12 Fun Things to Do When You Stay at Annie’s Cedar Farm

Are you thinking of visiting us here at Annie’s Cedar Farm?   Take a look at the many fun things to do in the area while you’re here.

Play Golf – Hidden Valley has a secret gem and it’s the professional 18 hole golf course. Wonderfully scenic, the course will stretch you while the surroundings soothe you.

Wallan Olde Time Market – The Wallan Market is one of our favourite events, happening on the second Saturday of every month.  It’s a big market which has everything from fresh produce to crafts, trash and treasure and food. Many people come to Wallan especially for the market.

Dining in Wallan

Eat! – Wallan is fast developing a reputation for great places to eat.  Try Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, and Hogan’s Hotel, and there are lots more to choose from. Visit the new Wallan Wine Hub and enjoy boutique wines and beers or book in for one of the occasional winery tours.

Horse RidingUncle Nev’s is famous for its horse riding experiences which suit beginners to advanced riders. You will ride through the hills and the State Forest. Catering for people aged 8+, you will discover our local bushland and wildlife from the comfort of your saddle.

Visit the Wineries – People are just beginning to realise that a lot of great wines are made in this region.  Take a tour of some of the local wineries and taste them for yourself.  There is a list of wineries on the Mitchell Shire site.

Paintball and Laser Skirmish – get the adrenaline pumping! Adrenaline Games keeps you active I Wallan. Laser skirmish is an outdoor combat team sport; think paintball without the bruises. Alternatively, be splattered in paint for the real effect!

Walk the Wallan Trail – Walk through Wallan following Wallan Trail from Hadfield Park to the Wallan Railway Station. It’s a gentle walk which takes about half an hour and leads you through our park and playgrounds, past the new wetland area and down to the station.

Funfields –  Funfields is an outdoor family fun park in Whittlesea, just a few minutes from Annie’s.  Famous for its water slides and activities, the fun park actually has a great mix of both wet and dry rides  If you’re staying with us for a while, think about buying a season pass to Funfields. It’s great value.

Bundoora Park – This is a fabulous animal farm where your children can help feed the baby animals and even enjoy pony rides.  This is a lovely way to continue the engagement with animals that they start with us.

Pretty Sally Riding RanchEnjoy Pretty Sally Trail Rides which is situated in the heart of the Great Dividing Ranges with panoramic views and wildlife in abundance. The pony rides are suitable for children and adults.

Reading Cinemas, Epping – If you need your movie fix, you’ll be pleased to know that the Epping cinemas are only a short drive away.

Ned Kelly;s homesteadKelly Homestead – Visit Ned Kelly’s childhood home. While the homestead is on private property, you can see it clearly and take some great photos of this iconic property. The homestead was recently sold.  Read more about it here.

Of course, once you’ve tried all of these activities, you’ll be very pleased to come home to Annie’s and put your feet up while you drink in the soft, soothing noises of nature.

Book a cabin with us by calling 03 5783 2234.

Easter Holidays at Annie’s.

Easter bunnyHappy Easter to you.  Yes, it’s almost here.

The Easter Bunny tiptoes around Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages so that he doesn’t scare our animals, which is very considerate of him.  He still manages to leave behind a lovely collection of Easter eggs every year, though.

So what happens in the area during the Easter holidays?

Join one of the biggest, craziest Easter Egg hunts going around at Funfields on Saturday, April 19.  Children 12 years and under receive a showbag and a free Easter Egg Hunt ticket for one hunt with the purchase of their day pass.  Find out more on their website and check out the timetable for your child’s age group.

Jungle Kid’s Play Centre offers Easter egg decorating on Monday 14TH and Wednesday 16TH April, free with normal entry costs.  Help your kids get their eggs ready for display to their friends and family over Easter.

The YMCA in Craigieburn runs a number of different school holiday activities ranging from cooking to science.  Book your child in for a learning experience that’s really fun.

Of course, there are many things you can do as a family if you are staying here at Annie’s.  The best thing to do is explore.  Early autumn is a lovely time of year.  It’s cool but not cold and there is little wind. That means you can take a really good look at what is happening to the trees and flowers.  You can look for wildlife and check out the insect world.  You can even help us feed the animals.

Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages in Upper Plenty gives you the choice – action or relaxation. It’s up to you and your family.

Now, the Easter Bunny is preparing for his big day so whatever you do, keep your eyes and ears open for him.

We wish you a very happy Easter.

 

What’s Coming Up?

Have you booked your stay with us yet?

It’s getting busy here leading up to the holiday season and there are all sorts of events coming up that you will enjoy.

 

Go to the show!

In just 11 days’ time the annual Whittlesea Show returns to fill your weekend with fun and activities.  It will be held at the Whittlesea Showgrounds on Saturday November 2nd from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday November 3rd from 9 am to 5 pm

There is plenty of parking but this is a very popular show so we recommend arriving early.

Find out more on the Whittlesea Show website. Don’t forget to buy us a showbag!

 

Do you like jazz? 

Hawkstowe Jazz FestivalVisit the Hawkstowe Music Festival in South Morang on Sunday, 17 November 2013 beginning at 1pm.

It’s a celebration of jazz with lively music playing throughout the afternoon. Food and drinks available for purchase on the day.  There is also a range of activities to keep the kids amused.  This will be a great family day out.

 

Pat a pet.

The 2013 Pet Expo will be held on Saturday 16 Nov 2013, Hadfield Park, High Street Wallan.  If you love animals, come along and have a look.  If you have a pet you can take advantage of the reduced price microchipping available on the day.

Mitchell Shire Pet Expo

Weave with plants.

On Sunday 17th the Wallan Environment Group will tease your green thumbs by showing you how to weave and twine with plants.   The venue is yet to be decided (keep watching the Council webpage for more info)

  • How to recognise and name local indigenous plants and grasses suitable for weaving and twining.
  • Where to locate and how to grow suitable plants, using the re-vegetation of Wallan’s local waterways as examples
  • Weaving and twining a small object
  • Creating a shared community art piece

There is always something to do in the area so make sure you book your cabin so you can spend a comfortable and relaxed weekend with us.

We are looking forward to a big September.

Wallan Car ShowNow that spring is in the air you must come and visit us at Annie’s.  The world is waking up after the spring snooze and there are beautiful blooms, new animal babies and lots of events popping up around the place.

If you enjoy your golf you will love the Growling Frog Golf Club in nearby Yan Yean.  The course is aGraham Marsh designed 18-hole, par 72 course, set on 280 acres of picturesque, gently undulating land.  It has an excellent restaurant overlooking the course, too.  This Tuesday 3rd September is Seniors Day. If you are a senior, take advantage of the specials on offer and enjoy a social day out.

Speaking of growling frogs, did you know that the Growling Grass Frog can be found in the nearby wetlands of Morang?  This is a locally endangered species but Parks Victoria is helping to prevent its extinction. The wetlands are also home to many different species of birdlife, both rare and threatened.  You might enjoy the bus and walking tour of the wetlands where you can look out for the different forms of wildlife.  Join the tour on Friday 6th September.

If you are bringing your family to stay you will be thrilled to hear that the famous Funfields Amusement Park reopens on September 22nd in time for the school holidays.  This is an incredible place filled with water fun, rides and all sorts of amusements.

On the same weekend you will see Wallan filled with shiny cars.  The Wallan Vintage Car, Collectables Swap Meet and Car Show is being held on September 22 at the Wallan Recreation Reserve in Duke Street.  You will see: Ford / Holden / Chrysler / American / British / European / Vintage and Veteran / Hotrod / Motorcycle / Scooter vehicles all vying to win a trophy.

Don’t forget that the Whittlesea Market is on every third Saturday of the month and the Wallan Old Time Market falls on the Second Saturday of the month.

September is bursting at the seams with fun things to do so book a stay at Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages. 

It’s school holidays so bring the kids and let them enjoy being up close to our friendly animals and have fun on the farm.  Book your cabin today.

 

Through the eyes of a traveller

A regular guest of ours wrote this beautiful letter for us. We thought it only fitting to put into our blog. Thank you Liz and Karel.

