Ex­pe­ri­ence life on the farm

Change up your hol­i­days and head to the out­back

Central Queensland News - - LIFE TOURISM - PAUL THOMPSON CHDC tourism de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer

AGRITOURISM, farm­stays, es­capes, re­treats.

These are all buzz words around farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties across the whole of Aus­tralia as farm prop­er­ties look to di­ver­sify their busi­nesses.

Maybe it is to get through leaner years on the farm or to give fam­ily mem­bers an­other op­tion to “stay on the land” if tra­di­tional farm­ing busi­ness is not nec­es­sar­ily their thing.

Don’t take my word for it though. Have a think about the coun­try shoot­ing and fish­ing es­tates and lodges of Eng­land, Scot­land and other parts of the UK and Europe where this type of tourism prod­uct is not only big busi­ness, it is huge busi­ness and has been realm of kings and queens, ladies and lords for cen­turies.

But now, even in these parts farm stays and the like are en­joyed by all.

What about in­sur­ance, bio se­cu­rity and the like? Well, back in the 1990s the out­door ad­ven­ture and na­ture-based tourism sec­tor did cop a bit of a hid­ing from in­sur­ance bro­kers. And mad cow dis­ease in the UK af­fected the tourism sec­tor, but not ad­versely.

The busi­nesses just changed prac­tices and pro­ce­dures to en­sure all was OK on the bio se­cu­rity front.

Like­wise, in­sur­ance has also ma­tured from those days and now it is cer­tainly not a “game breaker” for any­one want­ing to set up tourism ser­vices on their farms and prop­er­ties.

If other na­ture-based tourism com­pa­nies can suc­cess­fully ex­ist with tak­ing fam­i­lies, cou­ples and school kids ski­ing, rock climb­ing/ab­seil­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, surf­ing and the like, it is cer­tainly not a prob­lem to have vis­i­tors wan­der around the farm, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing all the great things there is on of­fer.

So what is on of­fer and what are oth­ers do­ing in this re­gion on their farms and prop­erty?

It is re­ally any­thing and every­thing you are al­ready do­ing on your farm and prop­erty that is of in­ter­est to vis­i­tors. Some­times vis­i­tors are even help­ing with tasks of feed­ing cat­tle/sheep, round­ing up cat­tle, fix­ing fences and the like.

These may be mun­dane tasks for the prop­erty, but they are truly unique ex­pe­ri­ences vis­i­tors are want­ing to get stuck into, as more and more are want­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence real and au­then­tic ac­tiv­i­ties while on hol­i­day.

Cap it off, sit­ting around the camp­fire af­ter a sun­set camp oven din­ner, and you have the per­fect day … all be­fore head­ing off to their ac­com­mo­da­tion.

This ac­com­mo­da­tion is all part of the ex­pe­ri­ence. Some are ren­o­vated old shear­ing sheds, old sta­bles, even wa­ter tanks have been con­verted into unique ac­com­mo­da­tion on of­fer.

How­ever, the of­fer does not even need to be that flash as “glamping”, glam­orous camp­ing, has be­come the lat­est trend in ac­com­mo­da­tion for this sec­tor.

Yes, peo­ple are pay­ing good money to camp in a tent, al­beit a posh tent with a bed and nice linen, but it is still a tent, and the vis­i­tors are lov­ing i

In Cen­tral Queensland we have a few of these ex­pe­ri­ences on of­fer, for fam­i­lies, cou­ples, groups and even cor­po­rate and busi­ness re­treats, all cater­ing for di­verse price points and lev­els of ser­vice and lux­ury.

Ar­ca­dia Val­ley Es­cape, Wal­la­roo Out­back Re­treat and Myella Farm Stay are all op­tions for this type of hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ac­tiv­i­ties on these prop­er­ties are re­ally quite ex­ten­sive and may in­clude; camp­fire cook­ing, swim­ming, ca­noe­ing, bush­walk­ing, bird watch­ing, stargaz­ing, out­door cin­e­mas, farm tours, work­shops, horse rid­ing, rid­ing farm bikes, milk­ing a cow, feed­ing an­i­mals, 4WD tours, fully catered, self-catered, peace and quiet and red dust. Yep even red dust is an at­trac­tion.

Farms and prop­er­ties can get in touch with CHDC on 4982 4386 if you would like to know more about get­ting set up in this tourism mar­ket. And those look­ing to re­lax and chill out on a unique farm stay ex­pe­ri­ence the Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Cen­tres have in­for­ma­tion on these types of hol­i­days and tours, pay them a visit for some in­spi­ra­tion.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GLAMPING: Re­lax, chill out and learn more about life on the farm on a unique farm stay ex­pe­ri­ence.

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