Farm Stays - Readers Reviews
We stayed at Madison’s Mountain Retreat in Kurrajong, NSW. The accommodation is a mix of old train carriages and cabins. I found the carriages a little musty and awkward and not that well-furnished but the kids loved the novelty. The cottages were spacious and ideal for toddlers to safely roam around in. It was quiet and peaceful with beautiful surroundings. Most importantly, there was lots of space for kids to roam around safely. There were alpacas to feed and chooks with eggs, a lovely lake, a large recreational room for wet days, a huge tennis court and a great indoor swimming pool and spa. It was relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family.
My family and I recently stayed at Kookaburra Cottage Farmstay in Port Stephens, NSW. Run by Scott and Louise Smith, it was a lovely little place to take our 18 month old. We went in winter so it was a little chilly but we are planning on visiting again in summer – especially since the beach is only 20 minutes away as well. Louise and Scott were lovely and made us feel right at home - even down to having gumboots waiting for us at the front door so we could get straight into them and run around in the mud!
|We stay at Kookaburra Cottage Farmstay and absolutely love it. Kids get to go on a crazy tractor ride with farmer Scott, milk the cow, collect eggs every day and feed pigs and ducks. It’s a real working farm and run by very down-to-earth people, Louise and Scott. They often have baby animals or other pets to hold and feed. The kids beg me every year to go back. We stay with friends in the old farmhouse which has four bedrooms and a wonderful verandah. I think we have been there at least four times and will go back again soon - it is also extremely reasonably priced.|
|We spent a few days at Macka's Farm Lodge, on the Great Ocean Road, just minutes inland from the 12 Apostles. We stayed in a two-bedroom lodge, with fantastic views from the back and front verandah. We could see the ocean from the master bedroom, and the front verandah overlooked the rolling hills. The rooms have a wood fire, but with electric heating back-up. We have two young children and cots were provided at no extra cost. The kitchen was fully equipped and the bathroom had a bath – perfect for children. There was also a large flat-screen television and DVD player. |
What made it fantastic was as soon as you stepped out of the front door of your lodge you were on the farm. It is a working dairy farm and we got to see the cows being milked every morning and every evening. The huge barn is the animal nursery. While we were there, they had several litters of piglets, calves, rabbits and lots of kittens. The children spent hours climbing the hay bales and swinging on the rope. In the morning we would hunt through the barn to collect the eggs that the hens roaming the property had laid. There is an open campfire area in front of which, when the babies were tucked up in bed, we enjoyed a couple of bottles of red wine while gazing up at the starry skies. It was magical. This farmstay was fantastic for the family as there was so much to do, and you can get as interactive with the farm as you like. The kids even had a go at milking the cows. They saw the big vat where the milk is collected and the trucks that came to collect it. There were loads of animals to interact with – including ponies and goats - and the kids loved every moment of it. Their favourite thing to do was to sit in the barn and play with the kittens and dogs. My two-year-old son was also very taken with the pigs. I would highly recommend this place to anyone - it is the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday. Nothing but fresh air and lots of animals to play with.
|Goldie, my 10-year-daughter is the perfect age for the school holiday camp at Underbank Stud Farm in Bacchus Marsh, Vic. Underbank provides home-cooked food; luxurious, clean accommodation; experienced leaders and lots of activities so they’re never just sitting around waiting for something to happen. They have two hours of horse riding every day, they also enjoy evening activities and on the last night they put on a performance to entertain everyone! Rain, hail or shine - the camp works well for all kids!|
|In August last year, we stayed at Fraser Range Station, a working sheep station and caravan park. We were recommended to stay there by some other travellers we met on the road and we were not disappointed! Fraser Range Sheep Station and Caravan Park is at the Western Australia end of the Nullarbor Plain. We travelled around the country in four months and this was the best appointed park we stayed at. The facilities were clean and fresh and they had a huge, country-style camp kitchen complete with log fire that was lit every night. They also have stone cabins and units. On our trip, we were trying to show our children (aged six and four) as many different parts of Australia and our history. Fraser Range fitted in well with this plan. Although we only stayed one night, the children were able to pat and feed the sheep, walk around the farm (although most of the animals were in the far paddocks) and see the old shearing shed. Jasmine, our six year old just couldn’t get over the fact that there was a “ram skull right behind our camper, it’s so exciting!” |
The atmosphere in the country kitchen was great - all the campers could get together to discuss what they had seen and done on the farm. Although it was a short stay, we would gladly return for longer. There was a huge amount of birds (galahs were the most popular) and a small pen with about 10 sheep of different colours near the camping area. If we had stayed longer we would have been able to see them working the sheep with the dogs and the horses. It took quite a while for our youngest to warm up to the sheep enough to feed and pat them through the fence; the oldest was more than excited to be able to pat them. I think both of them were very happy that there was a fence between them – it was like a soft introduction to farming life! The kids loved playing on the old car in the garden near the camp ground. They also loved to see the old-style kitchen and the whole atmosphere the working farm provided. We saw a lot on our trip and some places tended to meld into one another as we travelled so far in such a short time. Fraser Range was not one of these places, it was well appointed for any style of traveller and offered as much or as little contact with the animals as the children could stand! The historical aspect was also an important one, we especially loved the story about one of the old cars on the property. Apparently, the owners turned up to Perth in answer to an ad for the vehicle, where the sales person advertised that they would “trade in anything for the car”. After having to trade the Fraser Range camel, they changed their advertising!
|Do I have a fabulous farmstay for you! Megalong Ranch Guesthouse is located at the bottom of the Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains, NSW and is one of the most picturesque properties around. The best part of the farmstay is that there are loads of well cared for animals, and hundreds of friendly horses. Our kids being city kids, they rarely get to just wander freely around a property, the wide open space is wonderful, the horses come thundering down from the top paddock each morning, and it is a sight to see. Ducks, rabbits and dogs freely roam around. They also have alpacas and pigs. You can always see kangaroos on the early morning trail rides. The accommodation is rustic, but very comfortable and most importantly warm. It varies from basic double rooms (with ensuite), to family rooms with a double bed, and a couple of bunks, we took four children with us, and were more than comfy. All beds come with an electric blanket and column oil heaters in the rooms. When the kids got up in the morning, they were allowed to check for eggs in the hen house and bring back the eggs for brekkie. |
We also were treated to a wonderful country hot brekkie in the dining room, and they have been known to host Christmas in July as well. You can get a coffee or a Devonshire tea from the kiosk, and warm damper as well! There is a very large lounge room with a couple of TVs and an open fire for those very crisp evenings. Our two girls simply adored the horses, and were happy to pat them all day. We also went on a Family Trail Ride, which was an experience - even our four-year-old son went along on a slow pony tethered to the instructor. My posterior didn't thank me though, you forget how hard horse-riding is on our city derrieres! I also forgot to mention, they have all these great old rusty tractors and old farm wagons in which the kids can explore. Things they just don't get a chance to even touch in the city, but at Megalong, they can climb all over them. I would definitely recommend this type of holiday for families, it’s amazing how tuckered out you all get from all that fresh air.