Farmstays are a little food for the soul. You can wake up to crisp, country air and the sound of a rooster crowing, and then spend your day collecting freshly laid eggs, petting farm animals, and riding horses around the rolling green hills. In NSW, there are plenty of farms that are open to overnighters, and they range from rustic to glam.
Today, we’re talking family-friendly farmstays, where the kids can run wild and get their hands dirty, while the parents soak up the scene – or join in!
Near Mudgee, this 115-hectare merino farm’s motto is to ‘connect children with animals.’ You can expect your little ones to race back from Kids Club with stories about how they fed lambs, groomed horses, picked fruit from the orchard, and baked goodies in the homestead kitchen. As for accommodation, there’s a two-bedroom cottage or a renovated ‘red rattler’ train carriage (complete with a piano!).
1367 Windeyer Road, Windeyer
Shake up your next South Coast getaway [link to South Coast guide] with a stay at this scenic farm, which has its own flowing creek, endless grass paddocks, and three charming cottages that sleep 8, 11 or 16 people. It’s the ultimate rural escape for families. You can ride horses, feed the goats and alpacas, and get up close to peacocks, echidnas, wombats and kangaroos and while bushwalking.
48 Nugents Creek Road, Kangaroo Valley
A 10-minute drive from Bathurst, this working farm delivers a good old-fashioned dose of country hospitality. You’ll meet Barcoo, a 20-year-old Clydesdale horse, Cody, a cute Shetland pony, and a bunch of sheep, lambs, pigs, ducks, cows and dogs. The kids will love the pony and sled rides, and hopping on a tractor for a tour of the property. Along with self-contained units, and caravans and motorhomes are welcome.
1080 Trunkey Road, Perthville
At this alpaca farm in the Hunter Valley, the accommodation is luxe. There are 13 cottages and three suites, plus a saltwater swimming pool, spa, sauna, playground and BBQ facilities. You can feed the 200 alpacas frolicking around the property, and pick fresh pears and peaches from the brand-new orchard. In the afternoons, keep an eye out for the cria – baby alpacas!
1100 Milbrodale Road, Broke
Close to Wagga Wagga, this farmstay offers a peek into what it’s like to live on a wheat, sheep and cattle property. The kids will love the responsibility that comes with feeding the chooks, ducks, pigs and lambs, laying fresh straw for nests, collecting eggs and hanging out with camels. With the farm as their playground, they’ll be ready for marshmallows and an early bedtime.
McRories Road, Yerong Creek
For a farmstay closer to home, look into Mowbray. Located in Picton, it has plenty of family-friendly activities, and is perfect for pony and horse lovers. It caters to all ages and levels of riding experience, but trail rides aside, the kids can get involved in animal feeding, cow milking and egg collecting. On weekends and school holidays, the farm runs a Kids Club.
745 Barkers Lodge Road, Picton
To make this year’s ski trip the most memorable yet, book a farmstay at Highland Lodge in Jindabyne. In between carving up the slopes, the kids can roam the 64-hectare farm and pick veggies, collect eggs, bike ride and mingle with the dogs, alpacas, cows, sheep, lambs and ponies. Accommodation-wise, there’s a farmhouse that fits 10 people, and three one-bedroom cottages.
271 Eucumbene Road, Jindabyne
To sell this to your kids, just use two words: Labrador farm. Three hours from Sydney, this farm is flush with Labradors and Cavalier King Charles (beware, you may leave this trip with a puppy!), as well as goats, miniature ponies, and guinea pigs. It also has a plant nursery, worm farm, and river. While it mostly attracts day visitors, you can stay overnight in the two-storey cottage.
65 Stantons Lane, Gloucester
Perched on the Mid-North Coast, Peacehaven is an idyllic country retreat with just two cottages on 120 acres of land. The kids won’t know where to start. They’ll adore petting the horses, dogs and Tangy the donkey, helping out with the feeding, and spotting native wildlife before splashing in the saltwater pool. Oh, and parents: the owner, Nita, is a qualified masseuse.
353 Upper Myall Road, Bulahdelah