Crestview Blueberry Farm

Traversing Crestview Blueberry Farm
Crestview Blueberry Farm
Crestview Blueberry Farm © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

I’m still deciding which is my favourite pick-your-own fruit farm in Tasmania. Crestview Blueberry Farm is definitely a contender. Does it have a café? No. Public amenities? No. A sealed car park? No. What is does have is an abundance of gorgeous blueberries for a very reasonable price. That’s a win for me!

Pick Your Own
Pick Your Own © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Picking your own fruit has many benefits. Firstly, you’re out in the great outdoors. Secondly, you see how your fruit grows (and why it’s so expensive to have it picked and packaged for you!). You also choose your own fruit – some people are very fussy pickers, selecting only the plumpest fruit but I tend to have a fill-the-freezer attitude! Take friends and family and it’s a community event.

Blueberries
Blueberries © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Blueberries are a fantastic berry. They are easy to eat, freeze well and make a delicious addition to smoothies. You can even use them as ice-cubes on a hot summer’s day. My picking tips are to look for the dark-blue (almost grey) berries, check for marks/splits and remove stalks (you don’t want to pay for those!). Crouch down inside the bush then look up and you’ll find glorious bunches of blueberries!

Rows
Blueberry Rows © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Of course, it’s not all fun and games! I have plenty of scratches on my arms and crouching down inside a blueberry bush is hard work. There are creepy crawlies; you’ll find spiders scurrying out of your blueberry bucket (they are often quite small – nothing to worry about!). I highly recommend the adventure of picking your own berries though.

What to Bring

Views
Views © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Although blueberry bushes are shady, it’s hot work picking the berries so you’ll need sun protection and drinking water. Make sure that you use the public amenities at Lilydale Waterfall Reserve before you visit as there are none at the farm. If you bring your own food, there are a few spots to sit and eat or you can purchase food in Lilydale. You’ll need to bring cash as credit card/EFTPOS facilities are not available.

Getting There

Crestview Blueberry Farm
Crestview Blueberry Farm © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Crestview Blueberry Farm is a half-hour drive north of Launceston via Lilydale. Don’t make a special trip out unless you know that it is open; check the farm’s Facebook page or ring ahead first. From Lilydale, keep travelling north but take care as there are some sharp turns just after the Lilydale Waterfall Reserve. At the top of the hill after the turns, you’ll find the farm on the right-hand side of the road – it is clearly signposted but has a tricky driveway to navigate. You’ll find plenty of parking but it is on gravel and grassed areas. If you’re using Google Maps to navigate, just type in Crestview (and nothing else) or the physical address (524 Golconda Road, Lebrina).

Cost

Crestview Blueberry Farm
Crestview Blueberry Farm © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Crestview Blueberry Farm is open in January and February (sometimes March too). Have a look at their Facebook page for up-to-date opening hours and farm closures. This year (2018), I paid $7 per k/g for blueberries (remember to bring enough cash). When you enter the farm shed, you’ll see a stack of white buckets. Take one and fill it and you’ll have approximately 3.5kg of blueberries. Last time I checked supermarket prices for a tiny, tiny punnet of blueberries, that’s a fabulous price!

Looking for more to do in the area? Head to Bridestowe Lavender Estate or choose your own adventure in Tasmania’s midlands, north or not too far away east coast.

Longford Berries and Cherries

So many strawberries!

Tucked away down a backstreet in Longford is Longford Berries and Cherries Berries and Cherries. Their strawberries are perhaps the best in Tasmania. No, I haven’t been to every berry farm in Tasmania to test this definitively but they are the best that I’ve found so far!