I love coming to these cottages. We’ve been twice now, both times for 4 – 5 day stays. And d’you know why I love it? It’s QUIET! Upper Plenty is but 41kms from Melbourne but what you mostly hear when you’re up here is birdsong. Even the cows, sheep, alpacas and chickens are quiet – just quietly grazing away, on the enormous fields of the cottages.
And the cottages! Literally self-contained. We haven’t wanted for anything! Oh except when we arrived here for the start of our second stay and I thought Karel had brought up the bag of vegies, and he thought I had – and all we had was broccoli, which was not going to do for our stir- fry that night. So, I phoned Annie to see if she could spare even a carrot, and blow me down, if not five minutes later, Annie and Steve arrive on our cottage doorstep carrying a wooden bowl laden with leek, red capsicum, an onion, a carrot and two plump red truss tomatoes. That’s how generous our hosts are. So attentive! So wanting their guests to be totally comfortable.
I’m writing this on the penultimate day of our second stay. I’m out on the verandah, sitting at a glass topped table. The autumn sun is gently warming me, and the birdsong is beautiful.
I love coming here. Did I mention that?

Liz Lipski
Melbourne

Australian Parrots

Carols by Candlelight

With theChristmas festive season not too far away, now is a great time to highlight some local Carols by Candlelight events that you can go along to when you stay with us.

Wallan Carols by Candlelight takes place on Sunday 9 December at the R. B. Robson Stadium, Windham Street Wallan.  The event starts at 4.00pm with food and drinks available and then the music begins from 6.00pm with Santa arriving at the end of the program at around 8.00pm.  This is a free event and you can also bring along your picnic basket and rug to sit under the stars as you sing along.  For more information follow this link for Wallan Carols by Candlelight.

Another event is Mill Park Carols by Candlelight which takes place on Friday 14 December at the Redleap Reserve, Redleap Avenue Mill Park.  Entertainment will be provided by a choir with over 50 members as well as the Diamond Valley Brass Band.

There will be plenty of activities for the kids and no doubt Santa will arrive during the night.  Food and drink will be available or you can bring your own picnic rug and a big strong voice to sing along to the carols.  For more information follow this link for Mill Park Carols by Candlelight.

One of our favourite events is Carols by Barnlight at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, 365 McHarg’s Road, Willowmavin (Just out of Kilmore)  The carols will be held on December 8th from 4pm – 8pm and yes, it is really held in a barn.  Take a farm tour and hear the animal’s stories before settling into the barn for carol singing!  You might even meet HipHop Bob nwith his smiley snout.  Find out more at the Edgar’s Mission website.

We are looking forward to Christmas, aren’t you?

Come and celebrate an early Christmas with us and join in with the local Carols by Candlelight.  You will enjoy it.  Book a cabin now.

All about Alpaca

Recently we had our alpaca shorn so we thought it a great opportunity to give you an overview of these great animals.  Even though alpaca come from South America including countries such as Peru, Argentina, Chile and the highlands of the Andes, they are suited to many climates and countries such as Australia.  Alpaca are related to llamas but are much smaller as llamas can be around twice their size. 

Alpaca are also relatively easy to manage and maintain which is one of the reasons why the popularity of owning alpacas has grown very steadily over the years in Australia.  Furthermore, the growth in Australia of alpaca farming is primarily due to breeding as well as for the fleece.  The fleece produced by alpaca is similar to cashmere in texture, silkiness and softness which makes it ideal for use in making a range of clothes, blankets and quilts.

Another interesting fact about alpaca is that they have soft pad type feet which means they don’t damage the terrain as much as other livestock which have solid hooves.  If alpaca are well looked after and cared for they will live for approximately 20 years.

Alpaca are also known for their spitting but try not to hold that against them!  They are usually calm and defenceless animals and the main reason they spit is that they are showing their displeasure.  It is their way of saying “no” and asking you to back off just a bit.

Alpaca are gentle by nature and can make good pets.  The next time you visit us come and meet our alpaca.

