Barcoos Blog

"Black Betty" - The Orphan Black Angus Heifer.

Betty was advertised on a FB Buy, Swap and Sell site as she couldn’t stay in the backyard in Perthville village any longer! – A cute little orphan cow, at 12 months old is getting a little to big for a back yard and sharing the back doormat with the pet dog! Apparently all was not too bad until she forgot her manners and piddled on the dogs mat a couple of times! – The dog tried to tell her that this was not acceptable, and Betty, being the bigger of the 2 won the argument!, so, Betty had to go! BUT, there was no way this family was going to sell her to someone that put her in their freezer! SO, Betty has joined our little herd of cattle, she will eventually meet Barry our bull and hopefully in time we will have more little black calves.
Betty is VERY friendly, a little too friendly – yesterday evening she wanted to play tag with me, but when one of the little calves wanted to play with her she ran away! I don’t think she realises she is a cow yet! We will have to make sure she is shut away from little guests just in case she wants that cuddle and scratch a little to close to them. Betty adores a scratch around her ears and under her chin.
#BlackAngusCattle, #OrphanCalf, #FarmPets,

Black Betty, Black Angus Calf

A Girl with a Gift for Animals.

Nathalie arrived in February 2016 to stay for 2 weeks and stayed for 5 months – she then set off to see a bit of Australia, came back again to help with school holidays in July, left again to visit Melbourne and Tasmania, and is back for the last time, for the moment anyway.

Delightful Nathalie whom we have grown to love dearly, and has trained the awesome Georgie Pig and Paddy the Lamb, plus cared and loved all our other animals heads home to Germany early next week.
Nathalie writes a blog about animals, pet therapy and her story, travels and people doing good things in their life. if you can read German you will love reading some of her articles. http://guteweltgeschichten.de/man-nennt-mich-die-schweinefluesterin/

Enjoy.

 

A Visit to Barcoos - Choices.

A visit to Barcoos has always been about all the interactive activities that we provide and this will continue to be our focus because this is what we love doing, however, now Barcoos also offers Accommodation Only Rates. To help with your decision making I suggest you take 5 minutes to check out reviews on TRIPADVISOR https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g255317-d1737017-Reviews-Barcoos_Farmstays_Bathurst-Bathurst_New_South_Wales.html
OR OUR WEBSITE – http://www.barcoosbarn.com.au/guestbook/
There are also lots of photos on Barcoos Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BarcoosBarnFarmstay/

If you choose Accommodation Only, liken it to staying at a unit/townhouse in town – there is a small playground and trampoline for the kiddies but no other activities, feeding animals, pony activities, hay rides ect,ect are included.

You must choose whether you would like Farmstay Activities or Accommodation Only at the time of making your booking and for the duration of your booking.

School is Back - and it's quiet at Barcoos.

At the end of the Christmas School Holidays February is typically quiet. Families are busy getting kids settled into school after the 6 week break. We do have two BIG weekends with the 12 hour Race at Mt Panorama, and The National BMX Championships, and we only have camping spots available for both of these events.

At the end of every school holidays I find myself reflecting on the guests we have had, what we have done, and what we could change for the better. We are certainly blessed with the fantastic guests that we have visit on a whole. – Very occasionally  we will have a disgruntled guest, and it is usually because they have not read the website, or asked any questions that they may not have been clear about. There is a email copied at the end that I received from one such guest. Please, if anyone thinks that the content of Barcoos website is deceptive, I would love for you to let me know.

My biggest wish is for all guests coming to Barcoos to have read the website and to be aware of what a visit to Barcoos is all about.

We certainly welcome guests that want to stay out of town in a rural environment, without taking part in activities. We are only a 10 minute straightforward drive from Bathurst CBD, and these guests are offered special rates mid week.  One night stays can be booked midweek out of school holidays also. One night stays on Friday and Saturday nights and during school holidays are available but with a 30% surcharge. Potential guests looking at one night stays need to contact Elaine direct via phone or email to book one night stays without activities.

