Going away on a holiday over the Easter break is almost a given for any Australian.
The congestion on the roads will start Thursday afternoon and rev up again late Tuesday as people reluctantly head back home again. For many they will often head to the same destination; that favourite little corner of the country where they will relax and unwind, spend precious time with family and eat way too much chocolate.
For us we would visit the same farm every year; 500 acres just out of Kyneton in Central Victoria. It became a ritual, almost like a second home, and every year we would do exactly the same things. The familiarity of it all was comforting, like the home cooked farm fresh food, the linen table cloth, the old wood-fired stove and the same farm animals greeting us year after year.
For those who haven’t experienced a farmstay, then perhaps this Easter is the time to do it.
There are many websites you can search, such as Farmstays Australia, that will give you a list of different properties offering up their hospitality for people needing a break. Often frequented by overseas visitors wanting a ‘taste of Australia’, they are also popular with families with younger children and those wanting to have a break from the city.
Easter was quite easily my favourite holiday of the year, particularly because I was longing to live on a farm and own a horse of my own. By the time I was 14 this had become a reality, but in the meantime, these five days were the highlight of my year and moments that I longed for again as soon as the break was over.
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Each farmstay will vary in the way it houses its guests. Some will have elaborate Bed and Breakfast style set ups, others you will sleep in the old shearer’s quarters, some may have a converted barn or self-contained cottages.
Some properties will even offer the opportunity to camp or stay in the house with the family.
There are plenty of farmstays on offer, so it is easy to take your pick based on your preferences.
You can spend your weekend relaxing or alternatively help out on the farm. Activities will vary, depending on the property and the location, so as well as what is going on around the farm you may also find plenty to do if you explore the local region.
To really experience farm life it is great to get involved. Depending on the property you could be mustering cattle, feeding out hay, picking fruit, collecting eggs, feeding animals, helping out with the shearing, fixing fences, drenching livestock, grooming horses or helping pull a calf!
As well as all the farm work you might take a relaxing walk through the paddocks or the bush, sit on the verandah and read, fish in the river or dam, ride horses or sit out in the evening under a sky full of stars.
Wherever you decide it will be a holiday that you won’t easily forget, and one that I know you will just keep on revisiting, year after year.
Where are you spending your Easter holiday this year? Please share in the comments below.