Strawberries
Strawberries © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Sometimes, berry picking can be a little disappointing, particularly if you arrive later in the day. I arrived at Longford Berries and Cherries at about 2pm yesterday and there were so many berries that I could have picked until they closed! They are only open three days a week (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) which sounds inconvenient but it’s not. It ensures that everyone can enjoy a plentiful pick. The farm may be open on other days if there is an excess of berries. Keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Longford Berries and Cherries
Longford Berries and Cherries © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Another thing that is fabulous about Longford Berries and Cherries is that the berries are organic. This means that you can bring your kids and not worry if someone stuffs a sneaky, unwashed berry into their mouth. Even though it’s always best to wash your fruit, at least they won’t be eating pesticides! Dennis also treats children very kindly. He even has a sandpit and play equipment set up for them.

Beautiful view
Beautiful view © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The farm is in a serene location. There is a lake (not accessible), a nearby farm to look up at while you pick berries and stands of gums surrounding the strawberry patch. Make sure that you have sunscreen, a hat and sturdy shoes and you’ll have a lovely time. Berry picking is also quite communal and you never know who you’ll meet. I found myself in very good company; thank you for the good conversation!

Getting There

Strawberry Patch
Strawberry Patch © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Longford is a beautiful, heritage town located approximately 20 minutes’ drive from Launceston. You can drive towards Hobart on the Midlands Highway, turning off to Longford at Perth. This is the least interesting way of getting to Longford. Instead, continue towards Hobart through Perth and take the next turn to Longford. This will take you through hedgerow lanes past the UNESCO World Heritage Listed properties, Woolmers Estate and Brickendon (add more travelling time though). You can read my post about Brickendon here. It is worth spending a full day in Longford to see these sites (and pick berries!). The other interesting way of getting to Longford is via the Bass Highway then the B52. This takes you past farming properties and stunning countryside! Once in Longford, follow signs towards Cressy and then turn right opposite the Longford Show Grounds (if the berry farm is open, a sign will be out on the road).

Cost

Pick your own berries © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Longford Berries and Cherries always has reasonable prices. Jars of jam cost approximately $4. If you’re in a hurry, there are often pre-picked berries in the refrigerator, often for the same price per kilo as to pick your own. Currently, pick your own strawberries are $10 per kg. There are also other berries available (raspberries, blackberries and red currants are my other favourites!) but these are now out of season. The cost includes the use of a picking bucket (small enough for littlies to hold). Have a fabulous time at Longford Berries and Cherries!

Read my other posts on Tasmania’s Midlands here.

Hillwood Berry Farm

Berry Bowl
Hillwood Berry Farm
Hillwood Berry Farm © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

On a road just off the East Tamar Highway lies an oasis: Hillwood Berry Farm. Amongst the rustling trees and vibrant roses, you’ll find some of the tastiest strawberries you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. And the best thing? You get to pick them yourself! There are also raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries and black or red currants to pick.

Providore
Providore © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

For the lazier among us (or those in a hurry to get somewhere else), pre-picked berries are for sale from the cafe, as are many other berry delights. The cafe has expanded its selection to include wines from a neighbouring vineyard and Meander Valley Dairy products. Unfortunately, they don’t cater well for dietary requirements but there’s always more berries to eat…

Strawberry Path
Strawberry Patch © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Hillwood Berry Farm caters for the kids. It has a giant chess board, a sandpit and a slide, as well as lots of yummy berries to pick! Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat as there isn’t much shade when you’re picking the berries.

Getting There

Hillwood Berry Farm is approximately 20 minutes’ drive north of Launceston on Hillwood Road. This road runs parallel to the East Tamar Highway. There is plenty of onsite parking. Hillwood Berry Farm is open from 9am – 5pm most days of the year (the cafe closes at 4pm).

Cost

Strawberries
Strawberries © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Pick your own berries for $5 (includes one punnet, which is approximately 500g of berries). Berry prices vary but are very reasonable. If you are planning to pick your own berries, make sure that you give yourself half an hour to pick and half an hour to enjoy a cup of tea in the shade of one of the giant trees while you eat your own, freshly picked strawberries. Pure bliss!

For more posts about places to visit in Northern Tasmania, click here.