WESTERN SYDNEY’S HIDDEN TREASURE
CALMSLEY HILL CITY FARM
Tucked away in the middle of suburban streets full of beautiful and enormous homes is a hidden treasure in the western Sydney suburb of Abbotsbury – Calmsley Hill City Farm.
This 160-hectare working farm is home to a myriad of animals.
It also boasts world-class educational programs and amazingly has a beautiful view of Sydney’s tall buildings.
So much about this place is unexpected.
Aside from having this farm virtually hidden in a busy residential area, there is a diversity of animals you wouldn’t expect on a farm.
This includes Coco the camel, a resident of the farm for over 20 years according to one staff member.
Hubby and I took two of the Goddesses there recently. It was a winner.
The girls had so much fun feeding and petting the nursery animals, watching the shows and playing in the playground.
The place has loads of parking to help cater to the busloads of school children who visit regularly for school excursions.
A few extra dollars gets you a tractor ride and a bag of food so you can feed the animals.
PLENTY TO DO AT CALMSLEY FARM
There is so much to do at Calmsley Farm it’s hard to know where to start. The tractor ride was lots of fun and offered amazing views of Sydney.
There is an aviary with some beautiful birds, including a very chatty cockatoo. There is also a snake exhibit, reptiles, wombats, poultry pens, native fauna area, kangaroo walk-in exhibit and alpacas.
Plus the sheep, cows, ponies, goats and cows you’d expect to find on a farm.
The challenge is fitting in time at all of these attractions without missing the shows which are kicked off with cow milking in the morning.
There is a very entertaining stock whip show, a koala talk /exhibition and a sheep shearing show.
The highlight for four-year-old Goddess was the working dog show.
It was so impressive to see how well trained these smart dogs are and watching them climb over the backs of the sheep had all the kids in stitches.
A LITTLE BIT OF CALMSLEY FARM HISTORY
Calmsley Farm has a long history. In 1806 a land grant of 80 hectares was given to Scottish immigrant John Jamieson who was Superintendent of Government Stock.
Prior to that, the land was home to the people of the Dharuk tribe.
In 1809 there was a further land grant of 120 hectares and this was followed by another 40 in 1823.
The farm, originally called Coulmesly Hill, went through a series of different owners until 1947 when it was sold to the Big Brother Movement (established in 1925 as a scheme to help young British migrants settle in Australia).
The State Planning Authority bought it in 1972 and 12 years later Fairfield City Council took up the lease and created Fairfield City Farm, which conducted educational programs.
The City Farm entered into a lease agreement with Western Sydney Parklands Trust in 2009 and the new name of Calmsley Hill was adopted for the site.
The 2000 Sydney Olympics Mountain Bike event was staged at Calmsley Farm.
The educational program at the farm focuses on sustainability – practices that meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the need for future generations. So while the live shows are fun and entertaining, they are also wonderful learning opportunities.
WALK WITH THE ANIMALS, TALK WITH THE ANIMALS
Naturally, for the Goddesses, one of the biggest treats was patting and feeding the nursery animals and this is a big attraction for all children at the farm.
Another favourite was walking through the kangaroo exhibit where several of the roos had joeys.
The farm is home to many native animals, including wallabies and emus. Some of these animals have been injured and would not survive life in the wild.
The play area had our four-year-old Goddess going back for more at regular intervals. She especially liked the digging machine.
The farm offers beautiful recreation areas complete with free electric barbeques, benches and tables and covered areas. The grounds are well kept and the facilities clean.
There is also a kiosk, but it has limited food choices and with all that beautiful space I think bringing a picnic lunch is the best idea.
Aside from the daily activities (every day from 9 am – 4.30 pm except Good Friday, Christmas eve and Christmas day) the farm offers a novel venue for birthday parties, weddings, corporate parties and also offers a special package for an overnight camping experience.
It’s a good idea to check the website to ensure there is no big function being held on the day you want to visit.
This is a great outing with the kids. Please note I have received no payment or incentive to write this review.
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Happy outings, and have a gleeful week, Tamuria