6 of the Best Waterfalls at Grampians National Park

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Grampians National Park is home to an array of wild and wonderful waterfalls, in amongst the mountain trails and picturesque peaks. Many of the waterways are just a short walk, with trails ranging in difficulty, but worth every minute. Here’s six of the best for your next weekend activity…

Mackenzie Falls

Grampians National Park, Northern Grampians Road, Wartook, Victoria, 3401 

Mackenzie Falls is one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in Victoria and flows all year round. Take an easy stroll to a viewing platform overlooking the Falls (wheelchair accessible) or take a longer route down the stairs to the base of the falls for a close encounter with the cascading falls.

MacKenzie Falls car park is a forty-minute drive from Halls Gap on the Mount Victory Road.

Mackenzie Falls

Mackenzie Falls

Beehive Falls

Grampians National Park, Roses Gap Road, Roses Gap, Victoria, 3381

Enjoy peace and tranquility at this pretty waterfall. Take the undulating walking path that leads to the base of the falls. Visit the Beehive Falls after rain for the best views, and in spring for the surrounding wildflowers. 

Beehive Falls

Beehive Falls

 

Silverband Falls

Grampians National Park, Silverband Road, Bellfield, Victoria, 3381

This delightful waterfall is known for its narrow band of water that cascades over a rocky cliff and then ‘disappears’ into the rocks at the base re-emerging some 50 metres further downstream. Enjoy a gentle stroll through a shady forest to arrive at the base of Silverband Falls. Visit in spring to see wildflowers in bloom in the area.

Silverband Falls

Silverband Falls

 

Nigretta Falls

Grampians National Park, Wannon - Nigretta Falls Road, Hamilton, Victoria 3300

Take a short detour from the Glenelg Highway for swimming, fishing, picnics and barbecues at Nigretta Falls, a small waterfall fed by the Wannon River.

View the falls from above and enjoy the picnic tables and barbecue facilities or take the stairway leading to the base, where water pools provide excellent secluded swimming and fishing spots.

Nigretta Falls

Nigretta Falls

 

Wannon Falls

Grampians National Park, Wannon–Nigretta Fall Road, Hamilton, Victoria, 3300

Just 20 km west of Hamilton lies Wannon Falls. Wannon Falls was created by lava flow that surged upstream to the Wannon River. Watch as water cascades over a spectacular 30-metres into a deep plunge pool below.

Wannon Falls

Wannon Falls

Fish Falls

Grampians National Park, Zumsteins Picnic Area, Mt Victory Road, Zumsteins, Victoria, 3401

Fish Falls cascades 60 metres over terraced rocks into a pool below year round. Take a 4.6 kilometre (return) medium-grade walk starting at Zumsteims car park and follow the MacKenzie River upstream to view the river along deep gullies. For more adventures, continue on the track to the famous MacKenzie Falls.

Fish Falls

Fish Falls

 

The Winter Fishing Report

BRAVE THE ELEMENTS FOR REWARD

With the onset of winter there’s a distinct transition in species throughout the Wimmera region whether it be in the rivers or the lakes. Trout become the targeted species for most with the rivers closing for the spawning and all the attention turning to the lakes. Native fish become relatively dormant until spring time and the reward for effort is outweighed by their absence. Redfin will be a option over the winter but also become harder to catch.

Our trout water I will cover below and keep in mind that most of them hold good numbers of redfin as well.

LAKE FYANS

Located between Stawell and Halls Gap, Fyans is one of the most fishes locations throughout the region. Well known for its big brown trout and feisty rainbows it offers some great boat and bank angling options. Bait fishing produces many good fish here and Mudeye is the prime bait for both species as well as other live boats like minnow and gudgeon. Trolling or casting lures early and late in the day also puts some fish in the creek. Tassie devils are the best option here in gold, gold winged and brighter colours over the winter as spawning fish are aggressive and will take on most things presented they see as an intrusion.

Ashes hero Merv Hughes boated this lovely Lake Fyans Brown.

Ashes hero Merv Hughes boated this lovely Lake Fyans Brown.

