For those that know me the very thought of me staying on a farm is pretty laughable. I’m the girl who was once sent to the corner shop to grab a cauliflower and came back with a cabbage, and is known among her friends for maniacally driving a quad bike into a ditch in Northern Ireland due to momentary confusion over which peddle did what.
Needless to say, the farm is not my natural habitat.
But lately I’ve been embracing this new state I call home and one of the highly recommended things to do in Victoria is visit Phillip Island.
Hubs and I made the last-minute decision to go to Phillip Island last weekend and as we were making plans about a week or so out our accommodation options were quite limited. I could find private homes that were way bigger than the 2 of us needed or musty motel rooms that were far pricier than the property warranted. Then by chance Justin stumbled across Bimbadeen Farm Retreats and flashed the photos in front of me.
Bimbadeen is a 340-acre working farm run by the Davie family who raise Angus cattle, chicken, pigs, sheep and bees. It’s ideally located just a 10-minute drive from the world-famous Penguin Parade (and walking distance from the GP circuit) and so rather cleverly the owners have created guest accommodation on their gorgeous property.
There are just 3 retreats at Bimbadeen and as we were the lucky guests of the last we had Freddie and Eddie, the inquisitive alpacas, as neighbours. The cabins are chicly and neatly decorated and come with all the mod cons this city girl is used to – powerful shower, air con, wi-fi etc.
We found fresh milk and eggs from the farm placed in the fridge and as the kitchen was equipped with everything we could need – coffee plunger included – we couldn’t wait for breakfast on the deck in the morning.
The foodie treats didn’t stop there though as Bimbadeen also has a farmstore and café where you can shop for local produce or stop for afternoon tea like we did.
Cakes are baked fresh on-site daily using ingredients sourced from the farm and local region – I had my first ever Melting Moments and, my goodness, that wedge of cream was sinfully good. You can also pre-order a paddock to plate bbq option for dinner but (regrettably) we had made other plans.
We spent that evening at the Penguin Parade, returning to our cabin with cold wine and a takeaway meal, and passing out fairly early. We slept soundly in the cosy beds and rather surprisingly were not woken at the break of dawn by the farm animals – you are far enough removed from the 1500 free range hens not to hear them!
If you’d like to get a little closer to the animals and learn about Bimbadeen’s award-winning beef and innovative environmental practice, you can join one of the daily farm tours held at 11am. We didn’t get involved as we were quite content just making brekkie while talking to the alpacas through the kitchen window (at least that’s what I did).
You’re quite welcome to wander the farm under your own steam and the info in the room explains how to the second highest viewpoint on Phillip Island.
As our time was so short and we were busy checking out the island we didn’t have much interaction with the owners but the pre-arrival info they sent us was clear and friendly and the TripAdvisor reviews we read from guests who stayed longer were full of praise for their hospitality.
This was my first ever farm retreat but Bimbadeen was so enjoyable it’s set me on a path looking for more like it. We paid $230 (approx. £130) for our 1 night weekend stay and personally I think it’s worth every dollar – I’d rather pay a little more to stay somewhere memorable, local and eco-friendly as opposed to a bog-standard hotel room. I’m glad Justin decided to run this one past me – maybe I should let him have a hand in the travel plans more often? <Inner control freak bristles>
Our trip was self-funded. This article contains affiliate links.