Jackson Orchards is a family run Orchard in Cromwell owned by Kevin Jackson and has been operated by son Mark Jackson and daughter Kristin Nolan. Mark Jackson passed away sadly and very unexpectedly early 2021. Both his family and long time employees continue his legacy in a labour of love with their commitment and passion for Jackson Orchards and the fruit we grow.
Kevin’s original orchard was located in the Cromwell Gorge between 1969 -1989. Kevin was forced to leave the property when the Clyde Dam was being built and flooding of the orchard was imminent.
Kevin was the last to leave the Cromwell Gorge which gave him time to have a good look around before purchasing the current 30 hectare block of land Jackson Orchards operates on.
Kevin also owned the 8 hectare of orchard on Highway 8B called Freeway Orchard which was sold to his daughter Kristin Nolan in 2010. Today, we refer to Freeway as our "Sister Orchard" - just up the road from us! Both of these orchards are still successfully operating today.
Kevin chose these properties for the soil conditions, being similar to the soil type around the base of the hills on the Cromwell Gorge property. Location from the township is also important for potential employment of workers. Being on the main highway for a roadside business was another criteria.
Mr Jackson Barry who was an English immigrant, was the original owner of the land that the Jackson Orchards now resides on.
He was a butcher in Cromwell and was even the Mayor from 1866-1868! It is just a coincidence that his name is Jackson, and he is not in relation to the Jackson Family.
When visiting us, you might notice the huge trees up the driveway. They are nearly 150 years old and were planted by Jackson. Jackson brought the seeds with him when he came here in 1863.
The trees are known as Canadian cotton wool trees. They drop lots of fluff early summer. One of the trees can be seen in this photograph to the far right, and they are impressive in size!
This property was one of the first to be settled in Cromwell and the old stone cottage was built by Mr Jackson Barry himself - around the same time the Canadian cotton wool trees were planted.
The old stone cottage still has the original hessian walls in places. It has however been renovated and modernized over the years and is currently lived in.
The woolshed opposite was used as workers accommodation in the early days. The orchard has come a long way since then with 12 modern units that workers reside in at the opposite end of the orchard over the summertime.
As a family run Orchard we are proud of our loyal band of employees, totaling 100 at the height of the summer season.
Like our home-grown produce, our 10 full time personnel are from the Cromwell district.
Most of our seasonal workers are university students and backpackers from around the world. Everyone gets into the routine. There is only one sure thing when you work with nature, every day is different!
Central Otago is renowned for the rich, flavoursome stonefruits grown in the region. Cold crisp winters, hot dry summers, and a low annual rainfall combined with the rich mineral soils of a former gold-mining area provide the optimum conditions for producing fruit. Jackson Orchards grow a variety of cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, greengages, apples and pears during their season from November to April. Shop our fruit stall via this website, or better yet pop in and say hi!
Pull off Highway 6 into Jackson Orchards large parking area for ice creams where in front of you real fruit is added to the ice cream or yoghurt base mix for blending and swirling into one of three waffle cone sizes.
There’s nothing artificial about our smoothies either. Pop on in and try one - made to order!
Orchard fresh seasonal ‘Summerfruit’ (cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, greengages, plums, apples, pears) as well as fresh vegetables, honeys, dried apricots and other fruits, preserves, nuts and lots more produce.
Visiting the Jackson Orchards roadside store just out of Cromwell also gives you a ringside view of our high speed computer controlled sorting machine feeding up to 30 very busy packing staff.
Want to bring our orchard to your doorstep? You can! Shop online via this website. We deliver NZ wide.
When in Cromwell, travel on board one of Jackson Orchards 3 electric buses for a 45 minute fun, informative and educational insight into this working orchard; one of NZ’s largest apricot exporters. We can accommodate both private tours, and large commercial tours!
During summer months you get to sample lip-smacking fruit you’ve picked from the tree - a truly "Central Otago" experience.
Book via our website, or call us on 03 445 0596. Tours run all seasons.
From the growers, through the pickers, graders and packers, all of us at Jackson Orchards are dedicated to bringing you the best stone and pip fruits New Zealand has to offer.
Kevin Jackson - Owner Operator