Wanderlust. That all-consuming desire to explore, to venture, and experience something new. Whether it’s the thrill of a road less travelled or simply a breath of fresh air, time away does wonders. If you are yearning for peace, quiet, and a touch of solitude, a farm stay could be for you.
A farm stay is a unique style of boutique accommodation set in, and amongst, the grounds of a working farm. Offering country charm in spades, a typical farm stay perfectly fuses natural surrounds with laid back country life. Whether its rolling hills, foaming waves, or the sound of cattle nearby, these delightful retreats have something for everyone.
A wonderful option for a family, they provide acres of space to do as much or as little as one chooses. Be it milking cows and collecting eggs, bike riding or swimming, there is something magical that comes with being closer to nature. Indeed, a farm stay is often a destination in its own right.
With a range of accommodation styles to choose from, our regions farm stay options have plenty to surprise and delight. From homesteads, cottages, and converted stables, all the way through to luxury villas the possibilities are endless.
If you’re looking for some farm stay inspiration, then you have come to the right place. We have selected five of the regions finest farm stay establishments all within three hours’ drive of Canberra.
What makes a great farm stay?
Great farm stays allow us to reconnect with nature, appreciate life’s simple pleasures and experience something new. They fuse the best of our Australia’s surrounds with the creature comforts of home. And, they are a delight for all ages. While researching farm stay options it might be worth keeping the following in mind:
- All the essentials. While a huge attraction of a farm stay getaway is its rural aspect, the experience need not be basic. The best farm stays provide all the essentials that guests could want or need. Think along the lines of creature comforts like open fires and sumptuous baths through to indoor and outdoor activities. Some venues may offer self-catered accommodation while others provide housekeeping and catering services. Consider what is important to your travelling group and match accordingly.
- Open space. A farm stay offers a welcome escape from the daily grind for both the young and young at heart. The country air, open space, and freedom to simply be is what makes a farm stay special. The best retreats are nestled in some of the regions most glorious natural surrounds. From mountains that meet the bush and rivers that greet the ocean the best farm stays put guests at one with nature.
- Character & charm. Farm stays are known for their rustic charm and character filled surrounds. From quaint cottages and lodgings in converted barns through to architecturally designed masterpieces they are unique as they are memorable. To assess, be sure to research your options well. Review websites and social profiles along with past guest reviews to get a feel for each retreat.
- Animals & wildlife. While the premise of a farm stay is to lodge on an operational farm, not all have animals or wildlife. Some bear fruits and vegetables, vineyards and more however if an animal encounter is important be sure to search accordingly. The best farm stays offer hands on experiences allowing guests to feed, groom, and attend to their animals. Many will boast farmyard staples like chicken and sheep; however, others may offer more exotic breeds like peacocks and alpacas. Always a delight with the little ones, it offers hours upon hours of entertainment.
- Activities for all. The best farm stays allow guests to do as much – or as little as they like. In doing so they offer a curated selection of on-site activities suitable for toddlers through to grandparents. Animals aside, this often includes some outdoor adventure like swimming, fishing, or canoeing. It can also include relaxation by a firepit, spa treatments, or a quiet book. Equally many farm stays are near external activities, dining, shopping, and sightseeing. Should this be important plan your stay accordingly.
The best farm stays near Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Just two and a half hours drive north of Canberra, Jamberoo Valley Farm offers luxury accommodation nestled in the South Coast. With a converted dairy, cottage, and homestead each catering to groups of up to 5, 8, and 12.
Boasting views of the valley and the ocean this unique property is also a working permaculture farm. Home to pasture raised cattle and free-range chickens, they also boast fruit and vegetable gardens, a dam and even an outdoor hot tub.
Aimee Cutajar shared this feedback on Google, “We stayed for 3 nights and could have stayed for 3 weeks! The cottage was beautifully styled and had everything you could possibly need. Our daughter had a wonderful time on the farm, getting to meet all the animals up close…. We’ll be back again”
The Woods Farm is an exclusive farmhouse stay bathed in luxury and located on 18 acres of beautiful Australian bush. Mere minutes from Jervis Bay it is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Canberra it offers 8 chic cottages and 18 glamping tents.
Guest activities include swimming, yard games, bike riding and relaxing by the fire. The Woods Farm is also home to an assortment of animals including miniature goats, peacocks, alpacas, chickens and more.
