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The ultimate guide to farm stays out of Sydney

It’s a truth universally accepted that your child will unexpectedly demand a farm stay. Whether it’s an episode of Peppa Pig or the animal attraction at the Easter Show that triggers the request is anyone’s guess. Rest assured, the hardworking team at IWMs have pulled together a list of farm stays outside of Sydney to make sure you’re ready when nature, or your child, comes calling – just in time for the School Holidays!

🚜 Mowbray Park Farm

IWM tip: Little ones will love the a tractor ride and animal feeding experience

Want your farm stay with a slice of history? Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Picton, an hour’s drive from Sydney, you’ll find 200-year-old Mowbray Park Farm – where your accommodation options range from a rustic campsite, dorms that sleep 30, a century old stone cottage and everything in between. All options are self-catering so don’t forget to pack a picnic hamper for your visit.

Activity wise, there’s a morning filled with farm experiences – start with a tractor ride that winds it way down a rugged lane to the farm yard and barns. There you’ll pat bunnies, feed Bella the donkey, milk a cow if you’re game, and for the little ones there’s a pony ride too. But the experience isn’t over –learn how to cook damper on a stick over an open fire, or at least try to not to burn it!

Hot and bothered from all that farm work? Take a dip in the pool or work up an even bigger sweat on the tennis court. There’s also a lake with canoes, an archery field and rustic walking tracks through paddocks and hills for those wanting a bit more activity.

🚜 Bilpin Country Lodge

IWM tip: Great for fruit picking at one of the many farms in Bilpin

A 90-minute drive – or the equivalent of 13 episodes of Bluey – and you’re at Bilpin Country Lodge in the Blue Mountains. Set on 10 acres of gardens, farm and bush, and complete with wrap-around verandah and log-fire, this homestead-style lodge will comfortably sleep up to 20 guests making it perfect for big groups or extended-family vacays. Smaller group? There are options to book one, two and three of the ‘family’ rooms, depending on availability.

At the lodge, activities for little and big kids are well covered. There’s a dam for canoeing, walking tracks to explore, Charlie the Shetland pony to pet, and a constant supply of eggs to collect from the farm’s brood of hens. And with neighbouring orchards right on your doorstep, there’s year-round fruit picking options too. Get your fill of apples and persimmons from January to June, citrus fruit in the cooler months, and peaches in the Spring and Summer. Read our fruit picking article here.

There’s also something for parents – a heated outdoor spa and multiple living areas ensures adults have their own space for down time. Whilst a well-appointed kitchen and BBQ facilities means dining options are covered. Pets are welcome so bring Rufus along for the ride.



🚜 Big Bell Farm

IWMs tip: Pet-friendly so you can take your fur baby – plus don’t miss the miniature goats

It’s called Big Bell Farm but with not a bell in sight, it’s all about the little goats – at least that’s what the kids say, miniature goats to be exact. These cute, friendly animals are amongst the dozen you can find on Big Bell Farm Farm in Kangaroo Valley, two hours south of Sydney. And best of all, it’s pet friendly so your fur-babies don’t miss out on the fun.

Feeling active? Grab a bike – complimentary for guests – and explore one of the many tracks on the 24-acre property. Along the way stop to say hi to the cows grazing in the paddocks, feed a cheeky sugar cube to the horses, or enjoy the wildflower bushes dotted all over the property.

At the day’s end, take a dip in the pool then settle into a chair on your cabin verandah (there are four cabins to select from sleeping from 2-3 up to 6 guests) and enjoy the afternoon sunlight as it dapples the escarpments of Morton National Parks and Wedding Cake Mountain. And if you or your little one has fallen in love with one of the wee goats, you don’t have to say goodbye. Big Bell Farm is a registered miniature goat breeder so you can bring Billy home with you too.



🚜 Roam Farm Stay

IWM tip: This AirBnB property feels like the type of old school farm

Remember the good old days when Ma and Pa would throw the kids into the back of the Holden, drive to a remote property and promptly disappear – leaving the kids to run wild and make their own adventures? Roam Farm is just the property to recreate those ‘80s escapades.

60 minutes from Sydney in Maraylya and set on a 5 acre block, this 3-bedroom self-contained property is the type of place where you make your own fun. Chase the sheep, spot the wildlife (bonus points if you see a deer), play hide and seek in the cavernous shed, stargaze at night, or tell spooky stories whilst toasting marshmallows at dusk.

Want to explore further? Maraylya is a stone’s throw away from Scheyville National Park and historic Windsor, with its popular Sunday markets. There’s also Pacific Park for skiing and motorbike tracks, the 18-hole Gangurru Course at Riverside Oaks Resort, or racing at the Indy 800 Kart track in Wilberforce.

🚜 Yarramalong Valley Farm Stay

IWM tip: Perfect for big groups who want to hire out a large property

It’s been the Central Coast’s best kept wedding secret – until now. With the onset of the cooler weather, Yarramalong Valley Farm – a popular nuptial venue in the Summer – has opened their main lodge for big groups and families to hire exclusively.

