Tourism is another bite of the cherry

SWEET EXPERIENCE: Darase Kraykaew, and Preme and Benjamaphorn Utistham visited Orange to enjoy the last of the cherry season. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI. 1230dcpickers2CHERRIES might be one of Orange’s core exports, but for some orchards, the little morsels also hold significant tourism value.

With tourists seeking a cherry picking experience accounting for about 40 per cent of calls to the Orange Visitor Information Centre, Hillside Orchard manager Kylie Wade said pickers had arrived by the coachful.

“One weekend, we had four buses in,” she said.

Ms Wade said the trip was a retreat for the visitors, mostly from Sydney.

“A lot of people want to escape from Sydney for the day and cherries are good to eat,” she said.

Yesterday, a group of nine people from Thailand ventured into the trees to pick cherries.

Darase Kraykaew has lived in Sydney for the past 19 years, but had friends and family visiting from Thailand for a week.

She said she usually visited Young, but chose Orange this time because it was closer.

“They had no idea what a cherry tree looked like because in Thailand, they’re imported from overseas – to experience the cherries all blooming is quite exciting,” she said.

“Orange has not disappointed, it’s beautiful and not too commercial.”

After rains last week took out the last of many orchardists’ cherry crops, Ms Wade said Hillside had been lucky.

“We were fortunate to miss most of the rain so we can still offer cherries to people,” she said.

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