Margaret River Hideaway
Delightful cottages and feeding the animals makes this fun for the whole family
Nestled amongst eucalypt trees, just minutes from Margaret River town, lies a lovely farm with nine comfortable cottages and a menagerie of furry and feathered friends waiting to greet you.
Margaret River has long been a favourite holiday destination for families. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway from Perth or travelling from a busy city further afield, you’ll always enjoy the fresh country air, natural wonders and peace and quiet of the south west.
Margaret River Hideaway and Farmstay is an idyllic base from which you can explore the local forests, beaches, wineries, breweries, chocolate and cheese makers and much more. There’s plenty to do on the farm; feed the animals with Farmer Andrew, play in the cubby or jump on the trampoline, stroll around the farm or relax on your veranda and drink in the view.
The highlight of our stay was helping Farmer Andrew to feed the animals. It wasn’t just the kids who loved it – mum and dad had a wonderful time too. Prepare to get a little grubby!
There’s four hands-on sessions each week; Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 8.30-9.30am. Farmer Andrew is an affable chap, happily guiding us around the farm and introducing us to alpacas, emus, Dexter and Scottish Highlander cows, Dorper sheep, peacocks, chicken, geese, guinea fowl and ducks.
The surprise favourite for our family was feeding the emus – Farmer Andrew sets it up perfectly for laughs and a great photo opportunity. You hug a bucket of grain then stand against the fence, facing away from the emus. Before you know it, four greedy emus are stretching their long necks over to hoover the grain. The kids thought it hilarious.
Alpacas, Scottish Highlander cows and Dorper sheep will all eat from your hand – Farmer Andrew jokingly encourages kids to wipe the saliva on dad’s jeans – more laughter ensues.
Not only did we feed these happy animals, but we learnt plenty too. Did you know that white eggs come from chickens with a white wattle behind their ear, and brown eggs from chooks with a red wattle? Male peacocks woo their pea hen mate with colourful feathers, but they lose their beautiful plumage at the end of summer.
The 57-acre farm has a wonderful laid-back, rustic charm. Animals are free to roam, so you might have chickens follow you as you wander the farm, or find a Dexter cow on your doorstep – rest assured they’re all friendly and safe.
The farmstay motto of “making the children happy to keep the parents happy” is a winner. From the warm welcome provided by manager Hanisi and the resident peacocks to the wheelbarrow ride at feeding time, my kids loved every minute, and that made me very happy indeed.
The ‘4-gumnut rated’ accommodation includes eight comfortable cottages and studios, all spread out so that each cottage has privacy from its neighbours. Located just five minutes’ drive from Margaret River town, it’s nice and close to all that the region offers.
Depending on the size of your group, choose a studio (suitable for one to four guests) or a 2 or 3-bedroom cottage, which cater for up to eight guests.
We stayed in a Superior Cottage and found it scrupulously clean and very comfortable. It was thoughtfully appointed with children and groups in mind; they even provided a ‘starter breakfast’ with milk, juice, tea, coffee, cereal, bread, jam and vegemite (c’mon, taste it if you haven’t yet!) There was even a bottle of delicious local wine chilling in the fridge.
Our cottage had a wood fire which was match-ready, and reverse-cycle air conditioning. The open plan kitchen, dining and living room had windows all down one side, with a lovely view of a paddock and trees. It opened onto a veranda and BBQ area which is fenced in.
There’s a bath, but you’re asked to be careful with water as the farm relies on rainwater collected in their tanks over winter. Rainwater, by the way, is delicious – it tastes so much sweeter than treated water.
Well behaved dogs are welcome at no extra cost.
Thanks to a fully equipped kitchen you could cook up a feast. Everything has been thought of – even plastic plates, bowls, cups and cutlery for kids.
There are three supermarkets in Margaret River town where you can buy groceries, plus specialty gourmet shops such as The Larder and Blue Ginger Fine Foods where you can pick up a ready-made meal.
We visited the Margaret River Farmers Market and bought breakfast supplies – organic bread, eggs, bacon and locally grown avocados. The market is on every Saturday morning and is well worth a visit for all the delicious, local produce and the opportunity to meet the people who grow it.
Don’t fancy cooking? You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner options, however you’ll need to drive. Colonial Brewery is just down the road and they have a $10 pizza night on Fridays. There’s many dinner options in Margaret River town, too.