5 authentic farm experiences you never knew you could have near Brisbane
You don’t need to travel far for an authentic farm experience. Petting a camel, making black sheep’s cheese and a horse-drawn winery tour are just a few of the country experiences you never knew you could have near Brisbane.
Apart from being located within the Scenic Rim Region of South East Queensland, what most of the farms hosting these experiences have in common is they encourage you to enjoy a hands-on taste of agricultural life. Whether it’s feeding farm animals, collecting eggs, or just spending quality time away from your phone. Here is an opportunity to get involved with country living and give something back to the farmsteads that nurture fresh produce for our tables.
Winery and brewery tour
Drayhorse Shires Tours combine the romance of travelling around the Scenic Rim in a horsedrawn carriage with the heady decadence of wine and beer tasting along the way.
Ride along the open road past rows of trellised vines to arrive at the Bunjurgen Vineyard Estate cellar door. Next is tripping down to the Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm for lunch. Finally, a few paddles of beer at Scenic Rim Brewery. The best part is that after such inspired tastings, you get to sit back and enjoy a scenic ride back to the start.
Get up close to a camel
The Scenic Rim doesn’t exactly invoke the Sahara. Expect no sweltering desert heat or dusty winds at Summer Land Camels in Harrisville. Here, just one hour’s drive from Brisbane’s CBD, you can find the largest wild camel training centre in the country.
Embarking on a camel trek will take you through the pretty countryside and teach you all about these noble beasts.The easy pace the camels set around the 350 hectare property is mellow enough that you can really soak up the scenery as the guides explain how the farm transforms the camel milk into products for consumption and skincare.
After plodding through the countryside, you can sample some of these products for yourself. Try fresh camel milk, cheese, gelato and even vodka at the café, housed in a Federation-style homestead.
Learn how to make black sheep’s cheese
One for the cheese fiends, Towri Sheep Cheesery in Allenview is at the epicentre of the artisanal cheese movement in the Scenic Rim. It’s also where you can learn the art of making black sheep cheese, a Cheshire-style cheese coated in a black ash and salt rub before maturing.
The fromagerie also makes plenty of other sheep’s milk products including Eweghurt, feta and side cheeses such as Lavenewe and Truffled Ewe. While you’re there you can also observe a sheep milking demonstration and sample the Blewe Cheese, a mild blue varital, the brie-like Woolly White, and their award-winning pecorino.
Afterwards you can pat and feed the baby lambs and meet the other 350 sheep on the property. The flock includes the Awassi (a Middle Eastern fat-tailed sheep from Israel), the East Friesian, and Assaf – perfect for keeping the kids entertained.
Take an armchair grand tour of the 175 hectare boutique sheep dairy here.
The llama farm
Located in Pine Mountain, Ipswich, the Llama Farm is exactly what it sounds like. Just a short drive from Brisbane, this rolling acreage bounded by foothills and the Brisbane River is home to the largest herd of llamas in all of Queensland.
Stretching over 80 acres of lush bushland, the Llama Farm also nurtures donkeys, miniature ponies, miniature goats, sheep, Maremma dogs and even a brood of chickens. You can get up close and personal with all of them during a farm visit, or get to know the scenery and a couple of fleecy beasts during a guided llama walk. Just note, rather than adhere to set opening times, the Llama Farm offers these experiences by appointment only so make sure you call ahead.
Eat like a local
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week is an annual celebration that allows you to experience the food and wine of the region. It’s a marvellous way to get a feel for the local food and drink scene with a program of festivals, farmgate events and culinary happenings.
Local makers really pull out the stops to create a week packed full of food and farm experiences. The Eat Local Week program brings together vineyards, breweries, growers and retailers for a week long celebration of everything the Scenic Rim has to offer. Look out for roaming degustations, nose-to-tail dining, and the Winter Harvest Festival showcasing the best and freshest produce in the region.
If you just can’t get enough of farm gate delicacies, stay a while and eat your way around the Scenic Rim with this handy itinerary, perfect for mini-breaks. Or take a bit more time and come back for a farmstay with the whole family.