The Southern Forests- A Unique Experience Around Every Turn

Fresh Fruit picking in the Southern Forest Food Bowl
09 May

There are so many things to do in the Southern Forests Region and I am discovering new things all the time. The fantastic thing is that once your here you can discover them for yourself and go away having experienced something quite unique and different.

I have been living in the Southern Forests for over three years now and it amazes me how I can still find new things to see, do and visit that I wasn’t aware of. A post on FaceBook, a word from a friend and I am off discovering something that not only didn’t I know existed but also one that turns out to be an experience that is often unique to this area. I have – kind of – climbed the Diamond Tree-  one of three climbing trees in this area; I’ve gone 4WDing on the Yeagarup Dunes, the largest inland dunes in Australia; I’ve walked through the giant Tingle trees; climbed Mt Chudalup’s granite outcrop with a 360 degree view, explored Karri forests just to name a few.

Family Friendly fruit and nut picking in Manjimup
Picking Chestnuts with Family and Friends at Manjimup Fontanini Fruit and Nut Farm

This week my new and unique experience was at Fontanini’s Fruit and Nut Farm. I saw a post on FaceBook indicating that they were now open for people to come and pick their own fresh fruit and nuts. How could I not know this was here? They are only ten minutes or so down the road from us, along Seven Day Road, and I had never even heard of them. So in the company of a few family members I set off to experience Fontanini Fruit and Nut Farm. It was really easy to find, set amongst picturesque acres of fruit laden trees just down the road from Fonty’s Pool and The Truffle and Wine Co. There was no charge for picking your own fruit and nuts, just the charge per kilo for whatever produce you picked.

Now plenty of places let you pick strawberries, or apples and sometimes even blueberries but Fontanini’s is a little different. Yes you can pick beautiful, fresh apples but you can also pick feijoas, walnuts and chestnuts! I have never picked chestnuts before and neither had my family so it was definitely a new experience.

We headed off with our buckets, provided by Fontanini’s, but were soon back to get some gloves. Chestnuts come in a very prickly outer covering that is kind of like picking up a small ball of needles, so gloves are a definite necessity: also supplied by Fontanini’s. Once our hands were protected we threw ourselves into the task of picking chestnuts; removing the prickly outer covering to reveal the fresh, plump chestnut inside that promptly went into our bucket. Despite the prickles it was a rather enjoyable experience beneath the shade of the beautiful, leafy chestnut trees.

Unique Experiences in the Southern Forests
Family Fun at Fontanini’s Fruit and Nut Farm

Picking walnuts was much the same, once we figured out what a walnut tree looked like, and it was the same for the feijoas. Even though we didn’t actually need any, we couldn’t resist picking some apples, too, and we’re glad that we did. They turned out to be so crisp and sweet, naturally, as they came straight off the tree.

We weren’t the only ones out enjoying the autumn sunshine at Fontanini’s. It seems this time of year they are quite a popular destination with the farm being open to the public between late April and early June. So if you are looking for something for the whole family to do, something just a little bit different and unique, then maybe you should visit the Southern Forests. This region seems to full of unique and interesting experiences that are just around the corner.