We visit Wittacork Cottages in Maleny to experience a modern working dairy farm stay and so much more.
By Kerry Brown
Just getting to Wittacork Cottages is an unforgettable drive; the road to the dairy is narrow and winds the entire way along a ridge with lush green paddocks rolling gently as far as the eye can see. You can almost sense you are about to experience something very special, and you are. This modern working dairy farm is located just outside of Maleny. The 500-acre property includes pristine rainforest overlooking Lake Baroon and adjoins the Kondalilla and Obi Obi Gorge National Parks.
A hearty helping of country hospitality awaits when hosts Rob and Anne Cork meet you on arrival. When they first moved to the dairy in 1992, it was fairly run down so they worked incredibly hard to revive and modernise the farm.
When the dairy industry was deregulated in 2000, they were determined to find a way forward. Rob said the couple knew they had to diversify to keep the farm working.
“We researched and visited other farm stays before we devised our own way of doing it here,” he explained.
“We talked to people and knew that there was an interest in what we do here at the farm.
“People love seeing the dairy and feeding the animals, especially the family groups, then they can walk through the rainforest tracks or even walk to Lake Baroon; it’s a fair way but worth the effort.”
Guests can watch the cows being milked daily from 4pm to 5.30pm or, for those who like early starts, there is also the early morning milking session. After both milking sessions guests are welcome to help feed the calves, the boer goats, the two resident pigs Apple and Ginger or help collect the eggs from the chicken coop.
Anne said it was delightful watching families experiencing farm life together.
“Sometimes we hear the parents and grandparents talking their young ones about how life was for them on a farm, it is great listening to them reminiscing and sharing life stories, we see many happy families,” she said.
There are more than 5km of rainforest walks on the property; a full walk is 2km and takes around 80 minutes at an easy pace and there are shorter walks of 500mtrs and 1km.
The tracks are well maintained and there is plenty of seating along the way to rest, take in the stunning views and enjoy the tranquillity of this beautiful farm.
There is so much more to Wittacork Cottages. The farm is registered as a Land For Wildlife property, and the rainforest is home to numerous rare and endangered plant species. More than 500 rainforest trees have been planted around the cottages and farmhouse accommodation.
A great deal of thought has gone into every aspect of Wittacork Cottages, and especially so with the accommodation.
Originally Rob and Anne built three self-contained cottages on the ridge overlooking Lake Baroon; they are all two-bedroom cottages with wide verandas taking advantage of the surrounding beauty, exceptionally well-equipped kitchens, log fire places, spacious rooms, modern bathroom facilities, covered car parking and a shared laundry facility.
Although somewhat hesitant about the farmhouse being located too close to the dairy, eventually Rob and Anne decided to renovate the three bedroom house and it has proven to be very popular, as have the neighbours with the baby goats pen just outside the back door.
It is often the little things that matter on holiday.
Rob and Anne also provide cots, high chairs, bedrails, booster seats, a great help for young families as is the safety fencing around the verandas and log fire places. It all helps families relax and enjoy their stay even more.
Wittacork Cottages is located centrally on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, making it ideal for experiencing and exploring this premier destination. Bookings are essential. For more information visit www.wittacork.com.au