After having stayed here four times, I am finally posting the TripAdvisor review that it truly deserves! My apologies to Julian who has always been a fabulous host and ensures that we always have an enjoyable stay!
In this SouthWest region (and for non-WA readers, by this I mean Margaret River-Yallingup-Dunsborough) which is becoming increasingly more expensive for accommodation, this place represents a true gem and value for money. We have visited this farmstay with our 2 children for the last 4 years (now aged 5 & 6), my parents, and two other families - our travelling group this year totalled 10 adults and 9 children, all of whom were happily accommodated on the property and without ever feeling crowded. We came to Margaret River to enjoy a quiet break with family & friends, and despite the numbers in our travelling party, this farmstay certainly delivered that!
Essentially, the property currently consists of 5 cottages and a studio on a beautiful, well-maintained, spacious and serene property. It is perfectly located only a few minutes from Margaret River township, and within an easy drive of all the trendy popular wineries of the Yallingup region. Four mornings a week (Sat-Sun-Tues-Thurs), Julian runs animal feeding at 9am which always proves to be the kids highlight of the day. There is a wonderful assortment of animals on the farm - sheep, cows, alpacas, chickens, guinea fowl, ducks, peacocks, and of course the absolute hit this year with everybody was Patsy, the joey kangaroo. It is the perfect start to the day for a family holiday - the kids run around madly for an hour feeding all the animals (including bottle feeding Patsy the kangaroo!), which then satisfied the kids enough to allow us "big kids" to enjoy long lunches at the winery of our choosing (hint for families - look up those wineries that have playgrounds or a large grassed area in front of the restaurant for the kids to run around & book a table there at least a few days in advance - popular family-friendly places book out well in advance in peak holiday times such as long weekends, school holidays - Julian has a list of family friendly locations, as does the local tourist bureau - our favourites include Wills Domain, Laurence, Margaret River Berry farm, Watershed Wines, Knee Deep, Colonial Brewery, Bootleg Brewery - also see www.margaretriver.com and download the black & white A3 map, and most tourist attractions have free copies). In addition to the farm & animals, there is a playground and large grassed soccer pitch. Wonderful & safe for the kids to roam freely, or to spend a minute wandering to other cottages where friends were staying.
We booked a 3 bedroom cottage (currently classed as "standard" - Julian is building two new superior 3 bdrm cottages due for completion late 2011) which had 3 separate bedrooms, bathroom, separate toilet, living area (sofa bed, couches, wood fire, satellite TV, DVD), dining area & kitchen. There is a small gated front yard that overlooks the farm and Julian has a dog friendly policy for those of you who may want to bring your pooch on holiday too! Whilst the standard cottage is extremely comfortable (very comfy beds and feather doonas, plenty of space in a 3 bedroom cottage for an extended family), we visited our friends who were staying in the 2 bedroom superior cottages recently completed, and they are much more spacious and modern - we can't wait to stay in a new 3 bedroom next year which has the added bonus of 2 bathrooms.
And then there are also the little things that count - on arrival there is milk in the fridge and cereal, so if you arrive late at night without groceries you can still have breakfast in the morning (including fresh eggs if the chooks have laid!), and Julian lights the wood fire to coincide with your estimated arrival time so the cottage is warm when you check-in.
So any cons for this hideaway? Nothing major that comes to mind for the style of holiday that we come here for. I tend to feel the cold a little, so I usually bring along a small portable heater which does come in useful first thing in the morning when the log fire has burnt out overnight, and the reverse cycle system timer has cut off. Also, there is no internet access onsite (but then most people prefer to getaway from that anyway!), however, we had good internet access with Telstra on our 3G iPads. Optus mobile reception is patchy on the property - good around animal feeding areas but not so good in the cottages - but typically Optus is poorer in regional areas compared to Telstra nationwide anyway so this is not surprising - you will still usually receive calls ok but reception may drop out during them (this was important for us because we had stayed "oncall" for work phonecalls despite being on holiday).
So in summary, I cannot recommend this place highly enough for a family farmstay. We love it here so much that we always book our stay for the following year before we've even left.
PS. Another essential family visit is the Yallingup Maze - allow an hour because you will probably get lost within it - they change it every few months, so you can visit it again and face new surprises! They also have a wonderful assortment of puzzles to play and purchase, and this year they had a bouncy castle too! Highly recommended tourist destination with the kids!
- Also Known As:
- Margaret River Hideaway & Farmstay Hotel Margaret River
- Margaret River Hideaway & Farmstay Hotel
- Margaret River Hideaway And Farmstay
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