Farming out the big family celebration
A farmstay weekend proves just the thing to satisfy all ages, writes Alison Cotes
IT WAS a Big Zero birthday for one of the clan, and we wanted to celebrate in a way that the oldest to the youngest family members ( 80 to eight months) and everyone in between could enjoy – even the newly engaged couple.
That ruled out flash restaurants or a big party in a hired hall with a band because of the necessity for nanna naps and room for unruly children to roam free.
In the end we decided to make a weekend of it and go to a farm at Kilcoy, because it was only 90 minutes’ drive from Brisbane, had accommodation to suit all sorts and conditions of people and offered enough space for everyone to get away from each other when they couldn’t cope with family politics any more.
How much can you bear to hear about a big family holiday? Not a lot, probably, if your family is anything like mine, so let me just mention that we shoved most of the children in the nine-bed bunkhouse, conveniently separate from everyone else, and let them get on with it.
Three couples took over the enchanting little farmhouse which, with its self-contained bathroom, kitchen and living area, provided a grown-ups’ retreat; and the couple with the baby stayed in The Lodge, out of earshot.
Some of the teenagers and young adults brought tents and slept out, and one couple, practising to be Grey Nomads, brought their own caravan. So everyone was wellbedded and happy.
We could have ordered outside catering, but with this disparate lot we thought self-catering would be more convenient, as indeed it proved to be.
Next to the farmhouse there’s a big roofed area known as the Feedlot, with mass cooking facilities, a gas heater and a CD player for sing-alongs and, later, some funky dancing, and with big wooden tables and bench seating,