Ever wonder how honey is made, what it’s like on an alpaca farm or how pearls are harvested?
All around Australia, there are ways to get involved in these processes by touring the farms, factories and estates. We found ten of the country’s best farm tours for a hands-on learning experience.
Narrabri Fish Farm – Narrabri NSW
Narrabri is the largest hatchery-based aquaculture farm in NSW., breeding Golden Perch, Murray Cod, Eel-Tailed Catfish, Silver Perch and more. The farm covers 250 acres, offering tours, fish feeding, yabbying and, of course, fishing. There’s also a four-metre sculpture of a Murray Cod made entirely out of from recycled material.
If you manage to catch a fish, head over to the rustic BBQ and picnic area to fry it up. Pass the afternoon with yabby races, casting competitions, and the famous carp throw.
Beechworth Honey- Beechworth VIC
Right in Victoria’s scenic north-east, you’ll find a delectable selection of high quality Australian honeys. This rich honey making heritage dates back four generations of beekeeping. The store in Beechworth combines retail of their products with a delicious honey-tasting-station with over 30 varieties of honey.
Visitors can also see the bees working live and up close behind a viewing window. There’s also a self-guided honey education tour that explores the honey-making process and shares a little family history. There’s more to this store than just it’s mouth-watering honey. You’ll also find many different flavours of lip balm, lotions, scrubs as well as sodas and mead.
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Bridgestowe Lavender Estate – Nabowia TAS
Get ready to lose yourself in over 260 acres of lavender rows at this estate. One of the most photo-worthy farm tours, a trip to Bridgestowe will fill your camera roll with gorgeous floral shots. The farm produces true French lavender and the oil extracted is used to make a range of products. Top sellers are lavender skin creams, teas, soaps and their famous Bobbie Bear heat packs. Foodies will be keen to try the cafe’s lavender pancakes.
The farm is open all year round for visitors to learn about the different farming cycles and get a whiff of lavender farm life. Even if the vibrant purple flowers are not in bloom, you can enjoy a cup of tea in the café and soak up the glorious views.
Willie Creek Pearls – Broome WA
Witness the journey from shell to showroom and uncover the history of hard-hat diving to modern day pearl farming. Tour the state-of-the-art hatchery and watch the operation of seeding and harvesting oysters and the hunt for the perfect pearl. Take a cruise on Willie Creek’s azure waters and see the process in its first stages.
Willie Creek Pearl is a family-owned and operated business, inviting thousands of visitors each year to learn about the pealing process. While on one of the farm tours, visitors will learn about Broome’s pearling history in the Pearl Luggers museum and see rare hard-hat diving artefacts including the hand-powered pumps that fed air to the deep-sea divers.
The jewellery the in the gift shop looks as if it belongs in its own museum. These gorgeous pieces of pearl art are the perfect way to remember your Willie Creek experience.
Storybook Alpacas – Bargo NSW
A visit to this fairy tale-like alpaca farm is one of the most unique experiences you can have on the NSW South Coast. The family-owned farm breeds alpacas, as well as producing a range of funky items for sale in the farm shop. Try on an alpaca poncho for size, or perhaps invest in a nice, warm alpaca beanie and scarf set. There’s also toys, jewellery and yarn for you to create your own alpaca goods.
On one of the country’s quirkiest farm tours, you’ll get a chance to walk, feed and hug an alpaca. If you’re lucky, you might even get a shot at bottle feeding a baby alpaca. The owners are truly passionate about caring for every alpaca on the farm. They also champion strong values of sustainable Australian Agriculture.
The Truffle Farm – Canberra ACT
Surrounded by picturesque oak tees, overlooking Mount Majura Winery, this one of a kind truffle farm brings a new experience for passionate foodies. Visitors can choose from three different farm tours. There are truffle hunts for a hands-on experience and tastings for those who prefer to leave the hard work to the professionals.
At the on-site restaurant, sit back and enjoy dishes from renowned Executive Chef, Damian Brabender. Each item on the menu showcased the rich truffles straight from the farm to your plate. Don’t miss out on the excitement of joining the truffle hunt, led by the very clever dog team, and learn all there is to know about truffle production in Australia. Afterwards, head back to the shed and see how the goods are transformed into dishes such as cheese, honey, soup or seafood.
Yan Yan Gurt West Farm – Deans March VIC
Five generations have taken care of this regenerative sheep and agroforestry farm in Deans March, Victoria. With more than 40,000 trees and shrubs coving the landscape, the farmers have created a robust ecosystem aimed to foster biodiversity. The idea for the farm developed in 1991 in an attempt to address erosion, exposure, water logging, salinity and ecological decline.
When taking one of the farm tours, be prepared to see 106 species of birds and many other types of wildlife. Keeping busy with diversifying their property, the owners have established a food and flower forest. Here’ a wealth of banksias, leucadendrons, proteas, bush foods and fruit trees bloom reay round. In the outdoor classroom, you can see demonstrations of the portable bandsaw, logging winch, tree guards and varied planting designs.
Visit the Facebook page for more info – Yan Yan Gurt West Farm
Holowiliena Station – Cradock SA
Even after 160 years, the traditions and family ties of Holowiliena Station live on. The property’s farmers include fourth, fifth and sixth generation members of the Warwick family. Historical farm tours now offer an insight into the true experience of working on a sheep station that has been operating since 1852. When taking a tour of the station, you’ll see many of the historical buildings and, possibly, the resident blacksmith at work.
Recent renovations have spruced up the historical buildings while maintaining the original character. They even used the same materials from the original Holowiliena Homestead, built by the very first family. These include native pine, stone and lime mortar, made from limestone burnt in the old lime kiln.
Gleneden Family Farm – Maryvale QLD
Framed by rolling hills, dotted with picnic areas, Gleneden Family Farm provides the backdrop for the perfect day out. The expansive grounds feature swimming spots, exceptional viewing points and plenty of opportunities to interact with animals. Specialising in on-farm experiences, this family business provides historical and educational displays of everyday farm life.
Experience a little piece of paradise when you relax, taste local organic produce and dive into life on the farm. See a little part of Australian history when you watch the bullock team at work. And be sure to try some of the chemical-free, 100 per cent grass fed beef or pastured pork.
Free Range Emu Farm – Hoddys Well WA
This one-of-a-kind emu farm offers guests a peek into the lives of our favourite flightless bird in a natural bush setting. The expansive farm is home to around 100 emus, and brings 50-60 chicks into the world each year.
Take in the beautiful surrounding hills while learning about emu farming and management from the owners on the farm tour. Don’t forget to peruse the farm’s boutique which sells unique emu products such as carved eggs, emu oil, cosmetics, emu meat and leather products.