LAKE WARTOOK

Nestled in between valleys Wartook is a lake that offers a lot to land based anglers in particular over the cooler months with a huge section of wall that gives easy access to trout feeding areas. Tassie devils are the prime here as are shallow running hardbodies which account for plenty of fish. Also holding a good population of redfin at times Wartook is a option for baitfishing the bottom as well with worms or yabbies. Mudeye under a bubble float is the ideal trap to set for the big trout that cruise the wall area.

LAKE BELLFIELD

Being right on the southern end of Halls Gap township this popular water storage which is electric powered boats only is becoming very popular as a kayak and land based destination. With the chance of maybe a XL chinook salmon as well as brown and rainbow trout the lake has now been stocked with Golden Perch which will enhance the fishing opportunities locally in the next few years once they mature. Redfin are probably the most prolific fish here and provide hours of fun in the warmer months. Lures that are shallow running are better here as the timber areas of the lake are very snaggy. Bait also works well here especially in the areas where natural inflows occur on the road side of the lake.

Local kayak guru Robyn with a monster brown out of Lake Bellfield.

Local kayak guru Robyn with a monster brown out of Lake Bellfield.

LAKE TOOLONDO

Although showcased as the jewel of the Wimmera and known as one of the best trout lakes in the state Toolondo is in the rebuilding process after losing a large percentage of its bigger trout in early 2016 due to low water levels and higher temperatures. Fisheries have enforced a minimum size level here of 45 cm for brown trout and 30 cm for rainbow trout with a combined bag limit of 3 fish to help the restore the lake to its former glory. Also very well known for it autumn and spring monster Redfin it’s well worth a trip just to catch one of these monsters.

One of the monster Redfin Toolondo has become famous for.

One of the monster Redfin Toolondo has become famous for.

LAKE WALLACE

Fronting most of the western township of Edenhope, Wallace is starting to come of age with some lovely brown and rainbow trout now coming out in good numbers. Although reasonably shallow it still has enough weed and depth to produce well conditioned fish for both land based and boat anglers. Powerbait, Mudeye and worms are the best bait options while the ever reliable Tassie devils and shallow running hardbody lures get the job done on the cast and trolling behind a boat. Have heard reports of some big Redfin also being taken but most are being plagued by smaller models which hit trolled lures.

KONONGWOOTONG RESERVOIR

Tucked away south west of Balmoral and just north of Coleraine is this little known gem which also produces some lovely trout for anglers. Being another electric powered only lake it’s popular with kayakers and land based anglers as well with a north facing wall that allows you to float out baits or just bottom fish for both trout and Redfin. Fly fisherman also do very well here at times using both wet and dry flies when conditions are favourable. Trolling lures will produce In lesser light conditions and casting or jigging soft plastics is also effective. Redfin are also a proposition here and some larger fish are landed at times.

ROCKLANDS RESERVOIR

Soon to become a well known native fishery due to massive stockings by fisheries there is a air of excitement about Rocklands. In the past it has been famous for it cricket score numbers of Redfin landed in a day and also for some terrific trout option for locals. Although trout stockings will likely cease in the future there should still be some excellent fish to be taken over the next few year. Australian Bass often become a welcome by catch here too taking hardbody lures trolled for trout or Redfin. Known to be better than 50 cm they certainly provide a good tussle when hooked. The Murray Cod and Golden Perch will certainly provide anglers with a new destination which is set to rival Victoria’s native go to lake Eildon in the coming years!

Jarrod Potter with a fine Rocklands Bass taken trolling lures.

Jarrod Potter with a fine Rocklands Bass taken trolling lures.

REGULATIONS AND COMPLIANCE

Being constantly patrolled by Fisheries Inspectors please ensure you either hold a current Victorian Angling Licence or check to see if you are exempt. Monies generated form these licences are channeled back into restocking for future generations to enjoy. Check bag and size limits as they do vary from other locations and states. Safety is paramount around the waterways and a pre check of safety gear and your boat is good policy. The Wimmera lakes and rivers can become very dangerous in a short space of time so be aware of oncoming weather events or changes. Safe and happy fishing to all!

Australian Light Horse Heritage Collection finds a new home at Dadswells Bridge

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A lonely old figure shrouded in mist stands on the bluestone steps of Anzac Hostel in Brighton, Melbourne waiting to share his wartime memories.

