Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published April 3rd 2017
Recharge Your Batteries And Go Country
Recharge your batteries - Image: Pixabay CCO Public Domain
Beach holidays are usually at the top of a vacation list, but with autumn in the air, have you ever considered getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and/or beach holidays to really have an up-close and personal experience with nature. An opportunity to experience country hospitality and rural activities, while learning an appreciation for the bush. Well you can have all of this…with a farmstay.
Imagine waking up to the sound of roosters crowing the new morning in, watching the sun rise over the horizon, wide open spaces, rugged mountain ranges and daily activities like milking the cows or feeding the animals.
There's an array of farmstays within an hour and a half drive of Brisbane and in no particular order, this is my selection.
Wittacork Dairy Cottages' views over Lake Baroon - Image: Wittacork Dairy Cottages Facebook page
Wittacork Dairy Cottages offers a serene rainforest retreat, family accommodation and a genuine Australian farmstay. This modern working dairy farm comprises three hundred acres, adjoining Lake Baroon and State Forest and is a 'Land for Wildlife' registered property.
The self-contained cottages are up on a ridge overlooking beautiful Lake Baroon and the Obi Obi Gorge National Park. The four cottages available give plenty of options:-
Carabeen Cottage - sleeps five Room 1 - Queen bed
Room 1 - One single and one bunk bed (3 single)
Marara Cottage - sleeps four Room 1 - Queen bed
Room 2 - Two single beds
Farmhouse (a renovated workers cottage) - sleeps six/eight
Room 1 - Queen bed
Room 2 - Double, single and a single trundle bed
Room 3 - Two single beds
Views from the Farmhouse - Image: Wittacork Dairy Cottages Facebook page
Tamarind Cottage - sleeps six
Room 1 - Queen bed
Room 2 - Three singles and one single trundle bed (four single)
Milking and Animal Feeding
Every afternoon between 4.00pm and 5.30pm you can watch the cows being milked and help feed the animals. The milking demonstration is at 4.00pm and then it's feeding time for the calves, goats, Pumba and Boris, the pigs and egg collection time (bring your own basket).
Lucy the goat and Sage the cat - Image: Wittacork Dairy Cottages Facebook page
If you're an early bird, the animals are also fed at 7.00am after the morning milking and you'll get a feel for the farmers' early morning starts. Bring along any fruit and veggie scraps for the chooks - an excellent example of recycling.
With two kilometres of walking tracks, bridges, creeks and waterfall viewing areas, it's a great spot for walks too. Wittacork Dairy Cottages have farm walk maps available should you feel like exploring.
Blackwattle Farm is the perfect getaway for families and couples who want to enjoy the quiet farm lifestyle. The stunning Glass House Mountains are in close proximity to Blackwattle Farm and the beaches are only twenty minutes away.
Stunning Glass House Mountains - Image: Blackwattle Farm Facebook page
The Rain Forest Cabin is ideal for four people including children and pets on request. An ideal getaway for families, with a king size bed for Mom and Dad and the children have their own room. A large outdoor entertaining area with BBQ and outdoor fireplace, especially for those cold nights when you're planning on toasting some marshmallows.
A continental breakfast hamper is provided and a cooked breakfast/dinner hamper can be organised on request.
A free farm tour is included in the price.
Mountain View Suite - for adults only
Private lounge in the Mountain View Suite - Image: Blackwattle Farm Facebook page
Looking for a romantic getaway? Then the Mountain View Suite should be your choice. The accommodation is a Queen Suite with private mountain views, a funky Claw Foot bath and a lounge/dining area. Free wi-fi, Foxtel, reverse cycle air-conditioning and floor to ceiling windows to enjoy the stunning surrounds.
A complimentary breakfast is included in the rate.
Feeding the Llamas at Blackwattle Farm - Image: Blackwattle Farm Facebook page
Besides being in close proximity to Australia Zoo, the Beerwah Township and the beach, Blackwattle Farm has a variety of farm animals. You can get to experience first-hand, alpacas, miniature pigs, Dexter cows and poultry. Guests are welcome to help feed the menagerie of animals in the afternoons.
Blackwattle Farm also holds Sustainability Workshops: organic kitchen gardens, bread making, preserving and cheese making. Call Emma on 0408 536 815 for details and dates.
Cedar Glen Farmstay is a real working farm and has been a farmstead for more than thirty years. You'll find Cedar Glen in the foothills of the panoramic 'Lost World' section of the Lamington National Park.
The Stephens family have worked this cattle property for over one hundred years and it is steeped in history and family tradition.
There's a choice of four historical cottages at Cedar Glen.
Cedar Glen Homestead - sleeps up to twelve people
Fully catered only
This 1901 Homestead is the former family home of Cedar Glen and is now reserved exclusively for guests. This accommodation provides four double and four single beds, two bathrooms and toilets. To view rates please click here.
Stinson Cottage - sleeps up to six people
Fully catered or self-contained
The Stinson Cottage, built in the 1900's, is fully self-contained with two bedrooms, a comfy lounge area and a cosy wood fireplace. Relax on the classic style verandah and take in the sensational views across Cedar Glen Farm, the Lost Valley and the mountains beyond. Stinson Cottage is fully catered or self-contained, the choice is yours. To view rates please click here.
Dairy Cottage is a 1940's large farm cottage, that is either fully catered for or self-contained. Positioned on the perfect spot to take in spectacular views of the farm and Lamington National Park. Click here for rates.
