5 best places to pick berries

Publish Date
Thursday, 12 January 2017, 8:53AM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Berry-picking is a treasured Kiwi tradition during the summer months. And there’s more to it than just picking the fruit  the fights that break out when two of you spot the supreme strawberry, the inability to resist having one (or five) from your bucket and the safeguarding of heaped bags during the trip home are all part of the fun. Here are Viva's pick of the top spots for a day out picking berries.

Blueberry Country, Ohaupo, Waikato
The name speaks for itself — Blueberry Country prides itself on being the largest blueberry orchard in New Zealand. They're open to the public from December to February, so there’s absolutely no chance of you missing out. Gather up a group and make a decent day trip out of this one, and you'll be feasting on the spoils for weeks. 

Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens, Kumeu
This popular spot in Kumeu opens to the public every summer, this year from December 26. We suggest bringing along the biggest bucket you can find, or you can always pick one up when you get there. They guarantee the sweetest strawberries all summer long - so plan your visit trip soon so you can get in there before the rest of Auckland does. 
464 SH16, Kumeu

Sweet Red Gourmet, Helensville
This is the farm famous for its fresh strawberry icecream, and its conveniently close to Auckland too. Sweet Red has 40ha of strawberries to pick from, which ensures that you’ll be leaving with a full bucket and likely a full stomach. Always do the picking first and reward your team with a refreshing treat to end the day. Open from December 26 to February 6.

Julians Berry Farm and Cafe, Whakatane
Pick raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, boysenberries and rare Ranui berries at this Whakatane farm. Include this as a must-visit if you’re planning a Bay of Plenty/East Cape road trip over summer. There's plenty to keep the children entertained at Julians too, including an animal farm, playground and a mini-golf course  and don't leave without trying one of the berry icecreams. 

The Strawberry Patch, Havelock North
If you are heading to Hawke's Bay, call in to this iconic spot, which is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Considering that the region has an abundance of fresh produce  and plenty of sunshine  the berries here may just be the best of the bunch. The Strawberry Patch claims its berries are some of the largest around, so you’ll likely be travelling home with heavy buckets.

- viva.co.nz

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