In early 2020 Bilpin got hit hard by the massive fires that ran through NSW. The area's spirit has not been extinguished and Bilpin will bounce back. Bilpin is renowned for its stone fruit and apples and when the harvest is in full swing you can even pick your own. This area of the mountain foothills also offers many opportunities to stop at cafés and fruit and vegetable stores selling seasonal fare such as cider, apple pies, honey, jams, berries and preserves. Additionally there are two cellar doors selling locally grown and produced apple cider - Bilpin Cider Co and Hillbilly Cider. Bilpin markets are open every Saturday from 10am-12pm at the Bilpin District Hall, Bells Line of Road. This market features food - local fruit and vegetables, flowers, honey plus handmade garments and craft items. The market kitchen offers breakfast, morning tea and brunch with plenty of seating inside and out.
The fertile soil and climate that are perfect for fruit orchards are also ideal for gardens. Bilpin is home to the luxuriant cool climate garden Wildwood, which features a café, nursery and gift shop; it is well worth a visit in its open seasons of spring and autumn. Water features, fairy gardens and dragon dens are a must see for adults and children alike as are the springtime line of cherry trees in full magnificent bloom or the garden's striking autumn colour display. Innumerable native birds call this garden home - be sure to take your camera and capture the ever changing colour-charged scenery as well as the abundant wildlife. The whole of the Bilpin area is a photographer's delight in any season but particularly in autumn for the deciduous trees' changing colours, in spring for the blossoms and in summer when the fruits ripen in abundance on the fruit trees in the Bilpin orchards.
At Mount Tomah you will find the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden and the Botanists Way Discovery Centre, which showcases the historic crossing through the dramatic northern Blue Mountains World Heritage wilderness.
Using interpretative signage and displays, high quality photography and beautiful graphics, the Botanists Way Discovery Centre focuses on the history of the northern Blue Mountains, the connections with botany and the remarkable canyons which are only a short distance from the Centre. The Centre also features stories on the traditional custodians of Mount Tomah, the Darug people, with a display of tools made by Darug artist Shane Smithers.
This cool climate botanic garden changes with the seasons and each spring mass plantings of bulbs are on colourful display as are the iconic red, white and pink waratahs. Autumn colours are another must see time of the year for this garden.
In Best Cycle Rides Around The Hawkesbury ride 6 takes the recreational bike rider through the heart of the Wollemi National Park ending at a remote wilderness lookout. From Bells Line of Road, Bilpin turn right into Mountain Lagoon Road (if you are coming from the North Richmond direction) to begin this particular ride. All of the information for this and eleven other rides within the Hawkesbury area can be located within this popular publication. It is available for purchase ($6) from the Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre - 328 Hawkesbury Valley Way, Richmond 2753.