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Farmstay Guide: Six gorgeous country holiday escapes near Sydney

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If you’re looking for a relaxing break in the countryside, why not book a Farmstay? These six gorgeous Farmstays are all within a few hours drive from Sydney’s North Shore, so perfect for a short break. Try your hand at milking a cow, feeding the animals, riding ponies or to just enjoy the serenity! Take your family or organise a group of friends, it’s guaranteed to be an experience you and your kids will remember forever.

Have a read through our list below and click on any links to quickly shoot to that listing in the guide:


Wilpine Homestead and Cottage, Mudgee

Wilpine Homestead & Cottage

Enjoy the beautiful rustic country charm of “Wilpine”, a 33 acre property 10 minutes from thriving Mudgee town and just minutes from popular wineries. The Homestead and Cottage can cater up to 16 people – great for group weekends away – a central place to get together with friends, family reunions, hens parties, wedding parties and birthdays!

Wilpine is just 10 minutes north of the boutique country town of Mudgee and within five minutes of some of the best fine food restaurants and wineries the region has to offer. There is always something to do in Mudgee. Whether it be a big event like a Day on the Green, the Food and Wine Festival, or just grabbing a coffee and buying some fresh local produce from the Farmers Markets, there is always something to do! Mudgee is just over a 3-hour drive from Sydney.

Activities at Wilpine

With a mixture of bush and undulating land, Wilpine is great for bush walks, exploring and trying your luck for yabbies in the four dams. Watch the kangaroos in the paddock and enjoy the gorgeous view. The sparkling in-ground pool is a favourite in summer, and the wood fires keep you cosy in winter. Some of the best Wineries in Mudgee are only minutes away. Ride a bike or Wilpine can or organise a bus tour.


Barcoos Farmstays, Bathurst 

Barcoos Farmstay is a 300 acre property that has a choice of units and a house, plus powered and unpowered camping sites. There are two 2-bedroom self-contained units which are family friendly with enclosed courtyards. Wardell Farmhouse sleeps up to 10 guests with a fenced large verandah area. The accommodation includes heating and cooling, electric blankets and safe drinking water. The farm produces sheep, lucerne hay and has a small number of cattle. Barcoos has a playground and trampoline to fill in those moments between activities.

Barcoos is 10 minutes drive from Bathurst CBD. Bathurst is half way between Sydney and Dubbo and many families stay over on their way to or from Dubbo Zoo. Off farm activities include Bathurst Adventure Playground, (plus many other beautiful and fun parks around Bathurst), Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, Historic Villages within short driving distance with fantastic little cafes, Mt Panorama and the National Motor Racing Museum, Bathurst Aquatic Centre with a indoor whirlpool for year round fun. Abercrombie Caves, Jenolan Caves and Mayfield Gardens are a scenic drive from Barcoos.

Activities at Barcoos

Morning and afternoon activities are inclusive for all guests. Guests are invited to help prepare breakfast for the animals and spoon feed the chickens, ducks, Georgie the Pig and pet sheep. The morning also includes pony and horse led rides. Morning activities last from 1 – 2.5 hours depending on interaction and interest of guests. 

In the afternoon you can collect the eggs and have a farm tour/hay ride to see the sheep, cattle and spot wild kangaroos and feed the animals, or have horse drawn rides (sulky/wagon or sled) and tractor rides.


Morvern Valley Farmstay, Bundanoon

Morvern Valley Farmstay is a short 90 minute drive from Sydney where you can be surrounded by more farm animals than any other farmstay in NSW. Set upon 25 acres, there are three cottages to choose from, and all are self-contained and accommodate up to eight people. Each kitchen is well equipped to self cater and the cottages all include washing machines, portacots and highchairs. Linen is included and already on the beds. The cottages are 40 metres apart so you have a feeling of ‘being on your very own farm’. Each has its own driveway, parking, BBQ facilities and their very own hen house with laying hens. Pets are welcome.

It’s all about a ‘step back in time experience and the cottages are tastefully decorated with heritage touches, old photos, butter churns, antique metters stoves, handmade tea cosies and embroidered linens.

Bundanoon Village is like a whimsical fictional country town like ‘Wandin Valley’ or ‘Mt Thomas’ and is just a 5 minute walk up a quiet rainforest lane. There’s cafes, restaurants, butcher, bakery, doctors, chemist, newsagent, galleries & more. Walk 500 metres from Morven Valley Homestead and you’re in Morton National Park or visit Glow Worm Glen – a twilight bush walk. By daylight visit Erith Coal Mine, or Fairy Bower Falls. Each Sunday in or near Bundanoon is a Country Market, take home Homemade jams from local cooks – Farm produce from the farmer or an authentic decorator piece ‘at a snip price’.  You are in The Heart of The Southern Highlands and can easily visit Fitzroy Falls, Berrima, Bowral, and Robertson. All under a 25 minute drive from Morvern!

