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A Tranquil Retreat at Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay

Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay
Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay

Searching for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of North Shore life? Look no further than Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay. Nestled in the serene countryside less than an hour’s drive away, this piece of Australian heritage offers a unique farm stay experience. Our reviewer Bianka Ford shares what you’ll discover.

From the moment we arrived at Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay, we were greeted with warm hospitality and a sense of tranquillity. The picturesque landscape, with its rolling hills and lush green pastures, provided the perfect backdrop for our midweek getaway.

The accommodation at Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay

There are three different lodgings to choose from at Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay – A Farm House, a cottage or the Tennis Court Apartment. All houses are situated on a 60-acre prestigious Arabian horse stud in Yarramalong Valley, which is home to 45 Arabian horses.

Open plan living/dining room

Our family of four stayed in the Farmstay Cottage, which can comfortably sleep up to six people. The Cottage features a large open-plan living & dining room with an area sectioned off for a queen bed and single bed. There is a main bedroom with another queen bed and bathroom & laundry. The kitchen is stocked with all of the basics for home-cooked meals and the private outdoor BBQ area overlooks the stables.

Main bedroom with a Queen bed

The accommodation at Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay is cosy and comfortable. It blends rustic horse-themed charm with modern amenities. The bedroom in our cottage overlooked the stables, so we woke to the gentle sounds of horses neighing and birds chirping.

With only three houses, all families staying at the property are assured of feeling like they have the run of the Forest Hill Stud Farm.

All houses comes with Foxtel-enabled TVs and high-speed WiFi at no extra charge, and you are welcome to bring your own pets with you too.

The real stars: The animals!

Early morning headed off to visit the animals

My horse-crazed 8-year-old could think of nothing better than being able to wake up and interact with animals (without waiting for mum and dad to get up). She was thrilled to have the entire property to explore! And for us, a wonderful opportunity for some free-range parenting.

The only challenge was choosing which animal friend to visit first. This is no small feat, when this farm is home to over 40 Purebred Arabian horses, along with Australian Miniature horses, goats, sheep, lop-eared rabbits, silkie chickens and lively alpacas.

With so much to do in the surrounding area, it can be easy to get carried away making exciting holiday plans. However, it’s worth remembering that the farm itself is the main holiday activity. What might start as a leisurely stroll to soak in the countryside easily transforms into hours of joyful interaction and care for the animals.

Taking Tutu for a walk

Our most memorable afternoon was spent grooming and styling the mane of miniature horse Tutu, then taking her for a walk around the farm. It felt like a celebrity moment as Tutu attracted attention wherever we went.

Every path led past paddocks or enclosures filled with friendly animals eager to greet us. The Arabians paused for pats, the silkie chickens comically flaunted their fluffed feet, and the goats attempted to trick us into opening their gate. One of our favourite new friends was Joshy the alpaca, who fancies himself as one of us and has mastered the charm of a cranky old man wanting you off his lawn!

Forest Hill Arabian Stud Farm Tour

Yarramalong Farmstay is on the grounds of the Forest Hill Arabian Stud Farm. The farm is family-owned and steeped in a rich history with the Pond family having over 50 years’ experience breeding top-class Arabian horses.

Headed off on one of their daily tours

The Daily Tour is the best way to get an overview of the farm’s many wonders. I recommend doing this early in your stay to ensure that you make the most of your time exploring the farm. Jenny (our farm stay host) and her son Michael (the farm’s tour operator) are both gifted storytellers, so you can be sure that you will get a riveting story or five throughout the tour. If you’re lucky, you might even see a wombat or platypus in the wild!

Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay

Patting the horses

One of the highlights of the tour was interacting with the horses. Nothing compared to the exhilarating experience of entering the paddock surrounded by majestic horses that run around your vehicle, eager to meet you and play as you toss hay bales for them to enjoy.

You don’t need to be staying at the farm to do the tour – this is open to anyone and highly recommended if you have a few spare hours while visiting the Wyong area.

Things to do around Wyong

There are many things to do with the family nearby. Bike riders are sure to be thrilled by the local trails, and bushwalkers will love the picturesque views offered by Ourimbah State Forest just across the road.

Treetops Adventure Park, Networld, Amazement Farm & Fun Park, and Tuggerah Westfield Shopping Centre are all less than 10 minutes drive away, while beautiful central coast beaches are only 20 minutes away. Venturing further afield, you can be in the middle of over 80 wineries with a 40-minute drive to the Hunter Valley.

Wyong Milk Factory 

Most locals will tell you that the Wyong Milk Factory should be on your ‘Must Visit’ list, but the reason will be different for everyone. Young ones will love the unique playground areas, adventure seekers can explore the Wyong River with a variety of kayak and SUP options, foodies can taste their way through the gourmet selections at the cheese factory or indulge their sweet tooth with a visit to the chocolate or doughnut factory.

Hints of the old factory

The restaurant has a delicious menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the décor. The once-working factory has been restored in a uniquely eccentric style, which mixes old-timey decadence with modern kitsch to bring an artistic atmosphere to the restaurant and bar.

Amber Lane Distillery

Checking out Amber Lane Distillery

Amber Lane Distillery is a hidden gem just five minutes drive from the farm. We were lucky enough to have a private whisky tasting with owners Phil and Rod. We sat surrounded by hundreds of barrels quietly maturing multi-award winning whiskies. Meanwhile, Phil and Rod talked us though their whisky-making process, philosophies and how they worked with the unique Australian climate to produce whiskies which have been recognised as some of the world’s finest amber liquids.

Treetops Adventure & Networld

If the kids are up for more excitement, head to Treetops Adventure & Networld. Set within the Ourimbah State Forest’s magnificent eucalyptus trees, you can ascend between 1-20 metres above the ground on the Tree Ropes Courses, tackling aerial challenges and zip lines. Or bounce around on a maze of net-like trampolines in Networld! Book now.

Booking Tip

Apps and websites are wonderfully convenient, but getting in touch with the businesses you want to visit can often be better.

Amber Lane Distillery didn’t have a scheduled tasting while we were there, but I tried my luck via email and got a quick response. They were happy to open a tasting session that suited our schedule.

Similarly, some quirks in an accommodation website’s booking system won’t show you all of the options available for a stay at Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay. If you can’t find what you are after, get in touch as Jenny will do her best to find options for your ideal dates.

The Verdict

Our stay at Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay was nothing short of magical. Whether you’re a horse enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, this charming farmstay is sure to leave you rejuvenated and refreshed. We can’t wait to return for another dose of country charm and hospitality.

Exclusive Offer for North Shore Mums

Want escape to the countryside with your family? Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay is offering North Shore Mums the following exclusive offer:

  • 15% off mid-week accommodation bookings (excluding school holidays)
  • 5% off any other bookings

To redeem, simply call Jenny on 0409 328 687 and let her know you heard about them from North Shore Mums!

The fine print: Subject to availability. Valid for stays until 30 November 2024.

Essential Details: Yarramalong Valley Horse Farmstay

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