It’s no secret that ‘paddock to plate’ is kind of a big deal right now.
We’re all getting in touch with our foodie side, so being able to visit the farms our food comes from means we know that our produce is ethically and sustainably raised, we know it hasn’t sat in cold storage for months and we can reduce our food miles. Also, baby farm animals are very cute.
So where in our little corner of the world can we come face to face with the farmers that fill our tables with local goodies? Here are the best farms you can actually visit on the Sunshine Coast and beyond.
If a Sunshine Coast farm tour where you cuddle camels is right up your alley, then you need to know about QCamel. The first dairy of its kind to produce premium pasteurised camel milk in Australia, sign up to a QCamel dairy tour and you’ll get to meet and greet the camel family, as well as try their milk. Bookings are essential, so reserve your spot here.
When: Open for camel cuddles on the first and third Saturday of every month
Where: Sunshine Coast address given on booking
Of all the ‘pick your own’ fruit experiences, we guarantee you will get your money’s worth with strawberries at Strawberry Fields. Supermarket strawbs are usually picked underripe for easier transportation and refrigeration but it does seem to take a way a bit of the amazing fragrance. There’s really nothing quite like the taste of a sweet local strawberry, still warm from the sun. And picking them from a farm on the Sunshine Coast just makes it a bit more magical.
When: Open seven days, 8am to 4pm
Where: 133 Laxton Road, Palmview
This might not be the spot to bring your newly converted, evangelical vegan mate, but if you’re into ethically produced meat, from happy, healthy animals, then make tracks for Conondale's Baranbali Farm. The family that runs this certified organic farm rears rare breed livestock such as Wessex Saddleback pigs, and all the organic produce is available at the farm store. You can also pick up nitrate-free, wood smoked ham and bacon, and grassfed beef and lamb that have lived a pretty happy life in this little haven.
When: Open Friday afternoons by appointment only
Where: 852 Aherns Road, Conondale
You can’t live on the Sunshine Coast and not know about Maleny Dairies. The regular farm tours give you a rare opportunity to see a working dairy and get up close with Guernseys—the Angelina Jolies of the bovine world. You can hand feed calves, check out the milking and even head out for a tractor ride.
When: Open for tours Monday to Saturday
Where: 70 McCarthy Road, Maleny
Across The Border
Farm & Co
Can you even deal with the awesomeness of sunflower field selfies just a couple of hours from the Sunshine Coast? No need to go to Provence, just head to Farm & Co at Kingscliff to stock up on organic produce, learn a bit at a farm tour and top it all off with the perfect Insta backdrop. And if you want to make a mini-break of it, they even have a pet-friendly house available for rent.
When: Open for farm visits seven days
Where: 529 Cudgen Road, Cudgen
A sneaky half hour’s drive south of the border, there’s not much that Byron Bay’s The Farm doesn’t offer. Think: fresh fruit and veggies, livestock, a mind-blowing cafe slash restaurant with ingredients sourced from the farm, pastries and sourdough by Bread Social, tours and hands-on workshops covering things like egg collecting and farm school for the kids. The strong community spirit of The Farm is found throughout their entire approach to growing and plating up.
When: Open to the public seven days, 7am ‘til late
Where: 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale, NSW
On the search for more things to do on the Sunshine Coast? We've got some epic hikes in our very own backyards.
Image credit: QCamel