Mushrooms found in the pine forests of Oberon are prized the world over by cooks and chefs, fungi are one of Oberon’s most popular treasures. In the many hectares of State owned pine forests around Oberon, following autumn rain, forest fungi emerge. Entering into these forests is like stepping into another world, perfect for collection of these exotic fungi.
Forests NSW has more that 40,000 hectares of pine plantation around Oberon; places such as Hampton, Jenolan and Vulcan State Forests boast the best mushrooming grounds.
The most popular edible mushrooms are the Saffron Milk Cap (Lactarius deliciousus) and the Slippery Jack (Boletus portentosus). These fungi are highly sought after delicacies for many chefs and visitors. In the majestic, quiet forests all you will need is a basket, a knife and a bit of local knowledge about what to look for.
The best time to collect mushrooms from pine plantations is in autumn after rain. The better areas for mushrooms are where pines are reasonably mature (more than 10 years old), which has allowed good mushroom growing needle matter to build up.
A word of caution! There are many different kinds of fungi in the forests, so be sure you know just what is safe to eat. The Visitor Information Centre in Oberon has an excellent video on which mushrooms are safe to eat. The staff can also assist you with directions to the forest but make sure you are confident that you can identify which fungi are safe to pick.
When it comes to fungi: If in doubt, throw it out! It cannot be emphasised strongly enough that you must correctly identify your fungi before picking them.