You know it’s a good holiday when your kids pester you to go back…. and back and back. We’ve now stayed at Kookaburra Farmstay about twice a year for the last four years!
Clearly there’s a lot to love about Kookaburra Farmstay – friendly farmers, hands-on farm experience, affordable accommodation, great location near the beautiful beaches of Port Stephens, toys for the kids to play with and plenty of fresh eggs to enjoy.
Kookaburra Farmstay is run by the lovely farmer Callum, who is just great with kids. My two boys give him a massive hug when we arrive -they are just so excited to see him. And tell me all the way home that they want to live with farmer Callum! Yes farmer crush much! Farmer Callum moved up from Sydney for a tree change over five years ago, with his family. He has plenty of interesting animal facts to share with the kids, a great sense of humour and lots of fun naming the farm animals.
Staying at Kookaburra Farmstay is a fantastic way to introduce kids to farm life and have them learn about where some of our food comes from. There’s a daily farm tour and you can interact with some of the animals throughout the day as well. Keep in mind that a true farm experience does mean you may be woken to the sounds of chickens or cows, rather than your kids!
Daily Farm Tours
The daily farm tour runs at either 4pm or 4:30pm depending on the time of year and goes for about an hour. You are taken around the farm by farmer Callum, or one of his farm helpers, to meet and feed all the animals.
During our stays, we have gotten to:
- milk a cow
- feed the other cows and calves
- ride the tractor
- brush a pig
- hold chicks
- sit on a donkey and pony
- feed ducks and geese
- collect eggs
- hold a snake
- feed sheep and goats
- chase chickens
- play with guinea pigs
- ride the quad bike and front end loader
And on our last two visits, there has been an absolute downpour of rain. Which of course meant lots of muddy puddles to play in…or swim in! Thankfully each cabin and cottage has a huge supply of gumboots.
Other Things to do at Kookaburra Farmstay
We’ve over the moon that Farmer Callum was inspired by us bringing sunflowers we had just picked in the Central Coast last time we visited. And has planted a number of rows that you can pick yourself for $1 each. The pick your own sunflowers is open to the public and via an honesty box. You’ll find them on the right hand side, just as you enter the farm. And there are secateurs to use.
Within each cottage and cabin, there’s a collection of books and small toys. There are also ride on cars, small play gym and chalk board in the common area at the cabins.
Next to the cabins, there’s a very little putt putt golf course, toy car track, logs to balance on and swings.
And Farmer Callum has also built an awesome John Deer style tractor play gym for the kids to enjoy!
Also near the cabins is a vegetable garden. Families are invited to help maintain it and in return can help themselves to some herbs and veggies growing there.
We’ve enjoyed some tomatoes, carrots and strawberries on our visits.
I’ve now stayed at three farms stays with kids. And from my experience and research, Kookaburra Farmstay is definitely one of the most affordable ones near Sydney. And I love their mid-week special – stay for 4 nights and only pay for 3!
You can choose either to stay in one of two cottages or one of the four cabins. On our first and third trips with the four of us, we stayed in a cottage. The cottages each have three bedrooms, kitchen, lounge/ dining room and bath. And our one had a fenced backyard and was right near the main chicken coup and bulk of animals. On our second visit, with just myself and the kids, we stayed in a cabin. The cabins are a lot smaller but it had everything we needed. I had a separate room and the kids were in bunks in the lounge/ dining area.
The good thing with the cabins, is that they are set around a common area with toys, table, lounge and covered section. This is great for groups or for kids of the different families staying to be able to play together. There was one other family staying in the cabins and our kids had fun playing together. It would definitely be a lovely place for a mid-week holiday for a few mums and their little ones. And I like that you can see availability and book online.
Family Fun Location – Best of Both Worlds
Kookaburra Farmstay is about 2hrs from Parramatta. And only a short drive to all the gorgeous bay and ocean beaches in the Port Stephens area, plus the many family friendly attractions. For me it is the best of both worlds – you get to stay on a farm, but can very easily access all the things that come with a large seaside town.
Things to Do Nearby
From our regular visits over the last 4 years, these are our favourites things to do near Kookaburra Farmstay.
- Tilligerry Habitat: this is a lovely reserve with great, kid friendly walking tracks. And it’s along the gorgeous sandy foreshore of Tanilba Bay. You can access the 9ha flora and fauna reserve at anytime and the visitor centre is open daily from 9am to 3pm, except Christmas and Boxing Day. If you are lucky, you may even spot a koala, echidna or bandicoot there! We got to see a koala bearded dragon on our last visit.
- Little Beach Reserve: it was love at first sight with this beach and we just kept going back. This beach is particularly good for young kids and is just passed Nelsons Bay, on the way to the lighthouse. The water is calm, and there is a great playground for kids of all abilities, grassed area with shade, jetty and kiosk.
- Nelson Bay Lighthouse and Inner Lights Tearooms: the view from here is spectacular and it’s a nice spot to slow down over lunch, or devonshire tea.
- Anna Bay: this gorgeous ocean beach has massive sand dunes (bring some cardboard), yummy cafe and camel rides.
- Fly Point Aquatic Reserve: this wonderful spot is only a very recent find for us – and somewhere we will visit regularly now when we are in Port Stephens. The water is teaming with fish and they’ll even eat from your hand if you bring some bread along.
- Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters: just up the road from Kookaburra Farmstay, this is a good indoor activity and a very interesting one for kids and adults alike. Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters is a unique interactive aquarium that allows visitors to experience ocean life. You can touch eels, feed sting rays and pat sharks as well as get up close to other marine life.
- Nelson Bay Marina: this is a nice spot to wander along the bay, grab some fish and chips, check out some boats, pick up some handy info from the Port Stephens Information Centre and play at a playground.
- Fighter World: this is a good wet weather option and one the plane lovers will particularly enjoy. Fighter World is dedicated to preserving the proud history of fighter aircraft operations in the Royal Australian Air Force. It is open every day, except Christmas, from 10am to 4pm and there is a kiosk there.
We actually also combined one trip to Kookaburra Farmstay with a visit to the Christmas lights display at Hunter Valley Gardens. It’s an hour away and was very impressive!
Plus, we definitely recommend you visit the Wyong Milk Factory. It’s a great mid-way place to stop on the way to Kookaburra Farmstay and Port Stephens, just off the highway. There’s a yummy cafe, great fenced playground for young kids, cheese shop, chocolate shop, toilets and access to the river. Read the review by Little Munch that got us here.
Finding Kookaburra Farmstay
Located in Bobs Farm at Port Stephens, Kookaburra Farmstay is only about 2hrs from Parramatta. And it’s just under an hour to Newcastle and just over an hour to the Hunter Valley from the farm.