Set on 50 acres of undulating Central Coast hinterland and a brisk 1-hour drive from Sydney, you’ll find the spacious 4-bedroom lodge (complete with cots and single beds for the little ones) at the end of a country lane flanked by meadows on each side. Follow the walking tracks and you’ll find alpacas and ponies wandering the fields and friendly chooks with eggs waiting to be collected each morning.

Grab a seat on one of the wicker chairs scattered along the wrap around verandah and gaze at cows feeding on the rolling lawn. If you’re still there by the afternoon, don’t miss the mauve pink hues of the sun setting into the horizon. Fancy something more active? There’s a dam on the property where guests can try their hand at yabbying, or roam the picture-perfect fields where many a bride and groom have said ‘I do.’

🚜 Karinya Farm

IWM tip: Activities and amenities galore – tractor ride, movie night, heated pool

You know you’re onto a good thing when a holiday retreat’s moniker means ‘a place of peace and rest’. And with a playground, heated pool for year-round swims, outdoor cinema nights (complete with popcorn) and activities by the tractor-load to keep kids entertained, parents might just get the peace they need.

Located in the Central Coast Hinterlands, kids can join in the year-round farm activities at Karinya Park like collecting hen’s eggs (twice daily), letting the sheep out of the stable and calling them in for ‘bed’ each night, grooming the horses and hand-feeding the farm animals. Fancy some bird spotting? Join the afternoon walk to feed the animals at the very back of the property and keep an eye on the water birds that frolic around the dam.

Forgotten to pack the milk? Don’t stress. There’s complimentary breakfast hampers each morning packed with all the yummies like bacon and farm fresh eggs, sausages and bread, yoghurt, muesli and milk.

Want more? Toast marshmallows on an open fire under the stars, get your sweet fix at nearby artisanal chocolate company, Luka Chocolates, or head to Treetops Adventure for high-adrenaline zip-lining action.

🚜 Kookaburra Farm Stay

IWM tip: Farm stay by the beach

A beachside farm experience? Sound too good to be true? Kookaburra Farms is a unicorn staycation where the kids can get their farm fix and hit the beaches too.

Located on the Tomaree Peninsula in Port Stephens, the farm is 2.5 hours drive out of Sydney but as you follow the gold and yellow poles leading you towards Bobs Farm on Marsh Road, where Kookaburra Farm Stay is located, it feels a world away from the big smoke.

Start the day with a lazy breakfast on your verandah or if you’re in the Cottage, enjoy a long soak in the jacuzzi – farm activities don’t kick off until the afternoon so you have the morning to relax and explore the grounds. At 4pm daily in Summer, 3.30pm in Winter, the farm tour kicks off at the milking shed – home to fluffy chickens waiting to be cuddled. Next stop are the cows. Kids can help feed the baby calves or watch a milking demo. A tractor ride to feed the other farm animals is certain to be a highlight for little ones.

After some off-farm activity? Try the whale and dolphin spotting cruises in Port Stephens or sand boarding at nearby Stockton Dunes.

🚜 Little Willow Farm Stay

IWM tip: A luxe farm stay

Want your farm stay on the luxe side? Then Little Willow is the glam-cation for you and the family. Situated in Willowvale, one of the largest working cattle farms in the Kanimbla Valley, this 3-bedroom cabin is mod-farmhouse chic at its best. Think wrought iron beds, a cast-iron wood fireplace and a heated outdoor jacuzzi with views of the Blue Mountains by day and a sky dazzling with the Southern Cross stars at night.

Wondering what your little ankle biters will do? There are friendly alpacas to stalk, baby farm animals to coo over, pigs and cows to pet, and a pony called Honey who loves cuddles. Wi-fi is limited so this is perfect location for a digital detox.

Leaving the little ones at home? Order a ‘picnic on a pallet’ – a customised grazing platter complete with picnic rug, cushions and cake – and ramp up those romance vibes with your other half.

🚜 Fairway Farm

IWM tip: A working farm experience

Want a working farm experience but with all the comforts of home? Look no further than Fairway Farm. Set on 50 hectares of Southern Highlands pastureland, this working dairy farm boasts a cosy 2-bedroom unit where guests can literally watch the cows come home at the end of each day.

Want to get your hands dirty? Head down to the dairy and help hosts Don and Judy feed the farm animals – check out the cute calves and lambs in the Spring time – or watch cows being milked. Wander through the paddocks where you could run into a pony or two, or hop on a bike and trundle down the quaint country lanes. For little ones, there are sheep to fuss over, a friendly border collie to pet, and freshly laid chicken eggs to gather each day.

And if mumma needs a break, there’s retail therapy, gourmet cafes and antique barns galore in nearby Bowral.


Got a farm stay that you love? One your family keeps visiting year after year. Give us a heads-up at or leave a comment below.

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