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Sammy the seal
Sammy the seal
Feeding time
Meeting the locals

Telegraph Farm

Thursday, April 24, 2003
This is a farmyard tour that lets you get very close to the animals … are you game?

John and Gwen Starr run their 710ha hectare farm with a difference. Raising and tending ostriches, alpacas, camels, water buffalo, European Red and Fallow deer, Canadian elk, western red and grey kangaroos, emus and cattle takes most of their time, but they always find the opportunity to introduce people to their animals.

Cleverly combining farming and tourism, they take guests around their property in an old school bus. Some of the more friendly and brave animals actually poke their heads into the bus hoping for something to eat.

As the Starrs explain how their property operates, you realise how much thought has gone into what they do.

Their operation is a prototype for sustainability, based on a natural balance of animals — water buffalo, deer and ostrich provide the nitrogen component to improve fertility of the very poor coastal soils. Deer are resistant to worms; buffalo are very hardy and more drought-resistant than cattle, and ostriches provide the ground manure for fertilisation.

Sammy the seal is always a hit and this friendly local can often be seen swimming around the base of the old Esperance tanker jetty waiting for fishermen to feed him while cleaning their catch. He sets his own times, but locals say he turns up most mornings and evenings for breakfast and dinner.

John and Gwen used to farm the beautiful South African protea. They now concentrate more on their animals but there are still plenty of the blooms for visitors to admire.

A cafe on the property is open from 10am to 5pm and they serve light meals and Devonshire teas. You can also purchase packs of venison or buffalo to take home. They can arrange evening tours, sunset barbecues and lunch or dinner functions.


Esperance, eight hours south-east of Perth.


Telegraph Farm tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. Outside of school holidays these tours run three times a day, every day except Tuesday and Wednesday. They run every day during school holidays.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Telegraph Farm
774 Telegraph Road, Esperance 6450
Ph/fax: (08) 9076 5044

Qantas: 13 13 13

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