What: Mushroom Picking
Where: Belanglo State Forest, 90 minutes south of Sydney
Best time to go: Autumn- Early winter, I’ve been told the best time to pick mushrooms is a 2-3 days after rain.
What to bring: Warm clothes, sensible shoes, basket [preferably wicker], shallow stack able containers for transporting them home, small knife, Mushroom descriptions/ photos [just to be safe]
Mushroom Picking Belango State Forest is the ideal weekend adventure for the wintery months as this is the time that Mushrooms are in season.
We went to Belanglo State forest for our adventure. It’s actually a great alternative location for picking mushrooms as it’s closer than Oberon, which I have been told is another very popular area to pick Mushrooms.
I had no idea that mushroom picking was a thing until this weekend, but I’ll try anything once. It’s sounds scary and intimidating at first but gladly I was guided by my experienced super nature friends. [Thanks for keeping us alive Val and Mel!]
We had a early-ish start, leaving the city about 8am. We stopped for breakfast and arrived at the Belanglo State forest at about 11am. I recommend visiting a few different spots around the forest to look for mushrooms as the climate and terrain changes. Mushrooms usually grow in damp and dark terrain, so the type of area that you want to look for is a sloped area because it retains moisture, but also areas with high density pine trees provide some cover which makes the area a bit darker.We tried about 2-3 areas before hitting the jackpot. But this could vary during the season.
We were on the hunt for two types of mushrooms-
1. Saffron Milk caps or commonly known as ‘Pine mushrooms’. We were aiming for moderate sized Pine Mushrooms with deep colour. We found that the best Pine mushroom were harder to spot as usually they were hidden under pine needles.
2. Slippery Jack Mushrooms. These were a little easier to find because they were not hiding under pine needles.
After a few hours, between the three of us we ended up with a modest haul of mushrooms. It’s quite easy to get lost in the forest so just be careful… we may have lost sight of the car for a few minutes.
It’s always nice to get out of the city once in and while, mushroom picking in Belanglo Forest is a great excuse to go exploring during the winter months. So, corral some nature loving friends and head out to Belanglo this weekend.