Along with seafood barbecues and ice blocks, strawberries are one of the great gastronomic delights of summer. Although strawberries are easy to find at most grocery stores for a decent price, nothing beats making a day of it and picking your own. Many of the local farms that used to offer PYO (pick-your-own) have stopped in recent years due to OSH regulations, but you’ll still see some signs popping up along the roads in farming areas like Greenhithe, Clevedon and Kumeu come January.
Here are some great local spots to pick your own strawberries. Remember to always phone ahead on the day to avoid disappointment – although the season starts for most on December 26, some farms may choose to open a week or two later.
Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens
464 State Highway 16, Kumeu
09 412 7329
7 days 8.00am - 6.00pm
Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens is one of the most popular spots in Auckland to pick strawberries, and it’s no wonder – they have something for everyone. The gardens are open for picking from Boxing Day and every day until mid to late January. The price per kilo is $6.50 per kg, and there is $6.50 per person entrance which covers the first kilo picked (children under 12 get in free). Besides strawberry picking, the farm also has a reputation for its divine fruit ice creams, yoghurt and smoothies.
They have these great tips for strawberry pickers:
- Break at the stalk with your fingernail rather than pulling on the berry, which will pull the calayx from the strawberry. This spares the berry any bruising and the fruit will last longer once picked.
- The small berries are just as sweet as the big berries as long as they are red. Size will often depend on variety.
- Try not to walk on the strawberry beds, as it kills the plants and therefore there will be a great shortage of fruit for others.
Massey Gardens & Orchard
45, State Highway 16, Massey
09 416 8262
7 days 9.00am - 5.30pm
This is another great spot to pick your own from 26 December onwards. Want to see what the gardens look like? Check out this lovely blog post featuring a family picking strawberries at Massey Gardens & Orchard last summer.
The Strawberry Farm
127 Kirkbride Rd, Mangere
7 days 10.00am - 6.00pm
As well as pick-your-own, the Strawberry Farm sells pancakes in summer with melt-in-your-mouth strawberry ice cream. They also sell strawberry plants, great for growing your own at home.
The Troost Family Strawberry Fields
114 Sunnyside Road, Coatesville
7 days 9.00am - 5.00pm
This is another local favourite for strawberry picking. They don’t have a set date for the season to start, so check the Best Berries site throughout January.
217 Alfriston-Ardmore Road, Papakura
09 298 8563
Thursday to Sunday 9.00am - 5.00pm
Strawberry Corner is a bit of a drive out of Auckland, nestled between lush farms in Ardmore valley. The scenery is gorgeous and they are very well organised – visitors are given containers, shown how to pick strawberries and guided to the patch.
What to do with your strawberries
Try these great strawberry recipes:
Know anywhere else to pick strawberries around Auckland? Please share by leaving a comment below!