Photo: John and Judy travel in traditional style.
The Outstation is a new farmstay in northwestern New England giving guests a realistic and relaxing experience of the bush.
The 3,500 hectare sheep and cattle property, located 80km west of Quirindi and 80km south of Gunnedah, has been held by the Simson family since 1887.
Owner Reg Simson decided to renovate the shearer’s cottage and open up the farm to visitors because the cottage was sitting idle for most of the year.
The cottage was originally an outstation – hence the name – and was moved in the 1950s to become part of the ‘Gannany’ homestead (Aboriginal word meaning ‘smoke rising from hill’).
Reg and his wife Fiona have two young sons, Andy and Alex. They aim to make their farmstay family friendly and hope to attract international visitors as well as Australians.
“We think we can offer a genuine Australian experience on a working farm,” Reg explained.
The property is covered with native pastures and trees and there is an abundance of native wildlife.
The cottage has three bedrooms and sleeps six people; a fully equipped kitchen including full sized gas stove; a living / dining area with 5-channel television and DVD player and open fireplace; two bathrooms, one with a claw foot bath and the other that doubles as a laundry. All linen, towels and bedding are supplied but guests need to bring all their own food.
Outside, there’s an all weather tennis court and a 10-metre in ground pool. Guests are invited to come on a farm drive to check stock waters or to assist with farm jobs if they choose.
“We want to allow guests just to experience the farm and the environment for what it is. I suppose it’s a low-key kind of approach,” said Reg.
For some local sightseeing, guests can take day trips to the Warrumbungles National Park, the village of Spring Ridge (35kms away), or to the towns of Quirindi and Gunnedah.
Rates are: adults (17+) single $75 per night; two or more $50 per night per person; children $20 per night per person.
For more information please phone (02) 6747 6257 or visit http://www.theoutstation.com.au/ The Outstation is at 'Gananny', 6467 Bundella Road, Quirindi