The great Australian state of New South Wales has a lot to offer families looking for a good holiday. One option that’s becoming more popular is spending family holidays on a farm, also known as a farm stay.
But how to find the ‘Needle in the Haystack’? With this article explores the 4 key things to look at and compare to find the right ‘fit’ for your own family.
For a family farm holiday, one of the most significant factors that families experience is the complete change in environment. This is in contrast with the urban environments that most people live in these days.
By way of example of this contrast, in New South Wales three quarters of the population lives in the greater city of Sydney. New South Wales population in 2016 is 7.9 million with Sydney’s population coming in at over 5 million. In days gone by, most people lived on the land because they needed to produce food to eat. This is obviously no longer the case.
Depending on where you take your family farm stay in NSW, the first thing you’ll notice is the peace and quiet. This is because of the absence of vehicles, industry and people. Even the animals are quieter. One interesting study found that city-dwelling birds actually need to tweet louder than country birds!
The other aspect that is obvious when taking a family farm holiday near Sydney is the significant space. This is perfect for outdoor activities such as bush walking, mountain biking, kicking a football, whacking golf balls, or just generally exploring. The average house block size in Sydney is around 300 square metres.
Farms vary anywhere from an acre to thousands of acres.
The available activities for family farm holidays near Sydney are limited only by your imagination. The most obvious activities relate to life on the farm. This can be feeding and patting animals, or experiencing activities such as sheep being shorn or cows being milked. They can collect eggs from the chickens helping to renew bedding – feeding and watering them too. This is great fun and educational for kids. It can help them understand where the necessities of daily life actually come from. If you come at the right time on some farms you can see the annual shearing take place, or perhaps the farrier working with the horses and ponies.
Of course, some farms are not home to farm animals at all – trees, crops and produce can all be farmed. These can also add to the educational experience and provide interest for walks around the property to highlight how things grow. There is usually great bird watching on farms of this type and plenty of native Australian animals.
Other activities that you might be able to find are archery, motorbike riding, or horse riding. Probably the most fun I ever had on a farm was laser tag set among the Australian bush. I suppose paintball would top that experience for some people but I’m probably too worried about the bruises!
A key part of a Family farm Stay near Sydney is the level of accommodation. In this regard, Sydney farm Stays pretty much have it all.
At the most basic level, some farmstays offer basic bunk dormitory style accommodation – this is cheap and cheerful – but of course this may not be what all families are looking for. Ben Ricketts in Jambaroo provides this style of accommodation. Prices start really low depending on when, and what you book.
On the other end of the scale is out and out luxury, where the facilities are more akin to a top end hotel rather than a farmstay – really lush!
Royalla Luxury Farmstay in Robertson is an example of this.
Most likely, you’ll end up somewhere in the middle which provides a good blend of reasonable price and good value like Morvern Valley Farm Stay in Bundanoon. The accommodation can really make or break the family farm holiday. Quality farmstay accommodation should provide comfortable facilities plus activities both outside and indoors. For example, some farmstay properties offer books, games and movies for cold or wet days.
Because the state is large, you can be quite far away from a property offering family farm holidays in Sydney. Not every farm is suitable for holidays, but staying on a farm does provide quite a unique experience.
The Southern Highlands area is just 90 minutes away and offers some great Farm Stays. The Hunter Valleyarea is 90 minutes north of Sydney and also hosts a number of family farm holiday options. In addition to the farmstay experience itself, Pokolbin has a number of opportunities for interesting day trips. Kangaroo Valley, around 2 hours south of Sydney also provides pleasant farmland and farmstay opportunities. Further afield, Bathurst is reached by passing through the Blue Mountains it is around 3 hrs away.
Whereas visiting a farm was once commonplace, these days family farm holidays near Sydney can provide a unique experience. The environment is completely different to that experienced by most city dwellers, bringing peace and tranquillity. Yet there are likely to be plenty of activities available to fill in your days. That is assuming you’re wanting to do anything other than just sit inside by a fire.
Morvern Valley FarmStay in Bundanoon just 90 minutes from Sydney has three, three bedroom cottages, each catering for up to 8 persons providing peace and quiet in the surrounds of a 25 acre Farm. Plenty of farm Animals here, including chickens, ducks, sheep, alpacas, horses, ponies, geese and donkeys and many more. Collect eggs and cook them up for a delicious farm breakfast. The National Park is in walking distance and here you can enjoy marked Bush Walks and visit Glow Worm Glen. There are a wide range of activities outdoors Tyre Swings, Cubby House and play gym equipment, and 25 acres to explore – native wildlife abounds. Inside each cottage is a lovely Log fire and a double Spa Bath. Many DVDs, games and book collections.
To book your perfect family farm holiday near Sydney, click here.