A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published March 25th 2013
Farmstays for an old-fashioned good time
As more children are growing up in the city, farm stays are a good opportunity to introduce the kids to the good old days when most people ran wild and free in the country, rejoicing in the huge expanse of space and the rugged nature of the outdoors. The days when animals were a big part of life and so was the habit of waking up early and working hard with your hands and feet; not just the technological gadgets kids are now used to.
Short from uprooting and moving everyone to the country (and owning a farm is definitely no easy feat), farm stays are the next best thing; a welcome respite to everyday responsibilities. The fact is, Brisbane has a lack of space.
Therefore, a farm stay will most probably require some form of travel. See below for a list of farm stays within three hour's drive from Brisbane CBD.
Lillydale Farmstay, located close to Mount Barney National Park and surrounded by Beaudesert and Boonah, is a scenic 90 minute drive from Brisbane. If you want the whole farm experience of milking cows, collecting eggs, feeding baby animals and riding on horses, this is the place to go. You can either stay in room accommodation or your own self-contained eco-cabin accommodation if you want a little more room to yourselves.
Home to Doug and Pam Hardgrave for over 40 years, they welcome visitors to experience a day of their lives and to be part of their family. Other than helping out with chores at the farm, there are surrounding activities to keep you occupied such as fishing or bush walking at Mount Barney National Park. You will be uninterrupted from technology as most mobile phones will be out of service range, enabling you quality family time, peace and quiet.
Cedar Glen Farmstay is a working farm with over 1000 acres of vast land, 90 minutes drive from Brisbane. Located in Lamington National Park, the Stephens family has been running the farm stay for more than 30 years. Cedar Glen Farmstay is steeped with history and traditions, allowing guests to enjoy a bit more than the traditional working farm experience with extra activities such as swimming and tennis. Take part in the morning animal feed or learn how to throw a boomerang and crack a whip. If you are a fan of four wheel drives, there is also a spectacular Jack's Rocs 4 wheel drive tour. You will be spoilt for choice for things to do.
Located at 7 Old Taabinga Road, Kingaroy, Taabinga Homestead costs around $107-$150 a night. Taabinga Homestead was built in 1846 and it is heritage-listed. It is also one of the state's oldest continuously lived-in rural homes.
The property boasts nine buildings, including the cottages, an old blacksmith shop, the original stables and creamery. The gardens are also exquisite and feature a more than one 100-year-old tree. Children will love patting the dogs and horses, collecting eggs, feeding the chooks and heading out to the paddock.
Located at 159 Commissioners Flat Road, Peachester, Mango Hill Farm is one of the Sunshine Coast's premier organic farm attractions. A private venue, the farm is suitable for weddings as well with a view of the peaceful rolling countryside and Glasshouse Mountains. Mango Hill Farm offers a range of accommodation including the beautifully restored 100-year-old Queenslander, Dovecote Cottage, which sits perched on top of a hill amongst fruit trees and serene countryside. As a traditional working farm, the farm offers its visitors the ability to harvest their own vegetables from the kitchen garden or collect fresh eggs from the free range chickens. If you love cooking, Mango Hill Farm has gourmet cooking classes using their fresh ingredients from the vegetable garden.