Family friendly holidays: Farmstays

Some of the best family holiday memories have come from those unexpected moments when you and the kids get back to nature.

It’s a bit shocking to read that recent surveys have found many city kids don’t know that milk comes from cows, and they’ve never seen a live farm animal.

Varying in popularity as a holiday option over the last few years,  Farmstays and farm stay accommodation has now made a return as an often affordable alternative to national parks camping or beach side holiday cabin accommodations.

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Photo © courtesy Hosanna Farm Stay

Hobby farms on smaller acreage, will usually have animals more used to handling and petting, with kids having the opportunity to learn appropriate behaviour around animals, while working farms on larger land holdings, give families a chance to see farm routines and join in farm activities, with the children able to get up close and personal with cute and sometimes not so cuddly farm animals.

Activities like horse riding, bush walking, canoeing, bicycling, archery and fishing are often available on-site or nearby.

The chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and experience the lifestyle of the “man and woman on the land”, where mum and dad can relax while the kids enjoy the wide open spaces, fresh, clean air, get filthy dirty and run themselves ragged before a sound nights’ sleep, is an often overlooked family holiday option.

Recently updated with Booking.com host farm options, the Big Volcano Farmstays, farm stay accommodation and host farm holidays directory, covers the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Gold Coast Hinterland and Scenic Rim region of Queensland, Australia.

Disclosure: Hosanna Farm Stay is a Big Volcano customer.

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NSW State Govt Natural Disaster Scheme Info

Natural Disaster Relief Scheme Grants

A grant up to $15,000 to all eligible small businesses for clean-up and immediate restoration costs is available following the Category C funding announcement. Information and application forms can be found on the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website or call 1800 678 593.

Free Business Funding & Recovery Seminars

Free seminars will be held next week in Lismore and Murwillumbah on applying for disaster funding and managing cashflow.

Lismore – Thursday 20 April 2017
Time: 7am – 8:30am
Venue: Lismore Workers Club, 231 Keen Street, Lismore
Register here

Murwillumbah – Friday 21 April 2017
Time: 7am – 8:30am
Venue: Murwillumbah Services Club, 10 Wollumbin Street, Murwillumbah
Register: Email your RSVP to info@murwillumbahchamber.com.au

Grants under the $1 million business support package

A new $1 million business support package to help small businesses affected by the floods has been announced by the Deputy Premier. To register your interest, please email regional.program@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

Easter Weekend Recovery Centre Hours
Friday 14th April – Closed
Saturday 15th April to Monday 17th April – 10am to 4pm

Talk to a Business Connect Advisor

A Business Connect advisor can help you through the impact of the floods on your business. Advice is offered on managing cash flow, planning the next steps, accessing financial support and connecting to additional support. Call 1300 134 359 to talk to an advisor.

Help us understand what support you need.  Please complete the NSW Government Survey for Business so we can provide the right support for you and your business. This will help us to assist you and your community over the coming weeks and months.

Find more flood support resources on our website: North Coast Floods April 2017

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NSW Government Department of Industry

Adding colour to the art of skate

Murwillumbah’s new Knox Park skate facility is now open and attracting skaters of all ages and experience levels to the area.

Local skate shop owner and graffiti artist Tony Lawrence has been engaged by Council to undertake an urban art project on the park and said he had seen it gain huge popularity in a short length of time.

“Our skate park has a great vibe and is attracting a variety of community members, from young families to professional skateboarders,” Mr Lawrence said.

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Photo:  Pharside Skate Shop owner and graffiti artist Tony Lawrence with Urban artwork plans for Murwillumbah’s new Knox Park skate facility, and local skater Michael Mitchell getting some air.

Knox Park facility attracts keen skaters of all ages

“The modern facility caters for all levels of ability and will be sure to produce some new local talent.”

Council’s Landscape Architect, Ian Bentley, helped designed the Youth Precinct and said Mr Lawrence would create a total of three different artworks that would give the half-pipes and bowls a local touch.   “The works are to go on the exposed retaining walls throughout the skate park, and the main one will capture some of the Tweed’s local natural assets,” Mr Bentley said.

“If all goes to plan, Tony will be able to start work in late February.”

Mayor of Tweed Councillor Katie Milne said: “Skaters say this skate park is ‘sick’. Council takes the job of bringing more fun to town very seriously so we’re stoked with the ‘sick’ endorsement.”

