City kids. Coddled. Spoiled. Disconnected from reality. Don’t know the value of anything. Now, if they’d been brought up in the country…
The past few years have seen farm stays become one of the best options for a short holiday with your kids, in the process avoiding traffic jams, crowded theme parks, crowded beach towns, and getaways where they end up in front of their screens the whole time anyway.
A lot of rural properties have realised they need to diversify, often because of the effects of drought, and have adapted their farms to offer city punters a pretty immersive experience of rural life on the land. Whereas 20 or 30 years ago a stay on a farm – which was a fairly rare experience – involved one horse ride and sitting on a bale of hay while having a barbie under the stars, these days you can do everything from milking the cows to shearing the sheep, feeding the alpacas, making damper, fishing and four-wheel driving.
At Rosecliffe Boutique Farm Cottages in the Noosa Hinterland, for instance, the kids can feed miniature ponies, Arabian horses, chickens, llamas and Belted Galloway cattle, collect hen’s eggs, swing under the trees, pick fruit in the citrus fruit orchard or go on a nature walk on the Noosa Trail Network or around the property. Stay at the property in a cottage that sleeps up to four with a one bedroom-one bathroom layout or a bigger option with two bedrooms, one bathroom and a big lounge and kitchen set-up with indoor and outdoor dining options as well. You can even bring your dog.In NSW, visit and stay at Dairy Park farm stay (pictured) on the NSW Central Tablelands of NSW near Mandurama, a 1,100ha working sheep and cattle farm run by fifth generation farmers Grant and Liz Molloy, whose family have owned the property since the 1820s. They offer eco-friendly accommodation and a “free-range lifestyle”, entertaining guests with homegrown lamb and organically grown vegetables. The kids can pet and look after horses, working dogs, hens and two pet dogs, and watch kangaroos, echidnas, goannas, emus and native bird life on the property.
ATYD tip – a destination like the farm stays mentioned above are a good idea because they’re also close to interesting regional areas and are therefore good bases for exploring further afield should the kids tire of cows and pigs after a day or so.
There are good farm stay options in every state of Australia nowadays. Read the testimonials, ask your friends, and do something that will remind your kids about where their food comes from.
Some helpful links below: