Clear the jam-packed calendar sticking to your fridge and take a drive to the country, where bucolic pastures are aplenty, the fresh air is bountiful and the only traffic jam you’ll encounter is a herd of dawdling cows at milking time.
Whether you’re a family looking for a holiday away from the beach or a couple ready to escape the hum of city life, these luxury cottages, renovated dairies and rustic cabins will help you take stock and unwind. So, pack your gumboots and get ready to embrace the simple life with the best farm stays in Australia.
THE COTTAGE AT DUNMORE
Straight from the pages of your favourite interior design magazines, The Cottage at Dunmore puts the “style” in farm stay. You’ll be left wanting nothing over the course of your trip, as even the tiniest of details has been thought of by your hosts at this restored 1860s homestead. Sitting on a 150-acre working cattle farm about two-and-a-half hours from Melbourne, this cottage is pure luxury. Featuring beautiful bed linen across three bedrooms, a wood burner to keep guests toasty, an overflowing library for bookworms and a stunning bathroom, complete with a chandelier and Victorian bath; it’ll be impossible not to fall in love with this one-of-a-kind property.
Currumbin Valley, QLD
This is the Gold Coast, but not as you know it. Cocooned by a lush mountainous landscape and only a 10-minute drive from the golden sands of Currumbin Beach, is where you’ll find the sustainably-restored Hillview Dairy. Like the name suggests, this dog-friendly farm stay was once a working dairy but has since been transformed into a unique off-the-grid getaway on what is now a pure-bred black angus beef stud. The interior is a mash of industrial and rustic styling, where vintage furniture shines alongside artisan rugs, and outside it’s all about the wine barrel-style plunge pool overlooking the magnetic scenery. If you’ve got the time, hop on the retro cruiser bikes supplied and get pedalling to the waterfalls and markets nearby.
Phillip Island, VIC
If the idea of a farm stay conjures up images of sleeping in a beaten-up shack with little more than bench for a kitchen and a pot for a kettle, then you’re in for a mind-blowing surprise. Because one look at Five Acres and it will likely exceed anywhere you’ve stayed before—farm stay or no farm stay. Set on a micro-farm about two hours out of Melbourne, Five Acres is an adults-only escape and flaunts three immaculate, standalone cabins filled with local art, high-end furniture and never-ending vistas over Western Port Bay. Make friends with chickens, goats, two majestic highland cows and roaming sheep, or stay inside by the fire, sipping gin and feasting on a grazing platter. Hot tip: leave showering until the evening, when the mammoth skylight overhead is overtaken with a dancefloor of stars.
Hidden away on a 10-acre farm on the Mornington Peninsula is where you’ll find a tranquil hinterland retreat for your next romantic sojourn. Surrounded by vineyards, galleries, restaurants, bushland and beautiful beaches, Harts Farm is an ideal base to explore the region. But, with a sophisticated studio, layered with French linen sheets, a sleek ensuite and a plethora of reading material and some of your very own Hart’s Farm naturally fermented cider, no-one will blame if you decide not to leave. If staying in piques your fancy, book The Retreat as well; a connecting space where you’ll gain access to a full kitchen, dining and living area. When it comes to the best farm stays in Australia, this purpose-built cabin is a shoe-in.
Get close and cuddly with a herd of Australian Miniature Goats when you stay at the quaint Hideaway Farmlet in Tasmania’s iconic coastal town of Penguin. An idyllic mix of old English farm buildings and gardens, daffodils and giant blue gums and blackwoods, the magic lies in this destination’s ability to slow down guests, rocking them into a state of calm. The charming cottage is intimate and decorated with antique finds and a healthy stash of books and games to keep any boredom at bay. If adventure calls, Cradle Mountain and the northwest Cradle Coast awaits!