This remains a strong and clear image in the mind of Dave Tyson more than a quarter of a century later.

Dave, who has a remarkable display of Australian Light Horse memorabilia now located at Dadswells Bridge, met the man while an ambulance officer in Melbourne almost 30 years ago.

 ‘I was tending this lovely old chap in the ambulance, trying to cheer him up. He was well into his 90’s and somehow our conversation got around to his service days’. 

‘All of a sudden, he stared off into the distance with a fixed gaze, his arthritic old hands rose up clutching imaginary reins in one hand and a bayonet in the other and spurring on his horse; reliving some wild dash over trenches’.

Dave, who at the time knew nothing about the history of the Australian Light Horse, asked the man if they could meet and record some of his wartime memories.  

‘He was a great old chap; we talked for hours and finally he said ‘Son, can you lift that box down off the top of the cupboard?’ -which I did.

‘Have a look inside’ and there was an old slouch hat with a magnificent Emu plume‘. 

‘It was a strange feeling just holding that hat. I knew I was holding some sort of Australian icon and I needed to learn a lot more about it’.

Dave never saw the old digger again, but the meeting unleashed a passion to find out more about the history of the Australian Light Horse.

Since then, Dave has recorded about 50 interviews with war veterans and is in the process of compiling a book titled “Kangaroo Feathers; Personal glimpses from Australian Light Horsemen”

His main focus has been on the Australian Light Horse after 1903. 

Australian Light Horse officially disbanded in the 1940’s during the Second World War and the mounted troops were transferred to tanks.

Dave said ‘While living in Beechworth, Vic for ten years, I was blessed to make a dear (now late) friend in Ian Jones– expert Ned Kelly and Light Horse historian, author, and screen writer, director and producer (The Sullivans, Homicide, Matlock Police, Division 4 and The Lighthorsemen film 1987).

Ian left some very important items to our Collection, including a 4thLight Horse tunic from a ‘Beersheba Charger’ and German machine gunner’s armour’.

Without Ian’s help we may not have been able to present our display so soon’.

The Australian Light Horse Heritage Collection is at the Dadswells Bridge home of Dave & Leonie Tyson and is open to the public admission free.

 

Australian Light Horse Heritage Collection

Dave & Leonie Tyson

363 Stapledons Road

DADSWELLS BRIDGE, VIC. 3385

Ph. 03-5359-5379

Mob. 0458-212-058

Mosey on over to the Wander Inn

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Scenic drive? Unique destination? Great food, relaxing atmosphere and friendly service? Check all these boxes and visit the Wander Inn in the Wartook Valley.

Nestled on the edge of the Grampians National Park, the Wander Inn is a perfect spot to break for lunch or dinner.  The mud brick building has an ambience all of its own, with brick paved floors throughout and magnificent exposed timber beams. The enormous open fireplace is sure to be roaring during winter, and established gardens offer a peaceful outdoor experience on sunny winter days.

The Wander Inn is perfect for lunch if you are staying in Halls Gap - take the drive on Mt Victory Rd “over the mountain” and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Visit the picturesque waterfalls on the sunny side of the Grampians – Burrong Falls, Beehive Falls, Fish Falls or the iconic Mackenzie Falls – and “Wander Inn” for a refreshing milkshake.  

Currently on display at the Wander Inn is a collection of works by Australian wildlife artist Pam Thoday. Her beautiful pastels of native animals and plants are appreciated by locals and visitors alike. 

The Wander Inn also stock Tatlock’s Gourmet Produce. Grown in the Grampians, Tatlock’s provide the finest free range gourmet meats from lamb, pork, beef, goat and venison.

The fully licenced café and bar is open during winter for lunch and afternoon tea from Thursday to Sunday. The friendly and welcoming staff will make you feel right at home – if only home included a varied menu delivered to your table while you relaxed. With gourmet pizzas, burgers, curries and home-made pasta, seafood laksa and melt-in-the-mouth salt and pepper squid, risotto, salads, beer-battered fish and more on the menu, there is something for everyone. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options are available. Open for dinner on Friday night, you have the choice to eat in or choose from our takeaway menu.