One of the pleasurable activities at Cedar Glen Farm is getting involved in the farming activities. With horses, cattle, cows, pigs, sheep, turkeys, ducks, peacocks and chickens, you can imagine there's a lot of feeding that needs to be done. Animal feeding happens twice a day at 8.00am and 5.00pm and is an activity that the whole family will enjoy.
Horse riding at Cedar Glen - Image: Cedar Glen Farmstay Facebook page
Horses have been part of Australian farming life for many years, for transport; for mustering cattle; or to drag heavy ploughs through the land. The horse has always been the backbone of the Australian farm. All levels of horse rider are catered for at Cedar Glen and there's a one hour trail ride through the foothills of the Lost World Valley. The twenty minute trail is a fantastic introduction to horse riding for beginner adults and children. Short pony rides for the littlest members of the family are also available.
Boomerang Throwing, Whip Cracking and Billy Tea and Damper
You can get involved in boomerang throwing - the boomerang will come back. Learn how to crack an Australian stock whip or participate in a real Australian tradition by including Billy Tea and Damper in your activities. Cedar Glen Farm will boil the billy and share some home made damper, jam and syrup.
Billy Tea at Cedar Glen Farmstay - Image: Cedar Glen Farmstay Facebook page
Twilight Mountain Top 4WD Tour including Champagne or Orange Juice
Jack Stephens was one of the original settlers of this area. "Jacks Rocks" is a panoramic vantage point on Cedar Glen Farm, boasting views of the Lost World, the McPherson Range and Cedar Glen. The road is only accessible by 4WD and provides a fun trip across the river and up the mountain side. Enjoy a glass or champagne or orange juice when arriving at the viewing point - don't forget your camera!
Although this is an activity you can do yourself, Cedar Glen Farm are happy to share the best spots with you to increase your chances of a successful catch. In support of the regeneration of native fish stocks, the fishing is operated on a strictly catch and release basis. Should you be lucky enough to catch a carp, you can keep this one, as it is prohibited to return them to the river.
Have a picnic at the creek at Tommerup's Dairy Farm - Image: Tommerup's Dairy Farm Facebook page
Tommerup's Dairy Farm is a real working dairy farm offering guests a genuine farm adventure within a beautiful setting. Farmstay guests can help milk the cows and be part of the process from Farm to Fork.
The Cottage - sleeps five, but can extend to eight people
The rustic country Cottage is located in a private and picturesque part of Tommerup's Dairy Farm, offering views across the farm. The Cottage is fully self-contained and includes all linen and modern conveniences. The main bedroom has an original 1880's four poster bed; the sleep out area has a double bed and single bed in the form of a triple bunk. A sofa bed and day bed are in the lounge area. For additional details on all the facilities at The Cottage, please click here.
Nothing like fresh water - Image: Tommerup's Dairy Farm Facebook page
The Homestead - sleeps twelve (can extend to thirteen) people
The Homestead, built in 1888, is perfect for larger groups or families that like a little more leg-room. In a great location with spectacular views across the farm, the Homestead has a covered verandah, ideal for relaxing. This accommodation is fully self-contained, including linen. The main bedroom boasts an original four-poster bed; the second bedroom has a four-poster and a bunk room and two bathrooms for guests. The Homestead was the first sawn timber home in the Kerry district and whilst it has remained true to its historical roots, has been redecorated in a rustic country style. For additional details on all the facilities at The Homestead, please click here.
The Mexicano is a suite which allows you to spread out and enjoy the luxuries of home while enjoying a stunning rural setting. This suite is self-contained and features a double bed, two single beds, plus a roll-away option.
Camelot Suite - sleeps 2
Camelot suite sleeps 2 - Image: Clandulla Cottages Facebook page
Take a step back in time with the Camelot Suite. A self-contained suite ideal for couples with a four poster bed and its own sitting room.
Okotoks Suite - sleeps 2 adults and 2 children
This mini family suite is decorated in a fun style with a western theme. Okotoks Suite is self-contained with a fully equipped kitchen and features one Queen bed and a separate lounge with a sofa bed.
Rose Cottage - sleeps 2 adults and 1 child
Rose Cottage has been built with a single purpose in mind - romance. It is a luxurious suite with a romantic finish. Rose Cottage is self-contained with a fully equipped kitchen and offers a King bed and its own sitting room.
Main events daily at 8.00am and 5.00pm when your family can feed all the animals. They will eat out of your hand if you choose, ensuring a very close encounter with farm animals and a real 'show and tell' story for your children;
Feed the baby kangaroos;
Play a game of pool or tennis;
Clandulla Cottages are partners with Discover Mt Tambourine so have vouchers for the local attractions and theme parks.
*Breakfast with the Animals - Arrive at 8.00am sharp for animal feeding and a delicious breakfast; *Friday Night Takeaway - Join Clandulla Cottages on a Friday night at 5.00pm, bring a bottle of wine and sit back while the children play and your meal is prepared. Gourmet hamburgers and steak burgers, fresh wood-fired pizzas and crunchy fish and chips; *Murder Mystery Nights - Dress for a fun theme night and enjoy a killer murder mystery party. Must have 8 adults to participate. Costumes, meals, accommodation and even a baby-sitter are included in the package; *Cafe de Barn - Clandulla's newest addition is Cafe de Barn, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests.
I can't think of a better way to recharge your batteries than 'going country' and the children will love the interaction with the animals too! What better way to teach our littlies about the birds and the bees - metaphorically speaking, of course!