Last week I travelled back in time. The boys and I stayed in a white-washed farm cottage perched on a wide creek. Chickens roamed at our feet. Cattle regarded us with disinterest and the mothers of newborn calfs eyed us warily. Friendly horses came near and nuzzled at our sides, hoping for carrots.
We seemed a million miles away from noise, from bustle, from stress and from reliable internet connection. The kids had nothing to do but run and play and explore. We had nothing to do but sit and talk, read and unwind.
It was the kind of place that reduced life to its simplest and easiest form. More so than a beach holiday, where fun on the sand is book-ended by arguments over sunscreen and lugging a bag the size of a small house. More so than travelling away when you feel you have to pack each moment with all the experiences available lest you never make it back to the destination. Everything was slow. There was no pressure. A little like camping. Except with comfortable beds and no arguments over how to put up the tent.
The kids seemed to relax into their new surroundings. Hunting for eggs replaced hunting for Pokemon. A morning round of hellos to the animals replaced cartoons. Fishing with dad trumped checking soccer scores on the iPad.
My own frantic morning checks of the socials were replaced by chapters of books, cups of coffee and scrambling fresh eggs.
We spent a lot of time on the back deck. Overlooking Yabba creek, a camp ground and brave teenagers jumping from high rocks into chilly water. In the afternoons we took the farm canoe for a relaxed paddle. In the evenings, when the water was like glass, we tried to spot platypus amongst the large fish that defied catching.
Even though the nearby town boasted two places to eat, we cooked at our temporary home. Listening to music and dancing as we did so. We played a few board games before the kids went to bed.
I had brought my laptop. I’d planned to write. There were plenty of idyllic spots that would be been perfect. But I didn’t. The laptop remained unopened.
It was exactly what I needed.
If you are interested, we stayed at Imbil Bridge Farmstay which is about 2.5 hours drive from the Southside of Brisbane (slightly less if you take the tunnels). Unless you are with Telstra, you won’t get mobile reception in town or slightly out of it. However, there is a signal at the nearby town – Kenilworth – along with good coffee, a great playground, a few interesting shops and a cheese factory. It’s well worth the 20 minute drive.
On Wednesdays during school holidays Mary Valley Adventure Trials hosts a kids horsing around day and my eldest had a great time, learning to ride and playing games. It’s just up the road at Amamoor. While he learned how to walk, trot and gallop we visited Lake Borumba, which is about 11ks out of Imbil town and an exceptionally pretty drive. You can boat (powered and unpowered) in the lake.
The kids brought their bikes and the cycle into Imbil from the farm is very easy. You will definitely want to bring some fishing rods or reels and try to catch a few fish from the house’s private jetty. Hopefully you will have better luck than we did! The kids don’t need a fishing permit, but any serious anglers over 12 will. The farm canoe is quite large and seats two adults and two small children comfortably. It’s not at all tippy.
What did you get up to during the holidays?
Any farmstay recommendations? I think we might be hooked.