 WHAT: The Wander Inn

WHERE: 2637 Northern Grampians Rd, Wartook 3401

WHEN: Winter trading hours – bookings advisable

                   Thursday 10am-5pm

                   Friday 11am-9pm

                   Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm

                   Closed Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday

CONTACT: (03) 5383 6388

The Backyard Tourist

The Backyard Tourist by Amelia Crafter

The Backyard Tourist by Amelia Crafter

It seems like only a few weeks ago the air conditioners were pumping and we were sipping cold beers on the deck looking at the beautiful Grampians. At the time, I contemplated a bush walk but the thought of speedy snakes and my little kids complaining they were hot quickly put the idea out of my mind. 

All of a sudden, the days are cool, but not too cold. The fire is going at night and I have swapped the beer for a local shiraz. Now is the perfect time to set out and find a bushwalk that suits you, or even your little ones. It’s not too hot, not too cold and it’s perfect coming home to a warm house and slow cooker meal after a day in the mountains.

Just a few weeks ago, I set out with my 5-year-olds for our first ever bushwalk. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t nervous, I was very nervous. While my kids are full of beans all the time (I mean all the time!) they can also be lazy and have seriously short attention spans, so I didn’t know how this would go. 

I had talked to a few other people and researched trails and decided on one that was only half an hour drive from Horsham, wasn’t too long, but had something great for them to look forward to at the end- Zumsteins to Fish Falls. What a perfect choice it was! 

It was a cool and overcast day, which meant we didn’t get too hot on the undulating and clear track. And the boys were absolutely in their element. The bridge crossings with informative signs about the local platypus population had to be read in full and out loud and we kept a constant vigil for the elusive monotreme as we made our way along the track that hugs the creek.

This bushwalk definitely counts as exercise at 5km return trip but it is also easy enough for low fitness levels, beginners, or kids. Most importantly, it is stunning and in our own backyard. I am now dedicating myself to becoming a ‘backyard tourist’ as often as I can to show my kids how lucky they are to live in this beautiful part of the world. 

A picnic at Fish Falls is a must and there are plenty of rocks to perch on while you enjoy a break and a snack watching the water crash over ancient rock formation. If you wanted to go further, especially if your kids were a little older, you can keep going another kilometer to get to the gorgeous McKenzie Falls. That little trek will have to wait for another day for us. 

The wander back definitely started to challenge the boys, but despite a few ‘I’m tired’ comments during the last kilometer, they absolutely loved it. At one point they were even chanting ‘this is the best walk ever’.

There are plenty of walks and hikes all over the region and quite a few that kids can handle. So instead of turning on Netflix to occupy your kids this weekend, check the weather forecast and if it’s clear, then hit the trail- you won’t regret it.

A sample of other easy bushwalk options:

Venus Baths walk from Halls Gap – 2.30km circuit

Lakeview Loop from Sundial Carpark in Halls Gap – 1.8km circuit

The Balconies Lookout from Reeds Lookout carpark – 2km Circuit

Clematis Falls from Halls Gap Recreation Reserve – 2.4km circuit

Mount Zero and Flat Rock – 3.6km circuit


Australia's best kept ‘Pioneering Secret’

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Sat 8th and Sun 9th of June is the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, when Jeparit Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum hosts its Annual Vintage Rally, a fantastic expo on our pioneering history.

 Experience pioneering life right here in Jeparit!! Showcasing the first 100 years of European settlement and development in the Wimmera region, from 1838, when Edward John Eyre passed through this area searching for a direct stock route from Sydney to Adelaide to WWII in the 1940s.

 The Wimmera-Mallee Pioneer Museum has Australia’s largest collection of agricultural machinery, assorted grain equipment, horse drawn carriages and buggies, and household items from the 1890s to 1940. There are farming innovations that helped settle and create the farmland and history of our region, such as the stump jump plough and the horse or oxen pulled Mallee rollers, displayed near the front gate. Many  of the exhibits in the museum are still operating and will be showcased during the Annual Vintage Rally.

 The Museum itself is set out over four hectares of land as a pioneer town, with original local buildings including a hall, church, chemist, state school, jail, blacksmith and family homesteads and farm sheds.

