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Mushroom picking around Sydney – the season started

I think the season for mushroom picking in NSW started. The weather was definitely helping the process. We’ve had rains in the last 4 days and it was very wet in the forest. This also offered some wonderful views on the way through the mountains. To get to the forest I had to cross the Blue Mountains, and this is what I saw on the way to Oberon.

mushroom picking oberon nsw

There is an abundance of mushrooms in the forest around Oberon. You can see them even from the car. Growing even in the middle of the little forest road. They looked fantastic.

mushroom picking oberon nsw

The forest is full of mushrooms now. These are not edible, but they do look great.

What mushrooms to collect in the pine forest

There are only 2 types of mushrooms that I collect in the pine forests of NSW. It’s the Saffron Milk Cap and SLippery Jack. I have picked and eaten these all my life and I’m confident that they are edible. I would not touch any other mushrooms, but some of them are really good to look at.

mushroom picking nsw

Saffron Milk Cap – Distinctly orange

mushroom picking oberon nsw

Slippery Jack with the yellow spongy belly

These beauties were everywhere.

mushroom picking sydney

This is what you get after 30 minutes. Almost too easy

The fairy tale  mushrooms are beautiful to look at but they are poisonous, so better just to look and photograph. They are practically everywhere. Easily distinguishable from the edible ones, so there is no danger of mistaking them for food.

What to bring to the forest to pick mushrooms

  • A small sharp knife. We don’t pull mushrooms from the forest floor. Cut them off, leave the roots in the ground.
  • A basket or a bag. Preferably not a plastic bag as they may not survive the trip home.
  • Good walking shoes, long tight socks, a hat, a poncho for the rain. It’s also great to ward off the leeches. Oh… come on! You’re in a forest! Where is your sense of adventure?
  • Picnic table, and cooking gear
  • Outdoor chairs; table can be very useful
  • A gas burner. Frying pan. Butter, salt, bread, wine…
  • Don’t forget the wine
  • A large garbage bag

We used to go mushroom picking to the forest when we were young. People in Europe still do that. It’s an autumn tradition. It’s never really to find food anymore. 100 years ago it was a necessity, but these days it’s just nice to go back to the nature and enjoy what it has to offer. The forest was always this dark and scary place, but full of so many wonderful things. Little animals, fruits like blueberries and blackberries.

mushroom picking nsw

Kangaroos are much more common in the forest, but we also saw this family of deer

blackberries in the forest

A bonus – a lot of blackberries which are also in season now

The berries are also everywhere

Where to go for mushroom picking around Sydney

There are 2 places that are driving distance from Sydney that are great for mushroom picking. One is in the Belanglo State Forest, south west of Sydney. About 140km away. It’s an easy drive, mainly on a freeway, so it will be less than 2 hours to get there. They have a nice picnic area there and there is a pond full of yabbies, which are fun to catch and make an enjoyable lunch. This is also very close to the historic town or Berima. Definitely worth a visit, even just to stroll down the street and enjoy the autumn colors.

Another place is west, over the mountains. Close to the town of Oberon and Jenolan Caves. It’s probably a similar distance from Sydney and also mainly on a freeway, so getting there is not an issue, and there is no need for a 4 wheel drive.

How do we cook the Saffron Milk Caps

I’m not much of a cook, but to prepare these is not a difficult task. I usually just wash them, cut in 1cm slices and fry them on a pan. Add some butter at the end, some garlic. A piece of bread to have with the sauce. We usually cook them right in the forest. Just need a pan and a gas cooker. It was raining yesterday, so I took them home and fried them in my kitchen.

mushroom picking

And don’t forget the wine…

The season for mushroom picking in NSW is from about now, late March, till early May. It all depends on the weather, of course. If it gets too cold, they will not survive. I’m planning to make a couple more trips to the forest this season. Hopefully the weather will be a bit kinder for me, not just to the mushrooms, and I can enjoy a picnic in the forest and a great mushroom feast.

4 replies
  1. Jay
    Jay says:

    Went a couple of days ago.
    Found a great spot too. Full of mushrooms and it looked like a tropical rain forest because of the rain. Very rich colors. Must bring a proper camera next time.

    Reply
  2. Lily
    Lily says:

    Its been really warm in Sydney recently so I haven’t decided to start foraging yet. Do you think the next few weeks will still be abundant in mushrooms though, given the warmer weather here in Sydney?

    Reply
    • Jay
      Jay says:

      Hi Lily, I think if you go in April you’ll still find a lot of mushrooms. Check the weather in Oberon or Berrima and pick a weekend after a decent rain; especially if you’re after slippery Jacks. For the Milk Caps it doesn’t matter as much. I’m definitely planning to make at least one more trip this season.

      Reply

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