Every summer, New Zealand’s climate and fertile soil combines to help produce some of the world’s best fruits, especially berry fruits.
Throughout the country, farms and orchards sell from the gate, farm shop or cafe on site, and many encourage visitors to pick their own fruits (known as PYO, or pick your own).
Here are some of the best-established spots in New Zealand to find excellent produce at its source.
New Zealand’s best PYO fruit farms
(Listed north to south)
Blue River Orchard
5 Koropewa Rd, Kerikeri
As well as providing PYO, Blue River also takes its berries to weekly farmers’ markets at Kerikeri and Paihia over the summer. They also make and sell fresh berry ice creams, coffee, cake and smoothies.
61 Bradly Road, Helensville
This is a third-generation family business that has been growing strawberries since 1974 and champions the “sweet red” brand (claiming they are “the world’s best strawberries”). With more than 40 hectares of crop, there’s plenty of opportunities to put the claim to the test.
217 Alfriston-Ardmore Rd, RD2, Papakura
Established in 1995, Strawberry Corner is open for PYO from September-February and sells various grades of berry from their farm shop to cater for those who want to make jam to those who want to eat their strawberries fresh. Their berries are also available at the weekly Howick village market.
Plums and nectarines
1079 Tairua Rd, Whangamata
This orchard grows plums and nectarines beside State Highway 25, between Whangamata and Opoutere.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
479 Tauwhare Rd, Matangi
Just 10 minutes’ drive from Hamilton, this farm also offers fresh berry ice cream (including cherry and peach).
790 Wallace Rd, RD3, Cambridge
With more than 10 hectares of Bio-Gro certified organic crop, Monavale says it’s the largest such orchard in New Zealand. An excellent cafe, Cafe Irresistiblue, offers organic coffee to go with various blueberry treats.
337 Newell Rd, Hamilton
This site combines a PYO strawberry farm, an excellent cafe/restaurant, Punnet, and a country food store, The Country Providore. Young children will love the themed playground which includes trampoline, and large boat, train and aircraft structures to stimulate their imaginations.
398 Marshmeadow Rd, RD6, Hamilton
Just 10 minutes’ drive from Hamilton, Lavender Backyard Garden offers PYO blueberries and lavenders, fresh/frozen blueberries, lavender coffee and foods, real fruit ice cream and berry smoothies.
Bay of Plenty
Blackberries, boysenberries, redcurrant, blackcurrants, loganberries, olallieberries, raspberries, strawberries and bayberries.
12 Huna Rd, Whakatane
PYO or go to the berry shop for various berry products including jams, sauces, soaps, moisturisers, and more. Their cafe is well-known for its best-selling berry ice creams.
Corner of Bell Road & State Highway 2, Papamoa
You might need to be quick to PYO as the boysenberry season can be short. Keep checking in December and make the most of these gorgeous berries while you can.
96 Havelock Rd, Havelock North
The farm grows three variety of strawberry (Cameras, Camille Royal and Albion), but also offers a range of fruit and vegetables at their shop. Real fruit ice cream and smoothies using their own product top off a visit.
Cherries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, boysenberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blueberries, plums, table grapes, peacharines, peaches, pears, figs, feijoas, persimmons, chestnuts and tayberries
92 Powdrell Rd, Meanee, Napier
Family-owned and been growing and selling seasonal fruits since 1997. You can PYO or go to the gate sales shop. With this huge range of produce available, you’ll always find something in season and as fresh as it can be.
Strawberries, apples, chillies, tomatoes, garlic
1199 State Highway 1 South, Otaki
This is a PYO farm with roadside shop on the main highway to Wellington. They offer whatever they can grow well.
1301 Akatarawa Valley Road, RD2, Upper Hutt
About 45 minutes’ drive from downtown Wellington, this farm grows organic blueberries and sells them as is, or in farm-made fudge, dairy-free ice pops or as organic ice cream. The farm also breeds emu (they provide a meat similar to venison) and their shop sells emu oil and skin products.
108 Appleby Highway, Appleby, Nelson
The raspberries are grown in the sunniest corner of New Zealand and are PYO when in season. You can also buy fresh fruit ice cream.
475 Robinsons Road, Broadfield
This farm is 20 minutes’ drive from central Christchurch and has been growing blueberries since 1992, and the crops haven’t been sprayed with chemicals since 1998. The owners encourage customers to pick fresh and in sufficient quantities to be able to save some for the freezer.
156 Ashworths Road, RD1, Amberley
This cherry orchard charges an entry fee as well as a per-kilo price for cherries picked from the tree. Varieties grown are Dawson, Bing and Stella.
Blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries
90 Smithfield Road 2RD, Ashburton
This four-hectare berry farm has been growing fruit for more since the 1980s and offers PYO in season, and a produce shop. Berries include Ranui (a hybrid bred from Auroraberry and Marionberry) and their blackberry is the Karaka variety.
Darling Orchard and Pure Fruit Juices
5090 State Highway 8, Ettrick
You can PYO cherries but also buy a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables from the shops, including apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, apples and pears.
100 Springvale Road, RD1 Alexandra, Clyde
This speciality dessert cafe and gardens has plenty to offer families with a maze, mini golf and other children’s activities, as well as a range of tempting sweet dishes made with berries (and quince, walnuts and other produce) grown on site.
Raspberries, strawberries, boysenberries
83 Orchard Road, Wanaka
This farm offers accommodation for visitors who want to wake up close to fresh berries. Located about 3km from Wanaka.
247 Ripponvale Rd, Cromwell
You can PYO or buy export-grade cherries from the farm shop.
Apricots, cherries, nectarines, plums, quinces, peaches, pears, greengages
3314 Fruitlands-Roxburgh Rd, Coal Creek Flat
Five minutes north of Roxburgh on SH8, this is one of the oldest orchards in the country, having first produced fruit more than a century ago.
Cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears
Cromwell to Queenstown Highway, Cromwell
Some fruit is available for PYO and the business has visitor tours of the orchards which are in a beautiful setting.
513 Otautau-Drummond Road, RD3, Otautau
This is the South Island blueberry farm for Blueberry Country who also have sites in Ohaupo, Waikato, and Ngatea. This is no hobby business – it produces more than 100 tonnes of blueberries every season!