Driving up the long dirt driveway of Junabel Farm stay we didn’t know what to expect, we knew that there were miniature animals, and that according to Wikicamps reviews, the hosts were lovely and involved the kids a lot.
I was a bit hesitant as our kids aren’t the most relaxed children on earth, Lucah will be very vocal if he doesn’t like something (and there are many many things that he doesn’t like), Asher has the ability to go from a charming little angel to a wailing banshee within half a second if there is a dog nearby, so we weren’t sure how he would go with the animals. And Jaiden being a teenager is very hard to impress at the best of times.
Since we started planning the trip the kids were keen on farm stays, so we decided to just go with it and hope for the best. When we arrived, Ange the host showed us where to camp and set up and not long after she collected us for the kids to help with the afternoon chores. There were chickens, miniature horses, miniature goats, and some miniature chickens. It very quickly became apparent that we had underestimated our kids and that they were very keen to get in and meet the animals and help. Even Asher after a few little sooks quickly warmed up and it wasn’t long before he was happily walking around amongst the animals. Lucah immediately loved the chickens, he wanted to cuddle them at every opportunity. Jaiden loved the miniature goats and the dogs, and Asher liked the miniature horses the best.
Their chores were to:- collect the eggs, feed the goats, groom the stallions, feed the chickens, and put the full size horse into his night paddock.
While we were there I was commissioned to do a residential mural on a water tank, Painting on a water tank is challenging because it is curved, so it really throws out the perspective! The couple who owned the property first wanted wings, but when I went to meet them, their ideas grew and they ended up wanting the full tank painted, with wings, kookaburras, frogs and other wildlife. I also added a portrait of their Blue Heeler dog and pet cat.
While at Junabel I also had my first opportunity to get my camera out! I really wanted to get a shot of a miniature horse named Baby Doll, she has one blue eye and one brown. She would let me get close but would never look the right way, I busied myself with taking some pics of all the other beautiful horses and their amazing dam and property.
Our stay at Junabel ended up being an excellent decision. The hosts Ange and Mitch are just lovely and so good with the kids, it helped Asher conquer his fear of animals (while very timid at the start he came around by the end and brushed the horses, patted the goats and even got comfortable with the dogs) and the kids just loved helping out and got a taste for farm life. They’ve since been planning what animals we are going to have when we move back into our house… so far they want chickens, a couple of goats, llamas, a peacock and peahens, and some pigs.
Things we learnt at Junabel
- Lucah will catch a chicken to cuddle at any opportunity
- If Lucah knows there are chickens around but he cant see the chickens, he will ask about the chickens until he can again see the chickens.
- Baby chickens are really really cute
- Many many hours can be spent photographing miniature horses.
- Our kids do have the ability to listen, just not to us