Updated: Jul 29, 2021
If you’re a city dweller and feel the need to give the family a taste of country life, a farm stay is just the ticket.
Farm stays are the perfect way to introduce children to the joys of a rural lifestyle where they can enjoy the warm hospitality that country folk are renowned for and relish all that the great outdoors has to offer. A farm stay also gives children the opportunity to observe, interact with and learn to care for animals which can be a valuable part of their education.
The professionals at a leading child care provider in Perth, Treasured Tots, certainly subscribe to that view and animal interaction is a key aspect of daily life at their centres. Their in-house chicken family keeps the children busy with caring for the birds and facilitates their learning about nature, ecology and relationships. Freshly laid eggs for the children to collect and take home is a bonus for the families too!
Do you have treasured childhood memories of seeing animals in nature? Remember the first time you gave a horse a carrot? Bottle-fed a lamb? Or patted a friendly cow or goat? If you live in Perth, the good news is that there are many family-friendly farm stays within a few hours of the city so making new memories is only a short hop from home.
Here are five favourite family-friendly farm stays near Perth:
1. Lavendale Farm, Gilgering near York
Situated on 64ha of gently sloping land on the banks of the Avon River just south of York, the delightfully picturesque Lavendale Farm has a variety of self-contained cottages including a fully wheelchair accessible unit. Their stable is home to horses, ponies, alpacas and donkeys plus there are sheep, goats, pet pigs, some cattle, numerous ducks and chickens in the yard, so there’s always plenty of action. Children are often invited to brush the ponies and donkeys and guests can feed the animals and collect eggs in the evening. There are also wonderful nature walks along the river bank or in the sandalwood plantation and even a playground and activity room for energetic children.
2. Ferguson Farmstay, Ferguson Valley
The farm is situated in the beautiful Ferguson Valley, less than two hours’ drive from Perth, and has 11 fully self-contained chalets, all of which offer uninterrupted views to Bunbury and the ocean. With its menagerie of farm animals, large playground, tennis court, basketball court, trampoline and large lawn area - it’s the perfect place for families to kick-back and enjoy the country life, plus guests can participate in the farm activities which take place every morning.
It’s hard to believe that the country life is just 30 minutes from the Perth CBD, but when you arrive at Settler’s Rest Farmstay, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. The farm isn’t open to the public and because there’s only one cottage for guests, it’s extremely private and personal. The cottage sleeps eight and is perfect for a family. It is one of very few original farm cottages left in the area and has been carefully restored to maintain its old world charm with all the modern comforts. Even gum boots are provided! Guests can relax on the tranquil farm, stroll through paddocks to the river, picnic by the waters edge, try their hand at fishing and be dazzled by the spectacular night skies. Guests are also welcome to hand feed the goats, sheep, cow, chickens, guinea pigs at their leisure anytime during the day, collect freshly laid eggs and visit the stables to see the farm’s competition show horses.
4. Gumleaf Cottage Farmstay, Parkerville
When the website opens with the quote: ‘You'll never convince me that there is a better place to openly communicate and teach your children about life, than in a barn’ - you know it’s the perfect place to bring a family. Gumleaf Cottage is a beautifully renovated 100 year-old farm cottage in the Perth Hills, surrounded by natural bush and farmland teeming with Australian flora and fauna including kangaroos, possums and bandicoots. The farm is home to a variety of pets to play with including rabbits, miniature goats, sheep, chickens, parrots, miniature ponies and golden Haflinger horses and everyone is welcome to join in with animal feeding and care every morning. The family will be well entertained on the farm, with plenty to do including hay rides, feeding the animals, egg collecting, fruit picking (in season), rowing boats on the dam, possum spotting at night, bug collecting and bush walks.
A beautiful property overlooking the magnificent Harvey dam and the rolling green hills of the Darling Ranges. It has three well-appointed rammed earth chalets, each sleeping six, and with plenty on offer in and around the farm including animal feeding, egg collecting, pony rides, swims in the nearby Harvey dam, catching (and releasing) yabbies, fishing, bushwalks, trampolines and swings, guests are never short of entertainment.
If you want your child to learn through nature and interacting with animals, have a look at the Facebook pages of Treasured Tots Early Education to see quality childcare in action. Their child care centres in Fremantle, Mandurah and Bibra Lake all have resident chickens plus they often host animal visitors so that the children can get first-hand experience of nature. You can also visit the Treasured Tots website to learn more about their child care and kindergarten programs for children aged 0-5 years or make a date to pop into one of their centres
Follow Treasured Tot Early Education journey here.