I had forgotten how beautiful the region was.
Blondie and I had promised ourselves that we would make our way to Oberon this mushroom picking season so it was just a matter of when. School holidays came up and we saw the perfect opportunity to skip town with the kids and see what all the fuss was about.
The mushroom picking trips I was accustomed to were the type where upon entering the forest you would be greeted with a stack of mushrooms pocking their heads through the pine needles, looking up at you. You literally would not be able to move more than a few meters as there would be so many mushrooms to pick!
It was a 3.5 hour trip, traffic was OK. (Note from the driver: Bella slept the first 1.5 hours!) Half way into the trip we stopped at Jen’s place (Blondie’s sister) in Woodford, who made the most amazing cinnamon tea cake. The stop was a good opportunity for the kids to stretch their legs before the next 1.5 hours.
We got into Oberon at about 1.30 pm and were greeted by forests galore. Oberon has 5 state forests that are nothing like the ones in the Southern Highlands.
First stop was at the Oberon Tourist & Information Center where we were greeted by the lovely Lynne. Note to everyone – please make sure that you stop at the centre. Lynne will be able to give you excellent information about the area, you can pick up maps and get directions for where the best mushroom picking spots are.
Maps in hand we checked into the Janolan Caravan Park and headed out for our afternoon reconnaissance mission…We headed down a very bumpy road and entered the forest. As we made the slow drive down the road my heart started to slowly sink, I saw one or two mushrooms but I was beginning to think that the trip would be a slight waste.
I had high hopes for this trip and was getting a little nervous.
We drove a little further and turned a corner and whilst I wasn’t in mushroom heaven yet I was quietly happy. I was greeted by a couple of slippery jacks popping their heads through the pine needles. These are my favourite mushrooms! Mum makes the most awesome mushroom soup from these.
Within a few minutes I was in mushroom heaven! The forest floor was filled with slippery jacks. If we had a trailer I am sure we could have filled it!
With sun going down we decided to leave the forest and head back to the caravan park for a yummy dinner and some well earned rest. As far as we were concerned, the next day’s mushroom picking possibilities were endless!
The next day we woke up to a beautiful frosty morning at the caravan park and had a delicious brekky before we set out for the day’s picking.
Just before mushroom picking we took Sebastian and Imogen fossiking for precious stones at the Oberon information center. It was a bit of fun for the kids and both walked away with some special stones. It’s a gold coin contribution to enter the fossiking area and we highly recommend it if you have little ones.
It was time for more serious work…mushroom picking! Blondie and I worked each side of the road with the kids helping. The forest was filled with saffrons and slippery jacks so both of us were over the moon!
Mushroom picking is a funny art, at first when you arrive at the forest you seem to see absolutely nothing, it’s not until you get down really low and pick the first mushroom that your eyes train themselves on the forest floor and you see what lies beneath.
It took us about 3 hours to walk up, what I now call Mushroom Road. We could barely move a few meters as there were so many mushrooms to pick! It was wonderful. The kids had an awesome time as well.
We decided to call it a day at about 2pm with a car load of mushrooms. It was one of the best mushroom picking trips I had ever been on!
The next week was spent drying, smoking, pickling, blanching and making paste from our beauties!
Tips on a mushroom picking trip to Oberon
- Be sure to call into the Oberon Information Centre and speak with Lynne. Call them a few days before you plan on leaving to ensure that you know the weather is right. The centre is located at 48 Ross Street Oberon NSW 2787
- If you are looking for a place to stay contact Sally from the Janolan Caves Caravan Park, it’s simple, clean and tidy. It’s a great place for that overnight stop. The caravan park is located at 7 Cunynghame Street Oberon NSW 2787
- Blondie and I live by the rule if in doubt, go without! If you are unsure about a mushroom species then don’t pick it!
Sadly the mushroom season is almost over! Blondie and I have a few more trips planned and we look forward to sharing these with you in the next few weeks!
Some more images from the trip…