Sophie Payne shared her experience on Google, “This place is amazing! Cannot recommend it enough, I took my 2-year-old & my parents too- was incredible for the whole family. The cottages are beautiful, the staff are super friendly & helpful…. Make sure you feed the animals, light a fire & just enjoy the peace & quiet.”
Set on 18.5 acres of rural land, The Knoll is situated just over 2-hours’ drive from Canberra between the Moruya township and Dolphin Beach. Offering expansive views of surrounding farmland and countryside The Knoll is peaceful as it is private.
Contemporary and stylishly appointed, it offers a fully self-contained cottage for 4 and a larger guest house which accommodates between 8 to 12. With everything from whale watching and surfing through to relaxed dining and the Mogo Zoo all a short drive away it is an excellent way to enjoy the countryside.
Jessica Schneider had this to say on Google, “We stayed at The Knoll for a week, and had the most wonderful, restful time there, and words cannot describe how lovely it is….The location is absolutely perfect, with the town being a few minutes’ drive and other attractions are nearby.”
Set on nearly 1000 acres of farm and bushland, Hillview Farm Stay is handy 2-hour drive south of Canberra and 30 minutes from Wagga Wagga. Home to local wildlife and an assortment of sheep, alpacas, cattle, and hens there are plenty of animals to keep guest occupied.
Featuring one and two-bedroom cottages and safari style huts it is perfect for those seeking a glamping experience. With several convenient self-catering options, a swimming pool and tennis court there is plenty to enjoy.
Laura Millington shared this sentiment on Google, “We loved our visit to Hillview Farm Stay. Great, relaxing place and our little daughter loved her time there with all the animals. Above our expectations and we would love to come back. A special experience and highly recommend the safari tents! It was relaxing and we had more than everything we needed.”
A mere hour’s drive from Canberra, Tiandi Wildlife Sanctuary Farm Stay offers close contact with precious Australian wildlife. As a home to injured Australian animals, guests can learn about their care, participate at feeding time, and visit them late at night.
The rustic cottage comfortable accommodates up to five guests with a shop featuring farm produce conveniently located on the property. For the perfect family farm stay experience combining nature, wildlife, swimming & canoeing look to Tiandi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Kate Quinlivan shared her experience on Google, “What an amazing place! Julia was such a generous host spending so much time with us at joey feeding time sharing her incredible insights and educating us about wildlife rehabilitation and care. The cottage was gorgeous and the whole sanctuary so peaceful and great for the soul. We will definitely be back!”
For inspiration on other destinations check out our article on the best day trips, best wine tours, and best tours in Canberra. Equally the best beaches near Canberra and best hotels and resorts on the South Coast may also be of interest.
Your experience with farm stays near Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the farm stays listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a farm stay?
A typical farm stay is a form of rurally based short-term accommodation situated on a working farm. Some farm stays may offer interactive family experiences, while others are tailored to adults seeking a quiet countryside retreat. Many farm stays are home to animals and wildlife providing opportunities for engagement and learning through feeding and grooming.
What type of accommodation is offered on a farm stay?
Farm stays offer a diverse range of accommodation options catering to all manner of traveller need. Many are housed in traditional farm buildings such as homesteads, cottages, and stables which have been converted to suit various group sizes. Others include built for purpose residences such as villas or suites situated throughout the property. Several also offer safari style tent, or glamping accommodation.
Are farm stays pet friendly?
Some farm stays are pet friendly, welcoming dogs, cats, and even horses with guests. If this is important to you be sure to filter your search accordingly. It is always worth consulting the host prior to booking to understand specific terms around pet attendance.
What is the price range for farm stay accommodation?
Much like all accommodation options the price range for a farm stay does vary greatly, often dependent on the style, facilities, services, and location of a property. Glamping options can start from around $300 per night with some 3 to 4-bedroom homesteads heading upwards of $1,000 per night.
How do you negotiate rates with a farm stay?
A simple call to the host may help to negotiate a better rate. Enquire about any promotions or multiple night rates that you may be able to access. Should a lower tariff not be an option, enquire about additional items that may be added. These could be things like late check out, free breakfast or extra bedding for children, or perhaps vouchers to tours or attractions. Although a win is never guaranteed, it doesn't hurt to ask!