Chug along to the most cheerful, cherry-loving event of the year. Young’s 70th National Cherry Festival is on in all its fruity glory from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th December. From kelpie demonstrations to cherry pie-eating competitions, the Young Cherry Festival is one sweet family day out.

Young is the cherry capital of Australia. December is the peak of the picking season, so this is the perfect time of year to enjoy the bounty from local orchards.

Fill your tummies with the best of the local cherry crop. Credit: Visit Hilltops Region

Fireworks on Friday night are just the beginning of the Young Cherry Festival. Fill up on cherries from festival stalls and farmers’ markets on Saturday. Much of the party unfolds in Anderson Park (where you’ll find the Main Stage) and the surrounding streets. Enjoy live music, a drum and pipes band, rides, the National Cherry Festival Street Parade and more.

Challenge the sweet tooths of the family to enter the cherry pie-eating contest. Try your luck at the pip-spitting competition. And when you feel like you have cherries come out of your ears, finish off your weekend with a big Sunday brekky in the park, accompanied by bush poets, a church choir and a kelpie demonstration.

There are plenty of opportunities to get hands-on with kid-friendly festival activities. Credit: Visit Hilltops Region

Young year-round

The Young Cherry Festival is a great excuse to visit the region, but it is also a great destination for families on the other 51 weekends of the year. Learn about Wiradjuri history, as well as the gold rush, wool industry and first cherry crops planted in Young. Wandering the Young Heritage Walks is a nice way to soak up local lore in the open air. Pop in to the Lambing Flat Folk Museum and nearby Chinese Tribute Garden for more of a flavour of the town. In neighbouring Boorowa, stop by the Glenara Gallery and Boorowa Historical Museum. Monteagle is home to a Rustic Maze and Garden.

Getting there

Young is approximately 2 hours’ drive from Canberra and 4 hours’ drive from Sydney on the Hume Highway. Those on public transport can catch a bus from Cootamundra train station. There is plenty of accommodation in Young. You can also stay elsewhere in the Hilltops Region, such as Boorowa, Jugiong and Harden.

Read more:

Where to tickle your tastebuds in NSW

Celebrate food at the world’s wackiest food festivals