 

Alpaca at Annie's

Wild and woolly

 

alpaca at annie's

No, I’m shy.

alpaca at annie's

Don’t we look fabulous now?

Coffee Shops Nearby

When you next visit us consider visiting one of the local coffee shops in the area.  We have some excellent places you can visit and enjoy a great coffee as well as a meal if you prefer.  All these places are within a short distance from us.

Cafe Bookacino, Whittlesea Deli Cafe  and Health Kick Cafe in Whittlesea are favourite pitstops for cyclist groups when riding through this beautiful picturesque town.

Beveridge Tavern is a spectacular old style homestead located in the heartland of where Ned Kelly was born.  It was built in the 1840’s and is ideal for those sunny days where simply relaxing is the main business of the day.  In addition to the great coffee on offer there are also meals for lunch and dinner that are available.

In the township of Wallan you can visit Blue Denim, located in the main shopping area of Wellington Square or Hogan’s Hotel that has a bar and restaurant.   You might also like to have a cake with your coffee so visit Ferguson Plarre  Bakehouse or Top of the Town Bakery which are both on the main road.

Further up the Northern Highway there is the Rose Garden Café located in Kilmore.  You can sit indoors in a country style restaurant or outdoors amongst the roses and other plants.  Once you have finished your coffee or meal you can wander through the nursery that surrounds the café.

Donnybrook Cheese Factory is another superb place to visit for a coffee. You can have a tour of the cheese factory and then select from a wide range of cheeses to enjoy with you coffee.   Also located there is the Monteleone Restaurant if you are after an a la carte meal.

Sometimes it’s nice to sit in a coffee shop and watch the world go by, isn’t it?

The Whittlesea Show is on this weekend.

Whittlesea ShowThe annual Whittlesea Agricultural Show is on this weekend!

This year the show will run from Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4 from 9 am to 5 pm and it celebrates the Year of the Farmer.

The show is a fun blend of country and fun.  Farm animals, vintage farm machinery, arts and craft displays, sideshows, showbags…  It’s got the lot.

This year the free Robinson’s Circus will be back.  Under the Big Top you’ll see jugglers, high wire acts, clowns and even fire tamers.

If that is not enough, your children can join in the fun and games on Saturday with the Egg and Spoon as Sack Races.  Visit the Dog Show or ride a camel..  Watch the Grand Parade, go to the animal nursery, see the reptile displays and watch the CFA demonstrations.

Need more?

Come and see the birds of prey flying or cheer on the big men during the woodchop.  Watch the Show Girl competition or follow the stilt walkers.

The Whittlesea Agricultural Show is good old fashioned fun.

Admission:  Adults $15       Children $5 (6-14 years)

Location:
Whittlesea Showgrounds
Cnr Yea & McPhees Road

Why not take the chance to get away for the weekend?

Come and stay with us at Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages and complete your agricultural experience.  We are only a few minutes drive away from Whittlesea and we’d love to see you.

Horse Riding at Upper Plenty

This is a perfect time of the year for some outdoor activities and horse riding is a fantastic way to experience the great outdoors.  Uncle Nev’s Trail Rides is only a few minutes away from us and worth visiting the next time you stay with us or are in the area.

Rides go through many of the open plains in the area as well as through the State Forest of Mt.  Disappointment.  You don’t have to be an expert rider as they cater for all skill levels from beginners to experienced and with over 60 horses to choose from you will also be matched up with a horse of a suitable temperament.

As they cater for kids from 8 years old this is great way for them to experience the surrounding bushland in a unique way.  Get to see many of Australia’s wildlife such as wombats, wallabies and kangaroos.

There is a great choice of riding adventures depending on your level of experience. Rides can also be arranged at twilight where you can get to see the spectacular sun set over the Upper Plenty area.

Also, the Great Australia Pub Ride is another great opportunity to ride through the scenic landscape and arrive at one of the local pubs where you can relax while you have a meal.

You can also bring you camera along so you capture some fantastic pictures.  Check out Uncle Nev’s Trail Rides and get to experience and enjoy the great outdoors of Upper Plenty.