 The museum’s machinery display ranges from the blacksmith-made cultivating machines to strippers and harvesters from the 1890s to the 1940s, including the famous McKay Sunshine Harvester. Many of the machines are even now kept in working order by the enthusiastic volunteers at the Museum, who also give their time and expertise to restoring these examples of agricultural ingenuity. Although tractors are symbolic of farming practices, much of the machinery at the museum was originally horse-drawn by the magnificent Clydesdales owned by all the farmers in the area. At the Queen’s Birthday Vintage Rally, the Clydesdales are on display, strutting their stuff as they did in days gone by.

 Jeparit is the proud birthplace of several prominent citizens of Australian history including: Sir Robert Menzies, Australia's longest serving Prime Minister; Ryko the Byko, 'Edward Reichenbach', who jumped on his pushbike in 1914 and rode from Adelaide to Darwin in a record breaking 29 days; Alfred Traeger, who invented the pedal powered radio that was used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Discover their stories and other local history at the Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum’s Annual Vintage rally this Queens Birthday weekend.

 This is the 12th annual rally, being held on the Queen's Birthday weekend of the 8th and 9th of June 2019. There will be a vast array of exhibitors attending and assisting with their knowledge and experience and sharing their stories and history of our pioneers. These include vintage car clubs and a huge array of working tractors and engines, as well as crafts and markets, and coffee and food stalls. A fantastic and entertaining day out for the whole family, young and old.

 The Sandy Creek Clydesdales, always a crowd favourite, will be present again, and they will be putting one of the Museum's vintage ploughs to work in the paddock across the road, along with a chaff cutting demonstration at the horse-works. For the ladies and gents alike there will be heritage stalls, and Gayle Newcombe will be returning with her artwork.

 Keep the kids entertained on the Jumping Castle; let them take part in the games their great-grandparents used to play; or watch the slide show in the Woorak West Methodist Church being run by the Dimboola Historical Society. The Church will hold a special service on Sunday morning. The Museum's Blacksmith Shop, still in fully operational & working order, will be, running continuously for the entire weekend, forging some interesting items; and the “Blademan” will be back with his forge, as will the blade shearers (there might even be a race between the blades and modern technology).

 See the Dunmunkle Sump Oilers, with their wonderful displays of vintage engines, Heritage crafts & sewing, displays of die-cast model farm machinery, workshop manuals and magazines, and information on early fashions including early 1900's wedding dresses.

 Or maybe visitors might like a quiet sit around the fire cooking damper and drinking billy tea. The food court is packed with vendors and local charities. Don't miss the yummy Spuds and Roast fundraising for cancer and of course the traditional Lions Club BBQ.

 This year, we will have the delightful company of Phillip Molesworth, resident historian from Rainbow, and an expert on Albacutya homestead and its first owner John Coppock. Phillip will be giving a talk about John Coppock called 'A squatter Coppock and the Albacutya Run'. He will also entertain us with a Pantomine about the Hold-up of the Station by the bushranger Mad Dog Morgan, titled “Morgan's Gold”. This entertainment will take place at 11-12am, and 2-3pm on Sunday. Perhaps our impromptu actors (3 boistrous men, 1 woman and a child) will come from our appreciative audience.

 Around the town, the Town Garage Sale is also back, so drop by the Museum for a map and discover how beautiful Jeparit is while you are here.

 Then, stay on for Monday and join in the ‘soup n scones' lawn bowls tournament at the Jeparit Bowls Club.

 Everyone who attends our Rally can experience first-hand the early years of living in Rural Australia, especially in this area.

 It is truly an amazing and unique event, and we encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the experience of what we have on offer.

 Our Museum really is “One of Australia's Best Kept Pioneering Secrets"

 For more information or details, please contact any member of our committee, who will be delighted to assist you in any way that they can. Or follow us on Facebook at “Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum" to stay informed about the various interesting “doings" and projects going on at the Museum. You may even consider becoming a valuable volunteer, always needed and greatly appreciated.

Experience the beauty of Australia from your doorstep

Photo and article by Andrew Kube - A Kube Aviation

Photo and article by Andrew Kube - A Kube Aviation

Have you ever thought about taking an aerial safari into the outback - seeing some unforgettable sights that draw people from all over the world? This could be you…

Your aircraft gently banks over the expansive Strzelecki desert. In the shimmering distance is Birdsville. 1000 feet below, the Diamantina River winds its way sedately southwest. Pelicans paddle in the warm Queensland floodwaters, hawks and egrets circle on thermals above clay coloured waterholes, searching for food and sharing a bird’s eye view of the vast outback. Thirsty trees hug riverbanks. 