“The graffiti art project will be awesome too – it’s going to really liven up the place and show off scenes of our natural assets in a new, cool and very vibrant light.”

The skate park is part of the first stage of a $1.2 million upgrade to Knox Park, funded by a $250,000 donation from the Lions Club of Murwillumbah, a $500,000 Regional Development Australia grant from the Federal Government and $500,000 from Council.

Stage 1 also includes an adventure playground, new shelters, barbecue facilities and pathways, which was completed and opened late last year.  Council is planning an official opening of the Youth Precinct later this year.

For more information visit www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/knoxparkupgrade

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See also: Katch Periscope video Knox Park Skate Park, January 2016.

Introduction to Alstonville, New South Wales.

Located on the Bruxner Highway about half way between Lismore and Ballina, many visitors to the Northern Rivers region make a day trip to the Alstonville Plateau to take in the stunning views, and to visit popular local attractions like Amaze ‘n’ Place, Summerland House with No Steps and Teven Golf Course.

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Photo: Big Scrub remnant, Booyung Nature Reserve © Big Volcano Tourism

Atop the rich krasnosem soils which previously supported the “Big Scrub”, Alstonville and Wollongbar are communities serving a thriving agricultural industry and workers who commute to Lismore and Ballina.

In addition to the more conventional dairy and beef farming, macadamia orchards abound in the smaller villages, while bananas, peanuts, pawpaws, pineapples and other exotic and subtropical fruits are being successfully grown.

Motor Inns, B&Bs and farmstays are the primary accommodations available on the plateau, and in the smaller settlements like Tintenbar and Teven, which also boasts an excellent golf course.

A variety of day tours, river cruises and activities are available at Ballina.

Read more here: Alstonville, Wollongbar, NSW 2477

Couples Only Accommodation in the Byron Bay – Gold Coast region

Listing local holiday accommodation where you can enjoy an intimate or private getaway without worrying about kids running about being, well, kids, it’s a great directory to visit if you’re looking for the perfect place to pop the question or a honeymoon spot, or even just wanting to find a relaxing break.

Our Couples Only Accommodation directory covers the Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, Kingscliff, Northern Rivers region of NSW, and Gold Coast hinterland, Tamborine Mountain area of QLD, Australia.

SatinashBdRm122L45 Photo: © Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

Jam-packed January at Tweed Regional Museum

Activities for kids, historic holiday exhibition and more opportunities to visit

Murwillumbah’s Tweed Regional Museum is well and truly in the school holiday spirit, kicking off special Saturday trading hours and bringing back a popular exhibition that gives a nostalgic look at the Tweed’s beach culture.

Museum Director Judy Kean said the facility usually opened on the first Saturday of each month but in January would open every Saturday.

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Photo caption: View of a museum display from the mezzanine floor, © by Big Volcano Tourism

“We know that the post-Christmas and New Year period before school goes back is often a time when families and visitors are looking for something to do and somewhere to go,” Ms Kean said.

“During January we will also have a number of activities set up in the courtyard for children to enjoy, including activities related to a shipwreck exhibition and the Brick by Brick: Build your own capital interactive exhibition that has been available at Murwillumbah Library recently.

“Children can try their hands at building some local historic buildings out of LEGO, including the 1915 Shire Hall and the Fingal Lighthouse.”

Ms Kean said an exhibition about the Tweed’s beach history was back by popular demand.

“Holidays and Hokey Pokey: Tweed Beach Images features images and video footage from the collection, including some wonderful footage by Charles Simpson,” she said.

“Images include postcards dating from the early 1900s when the area first became popular as a holiday destination, crowded beaches during the 1950s and ’60s, holiday makers promenading in Tweed Street, crowded campgrounds at Tweed Heads around 1910, images of the famous Boyd brothers hauling in nets full of fish off Greenmount Beach around 1950, as well as Hokey Pokey contests and girls trying out Malibu boards at Greenmount in 1961.”

Ms Kean said the footage would be on continual loop in large format on the Keith and Norman Tong Images of the Tweed Wall throughout January.

January opening hours for Tweed Regional Museum, Murwillumbah:
•    Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm
•    Every Saturday until 30 January, 10am – 4pm

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Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

See also Big Volcano Amusements, Cinemas & Indoor Entertainment guide and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings