Chestnuts on the treeChestnuts are not native to Australia but were first brought by immigrants during the 1850’s gold rush. Then with a flood of Greek and Italian immigrants after World War II, still more chestnut trees were planted.

The substantial Australia commercial Chestnut industry we see today started in the 1970’s. There are presently about 300 Chestnut growers across Australia, mostly in the southeast, but there is one chestnut farm in the southwest corner of Australia. 75% of Australian chestnuts are grown in the alpine region of North-East Victoria around the townships of Beechworth, Stanley, Bright, Mt. Beauty, Wandiligong and Myrtleford. While we have no heard of any "pick-your-own" chestnut farms, you can certainly visit a chestnut farm to buy them from the farm gate directly and fresh.

Harvesting chestnuts

Growers need to harvest the Chestnuts within two days of them falling to the ground. The edible portion of the nut in encased in a prickly burr which is vacuumed, swept up mechanically or picked up manually by gloved workers.

Next, the prickly outside casing is removed and 2 or 3 smooth glossy brown Chestnuts are revealed.

The nuts are graded by variety into seven sizes (ranging from 20 mm to 41 mm in diameter), then washed and are ready for sale.

Australian Chestnut VarietiesChestnuts

Most people are familiar with roasted chestnuts, but they can also be boiled or used in many recipes, especially adding chopped chestnuts to soups!

All-purpose chestnuts

  • Purtons Pride - This is late season (mid to late April) sweet Chestnut, easy to peel. Great roasted, boiled or steamed. Versatile all-purpose nut.

Boiling chestnuts

  • Buffalo Queen - This is an early season nut, considered better for boiling than roasting
  • Bouche de Betizac - This is a large early season nut (March), with a sweet flavour and easy to peel.
  • Red Spanish - This is a large Japanese-style nut, best boiled or steamed.

Roasting chestnuts

  • De Coppi Marone - This is mid to late season nut (April), the best traditional roasting nut. easy to peel with a rich sweet flavour.Peeling chestnuts

 

Chestnut farms / orchards

Farm gate sales of chestnuts

 

 

Some will allow you to pick (well, collect) your own chestnuts

Pick your own chestnut farmsRoasted chestnuts

Pick your own chestnuts: there are more on this page

  • Kookootonga Walnut and Chestnut Farm - walnuts and chestnuts,
    247 Mount Irvine Road, Mount Irvine, NSW, Australia.  Phone: 02 4756 2136. Open: Mid-March to April; during the main season opening hours are 9-5 seven days a week - including public holidays .. Prices were last reported to be  $5-$7.  Picking your own walnuts and chestnuts is a fun activity for the family or just the opportunity to find fresh high quality nuts for eating or cooking. There are two seasons for walnuts. The green walnut season is in December and some properties are open, so you can use this special product for your own favourite family recipes. Chestnuts need gloves to pick up the spiky shells which have fallen to the ground, and break them open to get the chestnuts. Walnuts are just picked from the ground. 
  • Nutwood Farm - chestnuts, walnuts
    22 Danes Way, Mt Irvine NSW, Australia. Phone: 02 4756 2191. Alternate Phone: 029-427-2415. Email: nutwoodfarm@gmail.com. Open: from late March, Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. Directions: Travel 55km from Richmond on Highway 40 (Bell's Line of Road) to the Mt. Wilson turnoff. Turn right and proceed through Mt. Wilson and Mt. Irvine T-junction. Turn left again, immediately onto DANES Way. Follow the signs to Nutwood Farm. (2km). 20 hectares set on the edge of Wollangambee National Park. An established nut orchard with large, good quality, fresh chestnuts and walnuts. There is a special paddock for parking on the farm. Stroll across a mown pathway to the orchard. Buckets and bags are provided for you to pick your own nuts. Wear heavy shoes and bring gloves. Plenty of room for children. This is a special farm gate. Enjoy the experience. (ADDED: October 28, 2013X)
  • Pinecrest Orchard - Pick Your Own apples, peaches, plums, pears, raspberries, walnuts, chestnuts
    2549 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin, 4567 1143. Phone: (02) 45671143. Email: johngalbraith06@gmail.com.. Open: 10am to 4pm Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays, and on Boxing Day from January to May. Directions: situated on Bell's Line of Road, Bilpin, right behind Bilpin School, 30kms west of Richmond, NSW, Australia; Click here for a map. Late December through April: peaches, apples, plums, nashi pears, $2 (may increase in 2004). Click here for more details on the varieties and dates of availability. From January to May you can enjoy a day out with your family picking your own fruit, strolling through the fruit trees and appreciating the adjoining Australian bush. Apples: available early January to May. The season starts each year with Tydemans early followed by Akane in January, Gala from early February and then Jonathon, Delicious and Golden Delicious. Fujis are from late March, and Granny Smith and Pink Lady finish off the apple season. We usually continue selling until late May. Peaches: Pine Crest Orchard grows delicious peaches, both white and yellow-fleshed varieties, which are available from December to February each year. Plums: The first Blood Plums start in early January followed by the yellow fleshed Narrabeen and then the Radiance. By mid February the Blood Plum and Ruby Red are ready and by mid March 'Autumn Giant' finish off the plum season.
    Pears: Pears are best purchased green and ripened at home or you have to eat a lot in a short time. They are available from late January. As they only ripen off the tree they must be picked when green
    Nashi-fruit: This delicious Asian pear is an expensive delicacy in the stores, but available at Pine Crest for you to pick, in many different varieties. The Nashi Pears mature in February. unlike european pears they must be left to fully ripen on the tree.
    Berries and Nuts: Delicious punnets of ripe sweet raspberries, freshly picked, are available in February and March. Walnuts and chestnuts are available in April and May. Everyone is welcome to Pick Your Own fruit at Pine Crest Orchard, Bilpin. In 2018, All apples are $4kg, and the price of other produce varies. There is no admission fee, just pay for what you pick. Pine Crest Orchard, Bilpin has been a family run business for more than 40 years. (UPDATED: January 02, 2019, JBS)