This weekend we took advantage of the Labour Day Holiday and went to stay on a farm for a few days. We were joined by another family who have 2 boys aged 7 and 5. It was really nice for Ruby to have Michael and Christopher to play with, even if she found all the noise and general excitement a bit overwhelming sometimes.
‘Prestbury’ is a working cattle farm in the Darling Downs area, 30 minutes West of Toowoomba. The owners, Rob and Sally Mcreath were very welcoming and took time out of their busy days to show us around the farm, we even found a homemade cake waiting for us in the fridge. Unfortunately, they have a cow who had a difficult birth and has been unwell so we were taken to visit her and her calf. The kids were able to pet the calf and feed her a bottle of milk since her mum has lost her milk.
We watched Rob bringing in a couple of loads of hay for their new Steers, for morning tea. They keep them penned in for a couple of weeks so that any nasty grass seeds they have in their bellies are ‘planted’ in these holding paddocks instead of out on the fields because a portion of their land is also cultivated.
We were taken on a 4×4 farm tour and the kids got to stand up and hang onto the back of the ute which, on a bumpy farm road was obviously wildly exciting! The farm covers 2500 acres and if you keep an eye out you can spot wallabies, koalas (we didn’t), turtles, wild pigs and masses of birds. We surprised by a mob of wallabies bouncing across the road as we arrived at the farm on our first evening, thankfully they were heading away from us and not straight at our car!
Sally has 2 alpacas which she let us visit and the kids enjoyed the challenge of trying to feed them a bit of lucerne. They were a bit skittish and can be prone to spitting if they are upset. Thankfully they were well behaved and the children managed to reign in their excitement enough not to run at the poor darlings.
Rob and Sally have ducks and chickens and we were able to collect the hens eggs each morning for our breakfast. It was lovely being able to take the kids up to the farmhouse and see how many eggs had been laid that morning (instead of just reaching into the fridge). Ruby almost turned inside out when we disturbed a poor hen we hadn’t noticed who then came ‘flying’ at her head screeching her little lungs out. I don’t know who got the bigger fright, Ruby or the little black hen!
The house we stayed in was the original house that Rob and Sally lived in when they moved to the farm about 19 years ago while they renovated their current farmhouse. There is a queen room, a twin room and 2 singles. A large living room is separated from a dining area by a huge fireplace that would be wonderful in winter. The kitchen leads to a utility room with a washing machine and then on to a second shower and toilet. We enjoyed the big verandah and barbecue which caught the morning sun and led straight onto the enormous lawn which was perfect for the children to play.
Thankfully, we found a big box of toys that the kids enjoyed playing with during their down time.
How can I not include this face?
Final goodbyes, the boys before we left.
It was a very enjoyable stay at ‘Prestbury’ and was made even better by the welcome from Rob and Sally. It was good to get right away from it all (nearest supermarket 20km) and let the kids experience something completely different. I often forget that this is the life that my Mother lived – my maternal grandparents were cattle farmers. I remember wishing as a child that I’d grown up on a farm like my Mother. I’d love to do this again because I think Ruby will enjoy the experience in different ways as she gets older, so, you may see us again Rob and Sally!
If you’d like to check out ‘Prestbury’ the website is www.prestburyfarmstay.com and if you’d like more information you can email Sally Mcreath at firstname.lastname@example.org