A farmstay for the whole family, from feeding the animals to catching your dinner!
Ocean & Earth is a great place to give city dwellers a taste of life on the farm with hectares of bush and cleared land for outdoor activity and a menagerie of animals to keep the children entertained.
Owned by Lu and Scott Townsend, the property is 160 hectares, three-quarters of it being bush where visitors love to walk, and the remainder being taken up with paddocks. Ocean & Earth has elevated points and from them you can see the sand hills at Port Stephens.
They have around 100 goats which are cleverly rounded up by two kelpies, who love displaying their skills. Also living at Ocean & Earth are some pigs, sheep, buffaloes, a couple of alpacas, ducks and geese on the dam and wild kangaroos pay the odd visit.
Visitors love to help gather eggs, and the dam is well stocked with yabbies, silver perch and yellow belly for those who want to go fishing.
A pony provides rides for young children, and Coco the talking green Indian ringneck parrot is a popular attraction, particularly when he tells the dogs to get outside!
The accommodation for visitors is two-storey. The ground level is open plan with log furniture, stools made from tree trunks, and in the centre a log fire which is open on two sides.
The upper level is for sleeping. It is loft-style with four double beds, three singles and a cot. Privacy is provided by curtains. If there are more people than beds, the Townsends can rustle up a few more, or people are welcome to use tents and sleeping bags.
There is a fully-equipped kitchen, so take your food and drink with you, and although bed linen is supplied, you will need to provide towels.
The farm has no television or video, but there is so much to do, the initial withdrawals are soon forgotten.
Lu and Scott organise a bonfire if visitors wish, and some have gone one step further and arranged their own lu'au.