20 July, 2020 By: Tatum Stafford
Farm stays are a unique way for families to enjoy a slice of country living – and luckily for Western Australians, there are plenty welcoming visitors across the State.
While station stays give guests a traditional outback experience with tasks like land regeneration and livestock management, farm stays are a gentler way for families to step into the shoes of real farmers, understand what it takes to operate a farm, and even pet a few cute animals along the way.
So it’s time to whip out the gumboots - here are 10 of WA’s best family-friendly farm stays.
1. Lindum Farm Stay, Lindum
Nestled in the heart of wildflower country, Lindum Farm Stay is a fully-operational agricultural business growing wheat, barley and other grains – and a farm that raises sheep and chicken, too. Guests at Lindum can expect an authentic taste of seasonal farm life, enjoy interactive activities like wool spinning and wildflower-spotting, and learn about breeding chickens and sheep shearing.
The neighbouring towns of Coorow and Perenjori are renowned for their spectacular wildflower displays from late July to late October, so be sure to ask owners Angela and Roger for tips on the best local driving routes and flora hotspots.
2. Lavendale Farm Stay, Gilgering
Situated on the banks of the Avon River just south of York, the spacious Lavendale Farm Stay hosts multiple self-contained cottages that overlook their vibrant farm. With a stable full of horses, ponies, alpacas and donkeys, and a yard home to sheep, goats, pet pigs, cattle, ducks and chickens; there’s no shortage of animals at this bustling farm just a stone’s throw from the city.
Guests can help farmers Merv and Katherine feed the animals in the evening, pet them during the day and collect eggs from the chickens. There’s also an activity room with table tennis tables, an outdoor playground and a fire pit for marshmallow-roasting in the evenings – so there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained.
3. The Mains Guest House, Corrigin
The small working farm at The Mains Guest House is great for kids and families alike. Owners Carly and Warren have a range of sheep, alpacas, poultry and a few family pets that kids are welcome to help feed and care for during their stay. The owners are no strangers to rescued kangaroos either – so you may be lucky enough to spot a joey or two on your visit.
Corrigin is renowned for its spectacular and clear night sky, and the guest house is a great spot for stargazing. It's also a hotspot for native birdlife and fauna, which you can spot on a stroll around the property. The guest house is only a 20-minute walk from the town centre, and it’s a great stop-over on your way to Wave Rock or other towns in the Wheatbelt region.
4. Settlers Rest Farmstay, Swan Valley
If you’d rather a private farm stay experience, the Settlers Rest cottage in the Swan Valley is an idyllic spot less than an hour’s drive from the city. The turn-of-the-century cottage sleeps eight guests at a time, and is well-equipped with gumboots, kids’ toys and a cosy fireplace.
Friendly owners Corinne and Ron can help you get your bearings with a buggy tour through the farm and paddocks. Being the only guests, you’ll have exclusive use of the farm during your stay. The owners are at the stables for feeding time at 4:30pm each day, but guests are welcome to hand feed the goats, sheep, chickens, guinea pigs and pet cow at any time during the day. They're big fans of apples, carrots and bread, so be sure to bring plenty with you!
5. Gumleaf Cottage Farmstay, Hovea
Nestled amongst the natural bushland of the Perth Hills, the Gumleaf Cottage Farmstay is a restored 100-year-old Australian farm cottage. During a stay, guests can interact with and feed the friendly horses, miniature ponies, goats, sheep, rabbits, dogs, cats and chickens that live at the cottage farm. Plus, as the cottage is surrounded by plenty of Australian flora and fauna, kangaroos, possums and bandicoots regularly visit the property on most evenings.
This farm stay is a great option for more adventurous families – as apart from the daily farm animal visits, there are horse-riding, bushwalking or bike-riding trails just steps from the farm gate. There’s also a playground, trampoline, splash pool and water equipment for warmer months; making this a must-visit experience for kids who have energy to burn.
