Treat the Family at the Solothurn Rural Resort

May 15, 2016 Explorer Gabor 1 Comments

View at Solothurn Rural Resort

After a busy week of school and work, it's nice to take a short break that's not too far away. Somewhere picturesque, cool, relaxing. with an animal or two.

My kids love animals.  As zoo tragics we try to incorporate an animal experience into every holiday. Closer to home, we're fans of farm stays. Feeding the animals, milking cows and collecting eggs is not only fun, it's a great educational experience for kids from the city.

cottages at solothurn rural resort
Our two bedroom cottage on the hillside
As we had already stayed at a farm in the Gold Coast hinterland, we decided it was time to check out farms in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.  After researching farm stays in this part of the world, we finally settled on Solothurn Rural Resort, a 270 acre farm just 5 minutes from Maleny.

Set amongst rolling green hills, the Resort is home to a wide range of the usual and not so usual farm animals.  There's also a mix of accommodation with 8 cottages, 4 chalets and a few motel rooms.  We chose a two bedroom cottage only a few minutes walk from the main farmhouse.  It was an older cottage, comfortable though could do with some refurbishment.  Whilst the chalets are newer, they are located on another hill and too far to walk to the main farmhouse.

milking cows at solothurn rural resort
First time milking a cow
Each morning starts at the quite civilised time of 7.30am, when we met the farmer to milk the cows. My youngest son was not game to try milking, though the older one enthusiastically took hold of those udders and tried to squeeze out some milk...with little success.

After milking, it's time to feed the chickens, ducks, pigs, emus, sheep and horses.  There are a lot of mouths to feed and despite having to walk up and down the hill, before you know it feeding time is over.  One unusual addition to this farm stay were all the emus. Thankfully no-one was on the receiving end of a hard emu peck and it was considered another highlight of the farm stay.
emu feeding at solothurn rural resort
Emu's are quite aggressive feeders
Once the morning feed is done and dusted, we returned to our cottage for morning tea.  It's then back to the farmhouse at 10.30am for the tractor ride down to one of the bottom paddocks to feed the beef cattle.  Not many other guests joined us on the first day due to the rain.

You don't actually ride on the tractor, but behind it in a covered trailer that seats around a dozen people.  We used our umbrellas to shelter from the rain blowing in and by the time we made it to the bottom paddock, the rain had stopped.  Joining us for the ride were the two farm dogs, who were clearly regular riders on this route.

tractor ride at solothurn rural resort
Everyone enjoyed the tractor ride to the bottom paddock
Returning from the bottom paddock, the tractor traverses quite a few hills, exploring different parts of the farm.  It's a relaxing and enjoyable ride, and the scenery is just beautiful.

For the remainder of the day guests are free to explore the farm, swim in the heated pool, play tennis or just relax. We walked down the hill to the visit the horses and explored the grounds around the farmhouse.  The Resort includes a gorgeous stone chapel, which has been part of many picture perfect weddings as the Resort is a popular wedding venue.

wedding chapel at solothurn rural resort
Quaint wedding chapel at Solothurn Rural Resort
Each day we followed pretty much the same pattern, spending most afternoons relaxing at the cottage. The cows roam all over the resort and it wasn't unusual to see cows in front of our verandah. If you are planning to surf the net in your downtime, keep in mind there is no wifi at the Resort and the farm has limited mobile internet coverage.

Even though we visited Solothurn Rural Resort in the midst of summer, it was cold and rainy in the hills. Coats are a necessity, as are umbrellas and preferably gumboots.  You can see why the cottages and chalets have fireplaces, they would get a good workout in winter.

bottle feeding baby calves at maleny dairies
Bottle feeding the calves at Maleny Dairies
As the Resort is only five minutes from Maleny, we made a visit to Maleny Dairies.  A sprawling dairy, it was a great way to fill a few hours on a rainy day.  Our tour included visiting the manufacturing plant, watching the cows milked by machine and feeding the calves from giant milk bottles.  We also tasted various milks, yoghurts, custard and cream.

Maleny Dairies products are divine and highly recommended if you're a fan of the quality dairy stuff. We left with bottles of Farmers Choice Gold Top milk, which is so creamy, as well as some yoghurt and custard.  My son still talks about the milk and custard, and whenever we visit the Sunshine Coast he insists we buy some.  If you're in the area, it's definitely worth a visit.

Since our visit, the Solothurn Rural Resort has been listed for sale.  If you have access to a few million it would be a great buy.  Hopefully the new owners will continue to improve what's already on offer.

Solothurn Rural Resort, it's worth exploring if you are looking for a relaxing short break near Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast.  Highly recommended for families.

The best bits:  feeding the farm animals, as well as the scenery, fresh air and it's peaceful.  Plus it's not expensive.
The so so bits: as it rains quite a bit in the hills around Maleny, it may be cool, wet and muddy at any time of the year;  limited to no mobile internet coverage (this could be a positive for some).

Looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday adventure?  Head over to read my Travel Tips then check out Travel Planning for tips on planning your next family vacation.

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1 comment:

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