest they will weigh it at the end corner for you to pay at the front building. From here it’s another drive up to the main building where all the facilities are located and like some of the strawberry picking farms they also offer ice cream as well as other food in case you get hungry. This is where you pay for your blueberries, you don’t need to show your berries all they need is the paper they gave you at the weighing station. A kilo cost $10.00 the last time we were there and it becomes $9.00 per kilo if your harvest exceeds 10 kilograms. They also sell blueberry plants between $15 and $25.
Like any other fruit picking this is a great activity for everyone specially kids. Like I said season peaks at January so that’s the best time to visit the place. The premises are open 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. After your visit if you are looking for some ways preparing your blueberries we have some recipes here for you to try.
Address: 229 Central Road South, Ngatea 3576
Phone: +647 867 7552