According to the much-loved children’s song, Old MacDonald pretty much cornered the market on farmyard animals – but we say he’s got nothing on the City of Ipswich!
Finding your inner farmer is fun and easy when there are llamas, camels, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and cows to meet at family-friendly tourist locations across the region.
The Llama Farm at Pine Mountain is the perfect place to start. It’s home to the biggest privately owned herd of this strange-looking but surprisingly gentle South American natives.
Owner, Shane Hancock, opens his farm to families by appointment – and all proceeds go back into feeding and caring for his menagerie of animals.
Apart from 70 llamas (every one of which he knows by name!), Shane also runs miniature horses, donkeys, camels, Flemish Giant rabbits and turkeys – a Doctor Dolittle assortment of animals, happily grazing across his 80-acre farm.
Visitors can feed the animals – or choose a gentle walk across the property with a friendly llama by their side.
If more traditional farm animals appeal, drop into Haigslea Ewe-nique Hobby Farm for a family outing to remember.
Farmer Dave will introduce you to a whole paddock of critters – from sheep and goats to alpacas and geese. You may even be lucky enough to meet newborn lambs if the season is right.
As Dave helps children get to know, pat and feed the animals – Mum and Dad can take a seat on nearby hay bales and enjoy fresh coffee and home-baked morning tea, served up by Dave’s wife, Penny.
Ewe-nique Hobby Farm is just 45 minutes from Brisbane making it a great day drive option for the family.
Penny and Dave like to keep numbers manageable – so prior bookings are essential.
Ewe-nique Hobby Farm is closed for the month of February but is reopening on the 4th of March, so be sure to visit them on the first week of March.
As far as we know, Old MacDonald didn’t have native Australian animals on his farm – but the Ipswich Nature Centre at Queen’s Park is practically teeming with them.
The zoo – based in Queensland’s oldest heritage park – is free to explore on your own. Or, for a fee, you can join a guided tour to meet dingoes, quolls, wallabies, bilbies, lizards, emus and a whole parade of Aussie natives.
Whether you’re keen to connect with wildlife or channelling your inner farmer, the City of Ipswich has an animal encounter to suit. Learn more on the Discover Ipswich website here.