Activities at Morvern Valley Farmstay

Get involved with farm animals all day, every day. Feed alpacas, goats, horses, ponies, sheep, donkeys, peacocks, chickens, ducks, geese, giant rabbits and more. Fudge the Mini Horse also loves to be groomed. Collect eggs from your own hen house outside your Cottage. There’s also tyre swings and cubby houses too. Explore the farm collecting kindling to set your evening’s Log Fire where cosy and warm you will enjoy books, games and movies. Quality Fischer Price ‘farm’ toys too! After your hard day playing Farmer, relax in a spa bath. Then tumble sleepily into four poster beds with muslin nets.


Duckmaloi Farm, Duckmaloi

Set on 100 acres, Duckmaloi Farm offers a unique holiday escape experience in spectacular countryside. With two 2-bedroom cottages, big enough for country space and serenity, but small enough to ensure privacy and relaxation. Magnificent views.

Duckmaloi Farm is perfect for families, couples, singles and for small groups. Experience real on-site experiences and attractions – farm animals to feed, bush walk to trout river and reserve, large established gardens, tennis court and BBQ facility available. There’s also abundant wildlife, including kangaroos, wombats, echidnas and platypus!

Duckmaloi is located only 2.5 hours from Sydney and experiences the four distinct seasons – mild high country summers, spectacularly colourful autumns, real winters (sometimes snowing) and spectacular springtime! Located in part of the spectacular Blue Mountains and close to the World famous Jenolan Caves, Kanangra-Boyd National Park and to both Bathurst & Lithgow.

Activities at Duck Maloi

Stay at Duckmaloi Farm and experience the beauty of the Blue Mountains and Oberon Plateau area! Duckmaoli Farm has Black Angus cattle, feed and pat the miniature Irish donkeys and the five stunning ponies. The farm also have Alpacas, sheep, piglets and goats. Ducks, peacocks, turkeys and chickens can be found in the bird enclosure and come and meet ‘Mitsy’ the beautiful deer! With 600 oak trees that produce French black truffles, truffle hunts during winter will be beginning very soon…

Read our North Shore Mums review


Chesleigh Homestead Farmstay, Sofala

Chesleigh Homestead is family run and is one of the original farmstays, operating for over 40 years. Set on a beautiful 3000 acres, the landscape varies from beautiful creeks, to native forests and then also high mountain ranges. Chesleigh is famous for their exquisite home cooking using fresh local produce.

Accommodation is stylish, clean and comfortable. There are several different room layouts to suit all families. Come and stay as a family or book out the Homestead with your own group of 20 – 24! 

Just 3.5 hr scenic drive through the Blue Mountains from Sydney and set in the heart of the Turon Goldfields with historic villages to explore nearby. A fantastic addition to any Dubbo Zoo visit.

Activities at Cheseligh

Chesleigh is known for many things but particularly it’s horse riding. Catering for both the young and the more experienced. The popular animal farm is where the kids can assist at feeding time and collecting the eggs for breakfast.

Other activities include tutored gold panning, tennis, cave exploration, pool and heated spa, bush walking, river swimming and the traditional games room.

There are plenty of open fires to read by and our outdoor campfire is a central place, perfect for an end of day glass.


Turon Gates Farmstay, Capertree

Spread out over 6000 acres, Turon Gates is an authentic bush hideaway, tranquil and unspoilt only 2.5 hours from Sydney.

With well-built pet-friendly and private rustic log cabins and glamping tents situated along 15km of crystal clear trout stream and luxury cottages with sensational mountain views, Turon Gates is an idyllic escape in the Australian bush.

Turon Gates is alive with wildlife! Kangaroos, wombats, platypus, echidnas, possums and bush lizards are all part of the experience. There is much to do, or nothing to do – the choice is yours when you come to Turon Gates!

Turon Gates also has a great family camp ground where you can camp along the river and kids can bring their push bikes to ride around the property.

You can take a day trip to explore some of the wonderful sights nearby. Some of our favourites include: Mudgee Wineries, Historic Sofala, Rylestone Country Town, Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Capertee Valley, Jenolan Caves, Bathurst, Blue Mountains/The Three Sisters.

Activities at Turon Gates

There are so many wonderful ways to spend quality time with your family. You can horse ride up the river or mountain bike along the fire trails. Bring your own kayak/canoe to explore the river or hire one of ours. Try your hand at gold panning in a real gold rush historic region or go trout and carp fishing. Go bushwalking in our beautiful surrounds or swimming in our idyllic river. At the end of the day, roast marshmallows around the fire and gaze at the myriad of stars. Or simply do nothing…

  • Address: Turon Gates Road, Capertee
  • Website: Turon Gates 

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  1. Amelia
    Amelia

    Highly recommend Chesleigh, it’s a beautiful property and a great family getaway. I went with my husband and little boy, he loved the horses and other farm animals, we loved the food and wine and hospitality. Lovely relaxing place to get out of the city for a weekend, and I’ve also heard great things about their horse riding and drama camps.

    22 February, 2017 at 9:27 pm Reply

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