6. Bluehills Farmstay, Harvey
Run by the charismatic Farmer Justin, the Bluehills Farmstay in Harvey has plenty on offer in terms of animals, activities and opportunities to learn about the farming lifestyle. Every morning, Justin rounds up the kids and teaches them how to collect eggs, milk the cow, feed the pig and even ride a miniature pony. Along with these animals, kids can also interact with the alpacas, horses, sheep and rabbits that live onsite. This is the perfect spot for a first-time farm stay – you’ll even receive a bag of carrots by the front door after you check in.
Accommodation at the property is incredibly picturesque, as each of the three rammed earth chalets provide stunning views over the Harvey Dam and the rolling Darling Ranges. Each chalet also includes work from local artisans; including solid wood tables and uniquely designed mosaic inserts that resemble Persian and Moroccan rugs.
7. Ferguson Farmstay, Ferguson Valley
The Ferguson Farmstay experience is jam-packed with daily farm activities; perfect for kids who are proven animal lovers. The farm activities program starts at 8:30am each day with a feeding session for the farm’s goats, sheep, ponies, emus, ducks, hens, rabbits, pigs and a kangaroo. Next up are pony rides, before the farmers take kids and parents on a tractor ride around the property. Outside of this scheduled farm-time, guests are welcome to visit and feed the animals at other times throughout the day. As the owners put it, “We promise the animals are always hungry!”
The property has eleven rammed earth chalets that are cosy, well-equipped and feature a private verandah with an idyllic view of the starry country night sky. There are great options for adults near the farm stay, too – with plenty of microbreweries, wineries and art galleries to explore throughout the Ferguson Valley.
8. Boronia Farm, Donnybrook
A farm stay at Boronia Farm in Donnybrook is a unique experience because of the plentiful fruit orchards and vegetable gardens guests are invited to help harvest. Established by the Williams family in 1929, the farm orchard is home to a unique apple variety they’ve named the ‘Lady Williams’, a crossover between a Pink Lady and a Sundowner. During your stay, you’ll be welcome to help the owners pick plums and apples for what they playfully call ‘on-farm consumption’.
As far as animals go, you’ll be free to feed and chat to the cows, alpacas, chickens, and Milko the goat. There's also a big dam on the property, where you are welcome to go boating and canoeing.
The cottage itself is nestled amongst state forest in the Capel River Valley, where you’ll be able to spot kangaroos most evenings. The property is secluded, small, and as a bonus, dog friendly.
9. Sunflowers Animal Farm and Farmstay, Margaret River
Sunflowers Animal Farm in Margaret River is one of the biggest farm stay facilities in the State, with over 350 friendly farm animals to feed, pat and interact with. One of its most popular areas is a hands-on baby animal nursery that lets kids feed and cuddle rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals – but if you’d rather visit some of the farm’s bigger animals, there are kangaroos, lambs, alpacas, pigs, cattle, llamas, goats, ducks, turkeys, sheep and geese aplenty.
Whilst the above farm experience is open to day visitors, the farm stay experience at Sunflowers includes a few more key attractions, such as pony rides, chicken egg collecting and tractor rides. There are four units available on the 315-acre farm – and as its size suggests, there are plenty of picturesque walk trails, hills and creeks for parents to explore while the kids are busy with the animals.
10. Diamond Forest Farm Stay, Pemberton
Situated near tall, timber trees this region is renowned for, the Diamond Forest Farm Stay in Pemberton is set in picturesque red cedar cottages and features over 100 farm animals that are bound to keep the kids busy. Amongst the animals are rescue kangaroos, a peacock, mini ponies, jersey cows and even a friendly bull. Kids are free to join farmers Mark and Kerriann on the daily feeding session, and may even have the chance to handle some freshly hatched chicks or ducklings (depending on the season).
A key feature of Diamond Forest is its three-acre dam, which is perfect for canoeing, fishing or picnicking on its banks. Rainbow trout are plentiful in the dam, so it’s a great spot for teaching kids how to fish.
Eager to see some farm animals?
Guests can feed and play with the animals at RAC Karri Valley Resort - plus, RAC members save 20%* on accommodation.
*Terms and conditions apply. Member rate varies according to season. See full website for details.