This flight is over the incredible Goyder Lagoon, just south of Birdsville. A massive wetland of fibrous channels and lagoons all rich with wildlife. It’s one of the outback’s unexpected hidden gems, only really appreciated from the air. The lagoon empties into the Warburton Creek and then onwards to the enormity of Lake Eyre. The elongated cinnamon coloured dunes of the Simpson Desert disappear northward, the russet gibber plains of the Strzelecki Desert stretch southward into the distance.

Ahead is the crystalized surface of Lake Eyre. Glacial white and crusty with salt. Soft blues and sometimes pink with beta carotene pigment where the water lays . Exquisite pastel browns of every shade on a slowly baking surface. 140 kms long - the awe-inspiring Lake Eyre leaves passengers in a state of quiet reverie. 

On a 3-day trip with A Kube Aviation you will see some of Australia’s most iconic locations. Lake Eyre/Kati Thanda and Birdsville, Innamincka and the Dig Tree. The Flinders Ranges, the Murray River and the Big Desert & Sunset Country.

You might prefer a day trip over the Coorong in SA or a short flight around the Wimmera taking in the Grampians and the many lakes and farm land. Anything is possible. From the window of your private high winged Cessna you will marvel at exquisite views and savour your personalised unique adventure. 

Flights with A Kube Aviation depart from Horsham or Nhill, giving you the opportunity to breathe in the beauty this country has to offer from your doorstep, you’ll even be home in time for dinner!

Contact Andrew to plan your trip or for more information visit akubeaviation.com.au

Serenity under the stars at Nhillbilly Farm

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Located just 10km from the township of Nhill, Nhillbilly Farm is a B&B farmstay like no other. Hosts Sharon and Lofty offer a unique experience with glamping style accommodation and wholesome dining, all within the serene setting of their beautiful farm.

Nhillbilly Farm is set upon 100 acres of trees, birdlife and dams, providing a serene and secluded setting, surrounded by many of the natural attractions the Wimmera has to offer. The farm, located on Uthmeyers Road, was bought from the Uthmeyer family and has since been home to Sharon Maloney and Lofty Turgoose.

The couple originally transformed their space into a place for family and friends to stay when they had their wedding on the property. The weekendlong event was such a success and left their guests gushing with excitement, so much so that Sharon and Lofty decided that others might also like to discover and experience the hidden gem they call home.

From the moment of arrival at Nhillbilly Farm, Sharon is a warm and welcoming host and has a real passion for providing guests with a memorable experience. A city-dweller most of her life, Sharon uses her own perspective to really highlight the simplicity and magic that makes rural life so special.

The camping area of the farm includes ten glamping-style bell tents tucked away between the trees, with comfortable bedding and ample room to relax and enjoy. The fire pit and eating area sit upon the edge of the dam, which is perfect for a quick dip to cool off in the summer months and home to a few local yabbies, making for a tranquil and serene setting. Rustic and completely charming, the old horse stables of the farm are home to the bathing and toilet amenities and the open air showers and bathtub are truly a unique experience in themselves!

If you’re after a taste of some wholesome country dining, Sharon offers guests the chance to have her cook for you. And, with a background of cooking and food photography (and so much more!), combined with the luxury of having fresh local produce at her fingertips, the sensory experience is hard to beat. “Breakfast is included in the price of the overnight stay; we do a cook up of bacon, eggs, tomatoes and that sort of thing with fresh orange juice, we can also provide a two course dinner if guests would like.” Says Sharon. “We’ve also put in a pizza oven and have been doing takeaway pizzas on the weekends for the public. It’s gotten so busy I’ve had to put on staff!”

Nhillbilly Farm has been a destination for many travellers up and down the Western Highway, with most guests stopping in for one or two nights and some staying up to a week. The farm has also hosted birthdays, hens parties, family gatherings and more, with Sharon and Lofty looking to develop the space even further.

See more and book your stay at Nhillblly Farm here