Australian Outback Farm Stays & Station Stays

‘Farmstays’ are bed and breakfast type places that are located on farms (some may only be hobby farms). They are found all over Australia, even in very remote areas (‘station stays’). Bookings in advance are usually essential.

If you are interested in a specific area but can’t find any nearby farmstay properties, it is worth trying the local tourist information centre in the area you want to visit.

Many smaller businesses are only advertised locally and are not listed on websites or widely distributed tourist brochures, because they may only take a handful of guests at a time and expensive, widespread advertising doesn’t make economic sense. These farm & station stays are likely to be the places where you get the most personal service, as the hosts are likely to be less jaded by large numbers of visitors.

Some very up-market resorts are located on farms and cattle stations – these usually offer 5-star facilities and food, and charge accordingly. Generally these are more about a peaceful and luxurious break rather than getting dirty while learning about hands-on agriculture. It is important to note that not all accommodation providers on farms and stations offer hands-on station activities – it pays to ask when you are booking, to ensure you are getting exactly what you are after.

Also – read the businesses advertisements and websites and third party blogs etc carefully.  Unfortunately there are some B & B/Farmstay operators who have branched out into taking paying guests simply because they’re chasing a cash cow and they’re intent on milking it for all it’s worth, and giving as little as possible back.  It’s usually fairly obvious when you read their advertising material, however, that these operators have only ever thought of themselves from day one, rather than what’s in it for their guests.  Blog comments can be quite insightful too – there certainly are unreasonable and unrealistic ‘lemon’ customers out and about, however if you read a number of comments from a wide variety of people  then it’s a reasonable bet that it’s either as good as they’re saying, or where there’s smoke there’s at least a bit of a fire.  When we went west on a family trip earlier this year I looked for a couple of good places for us to stay, online, and was very unimpressed by the prospects I could dig up – many appeared overpriced and very poor value – set up by people who clearly aren’t cut out for providing accommodation for travellers.  Life in remote areas is expensive so providing remote accommodation is too; but it’s the things that cost next to no extra money to provide, that make the difference between good value and rip-off .  A top dollar price should equate to a top dollar experience, otherwise customers will stay away.