When the team at Visit Young suggested So Frank do a weekend road trip to Young, to go to the Cherry Blossom Long Lazy Lunch, we jumped at the chance. With cherry trees blossoming, golden fields of canola, some history and a castle – we planned a picturesque three-day adventure to explore the region.
Young is a significant township in Australia’s history. Originally called Lambing Flat, it was a gold town, and the location of the Lambing Flat race riots between European and Chinese gold miners in 1861. It was also the first location in NSW to have electric lighting installed in the streets and housing. The history is visible as you explore the town.
The Lambing Flat Folk Museum provided an eclectic mix of the history of living in Young. From the Lambing Flat Riots ‘Roll Up’ protest banner, to vintage farm equipment, ephemera from town dances and Cherry Festivals. While some exhibits at the museum change, others are on permanent display. You can easily spend a few hours pondering the different rooms. Look out for the three-legged chicken and vintage dentistry display.
We visited the Chinese Tribute Garden about an hour before closing time on the Saturday afternoon. The gardens, which are located next to the historic Chinaman’s Dam were established to recognise the contribution the Chinese community has made to Young. It was a serene and picturesque spot, with a lot of park benches to sit and reflect.
The Visitors Centre provides maps for a Heritage Walk. We had planned on completing the whole Heritage Walk but did not allow ourselves enough time. So on the Sunday afternoon, we decided to explore the main street and do part of the Township Walk. The street was quiet, as most shops are closed on a Sunday afternoon. This meant we could take our time taking photos and reading about each of the different heritage spots.
Eat & drink
..the sweet handmade delights from Poppa’s Fudge & Jam Factory provided our taste buds with an ‘OMG’ moment
We ate some amazing food on our trip, drank some great coffee and enjoyed fabulous wines from the Hilltops Region. From the local produce served up at the gorgeous Kettle & Grain Cafe, to Spanish tapas at The Country Providore Cafe, cherry pie at Wilders Cafe and takeaway pizza from Carmelos, our taste buds were never disappointed.
And for our coffee and sugar fix – local roaster, Art of Espresso was a definite favourite – and the sweet handmade delights from Poppa’s Fudge & Jam Factory provided our taste buds with an ‘OMG’ moment.
We stopped by The Young Visitor Information Centre, which acts as a cellar door for Hilltops Region wines; picking up some wines for our weekend away and a few extra to bring home.
There were a lot of other places we didn’t get to fit in on this trip. It seems there is a pub on every corner, and the blackboard specials outside – were county town prices, averaging between $10 – $15 a meal.
Young is the Cherry Capital of Australia. We learnt that cherries are the last stone fruit to blossom, but the first to fruit! Cherry picking season starts at the end of October and lasts through to the end of December. Along with road side stalls, some orchards let you pick your own fruit to take home. The Cherry Festival is held on the first weekend in December, with a full weekend of activities, and the announcement of the Cherry Queen.
Cherries are not the only fruit in town. You can also pick strawberries, grapes, stone fruit, apples and citrus fruit. Grab the map from the Visit Young page to find out where you can pick-your-own.
The Visit Young team booked the delightful Young Cottage for us to stay in. With three bedrooms, lounge and kitchen – it was a great spot to base ourselves for a few days. On the Sunday night, it gave us homely space to order in a pizza, open a bottle of red wine and start sorting through all our photos.
We also visited Iandra Castle and Taubman & Webb Trading Post – which we will share soon.
There are a lots of photo opportunities from the orchards, roadside farm shops, heritage architecture and don’t forget the canola fields in September and October. The drive from Canberra takes just under two hours (depending on the number of photo stops you make). Oh, and a tip from a local – there are no traffic lights between Canberra and Young.
- See the Visit Young website for full details of events and accommodation
- Pack a cooler bag and leave some room in your car to bring home some local produce.
- Tag your photos & tweets: #VisitYoung & #YoungNSW