Having grown up on a farm, I can understand the appeal of a ‘Farm Stay’. I look back fondly on my childhood and the general farm life shenanigans.

It’s lovely to be transported from city life to a quiet spot, only disturbed by the sounds of animals and nature. There are places to stay around the Macedon Ranges with varying levels of ‘Farm’ experiences. Here are some ideas for your next trip.

Fellcroft Farmstay has been continuously farmed by six generations of the Crozier family since 1862. Today they produce premium lamb and beef, with best-practice sustainable land management and ethical animal husbandry. Their two stand-alone accommodation quarters offer a place to relax, unwind and reconnect. Watch farming activities such as shearing, haymaking and stockwork, and if your timing is right, feed baby animals. You’ll be supplied spoils of the land, including homegrown fruit and veg, free-range eggs, honey from the Fellcroft hives, homemade jams and further fresh produce from stallholders at the local Farmers Markets. You can purchase estate-grown lamb to cook on your barbeque while enjoying local wine and a selection of cheeses. Retreat entirely; the interiors have been curated with an eclectic mix of comfy contemporary and antique furnishings, some from Fellcroft’s long history. Enjoy a romantic spa, read a book, watch a movie or just curl up for a nap. Life on the farm is not all hard work.

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Fellcroft Farmstay

Lauriston is a quiet little spot, and where you will find Bunjil Farm, a mixed-use farm licensed to grow hemp. Owner, Lyn Stephenson, is generous with her knowledge and hospitality. You can learn about the many and varied uses for hemp and partake in a complimentary product tasting. The property is home to over a dozen buildings, all dating from the latter half of the 19th century. They are buildings that have been rescued from their original site and relocated. This rescue epitomises Lyn’s philosophy of reusing and recycling wherever possible. The hemp crops are planted in November and harvest occurs around March. Throughout the year you may experience poddy lambs, alpacas, horses, cattle, chickens and ducks, and you’re welcome to assist with feeding and giving treats. The wild birdlife is abundant, and if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a wedge-tailed eagle soaring overhead (Bunjil himself).

Settled in the 1860s, Bringalbit is an old granite homestead providing traditional bed and breakfast accommodation. It is a unique part of Australia’s rural history, and the setting, in Sidonia, is stunningly remote. A humanmade lake with a small island was established in the late 1800s. Huge ornamental trees and established gardens adorn the homestead surroundings. Many native ducks, moorhens, herons, grebes and cranes have made the lake their home. Guinea fowl roam around eating grasshoppers; peacocks strut throughout the orchard and chickens provide fresh eggs. The gardens are full of vegetables and fruit, and the grove produces table olives and oil. The farm carries beef cattle and Suffolk sheep. The pet Scottish Highland coos are popular with everyone who visits. You can choose to stay within the original homestead, the two-bedroom Shearer’s Shack or three-bedroom Woolshed Hill House, both in very private settings. Owner Susan Fox is also a resident artist and can provide painting and drawing lessons to adults and children.

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Braeside Mount Macedon

Gisborne Peak Winery is not technically a farm stay but provides a serene, off-grid experience. Besides, wine is easily interchangeable with animals, right? Their four self-contained cottages are set on 18 acres of vineyard, overlooking the vines and lake. The winery cellar door, which is open 7 days, is a short stroll and in the evening you’re likely to see some ‘roos’. You can enjoy the cellar door snacks and moorishly good wood-fired pizzas, delighting in a bottle of estate-grown wine, from the very vines surrounding you. The cottages are powered by wind and sun, and all the water used is recycled.

Sydney and Anzac, the alpacas, are popular residents at Braeside Mt Macedon, always seeking out a pet and a snack. It’s a nature lovers paradise, making for a great base to explore the region or the perfect place to rest. The award-winning cottages are set in rambling English style gardens. Take time to feed the chooks, collect their eggs and sample their delicious yellow yolks. Fish for trout or yabbies in the bountiful dam and watch in awe at the passing parade of native wildlife. Nestled on the foothills of Mt Macedon it’s easy to see kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, colourful parrots and an occasional koala. Owner Andrew Towner says the best way to enjoy your stay is to ‘switch off your devices and connect in other ways’.

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Fellcroft Farm – fellcroftfarmstay.com.au
Bunjil Farm – bunjilfarm.com.au
Bringalbit – bringalbit.com.au
Gisborne Peak Winery – gisbornepeakwines.com.au
Braeside Mt Macedon – braesidemtmacedon.com.au

Main Image: Bringalbit. Photo by Narenna Bloomfield

About the author

Narenna Bloomfield
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Narenna is a country girl at heart, growing up on a dairy farm north of Bendigo. Now living in Kyneton, (her husband’s hometown) she is a busy mum of three littlies. She loves gardening, baking, photography and getting out and about in the area. A favourite day in the region would be a weekly shop at a farmers’ market, meandering through an open garden and finishing with a dinner in one of the acclaimed restaurants along Piper Street, Kyneton.