I  have to say I was most disappointed for  a couple of reasons  Firstly thought I  would have a rural view and the main bedroom looked into a blank wall the kids bedroom where I slept looked into the bar b q area .  Secondly most B & B do a reasonable breakfast even if it is only continental  I fortunately brought my own cereal as they was no  fruit stewed or fresh  and as for the eggs iif any were available there wasn’t even a stove inside to cook them   I was told I could go to the big camp cooker if I wanted to cook and egg at night.  So I felt it was wrongly advertised  as some bread and butter and 2 very small containers of jam is not what I expect from a B& B even f only continental breakfast   All B & Bs I have stayed at pride themselves on their breakfasts .  It was the most uncomfortable one I have stayed at  not even any proper reading lights except in the main bedroom but not ones you could see properly to read from.  So I left a day earlier as it was so disappointing  
It is obviously not for people to  stay for a nice weekend and I say falsely advised .
This guest was here for a residential school at university. I did ask her x 2 to please let me know if there was anything I could get for her to please ask. She had told me she had bought her own cereal, I offered to cook her fresh bread if and when she would like some more.  It clearly states (and always has) what is supplied in each unit and what is supplied for breakfast on the website.
This is the view from The Hillview Unit from the BBQ/Courtyard.
Hillview view.

 

 

A Overview of Barcoos.

Barcoos was started 7 years ago as Barcoos Barn. After a run of very dry years in the 2000 to 2007 period things were tough on the farm, and rather than go back nursing and shift work Elaine was keen to try a new venture. We changed the name last year to Barcoos Farmstays Bathurst as we would sometimes get enquiries asking if “there are animals in the Barn?”, or, “is there a toilet in the Barn?” We were also having a lot of problems with OTA’s, (on-line tourist/booking agencies listing Barcoos worldwide without our agreement and always listing us as fully booked).

Why did we call the Farmstay Barcoos? – Barcoos was the name of Elaine’s first Clydesdale Horse – (A very special horse indeed).

Where is Barcoos Farmstays Bathurst? – BFB is at 1080 Trunkey Road, Perthville, on the property “Wardell”, owned by Ken & Elaine Hamer. Wardell was settled by the Hamer family in 1840 and is part of the original land grant to Dr Wardell, the first Dr of Law in the colony.

What do we do at Barcoos? – Have lots of fun and enjoyment whilst introducing guests (young and old) to farm animals and farming. Activities are hands-on (interactive) as possible and include preparing and feeding (by spoon) chickens & piglet, hay for the ponies/draught horses & cows, We have 2 Border Collie dogs that take “guest duties” very seriously, and 2 friendly kelpie dogs. Guests collect eggs, have pony and sulky rides with Shetland Ponies, have rides on the Clydesdale Horse, milk the cow, and have hay rides on a farm tour. Guests can also join in the farm work when it is appropriate. The families that come to Barcoos have activities for 1.5 hours plus in the morning and again in the afternoon, they then have time to explore the district, or relax on the farm. Kids often want to just stay on the farm and play with the dogs and on the trampoline and playground.

Accommodation at Barcoos. – We have a 1870 Farmhouse built with mud from the dam through the fence – it has 5 bedrooms and sleeps up to 10. Our Valley View Unit, a 2 bedroom stand-alone unit with kitchenette and a large outdoor area under cover, plus our Hillview Unit, a 2 bedroom unit which is part of our house, it is completely private with a separate entrance and courtyard. There is also a camping area, plus a large camp kitchen and conveniences. For those that like to camp we have 2 powered sites and many unpowered sites.

Our campfire site is provided with wood for those that love to look at the stars in our clear night sky, or maybe toast marshmallows with the kids.

Elaine also conducts Farm Visits for locals and visitors to Bathurst. The visit is an introduction to most of our farm animals and activities in a fun way and lasts from 1 – 2 hours. Bookings are essential.

2015 in Review at Barcoos Farmstays Bathurst.

How to pick out highlights from the last year at Barcoos? I just had a quick flick through this years photos on Barcoos Facebook page

– https://www.facebook.com/BarcoosBarnFarmstay/photos_stream and I guess it was just a year of wonderful guests and lots of fun with our special animals. 

Certainly one of the most special achievements is our little Shetland Ponies, Coco and Hunter doing a wonderful jog pulling the little wagon. The other special highlight was taking my animals into one of the local nursing homes and seeing the joy in residents that this simple act brings.

Please remember if you are a past guest to remind me when  you book as you are entitled to a 10% discount on your tariff.

We also offer 50% off your 3rd and subsequent nights visits (excepting Easter and October Long weekends).

Farmer Ken and I wish all our past guests a wonderful, joyous and blessed Christmas and all the best for 2016. We look forward to sharing our farm and animals with many of you again, and your friends that so many of you refer to us. Thank you.

Ninke from Netherlands teaching Georgie the piglet at 8 weeks old how to sit!

Wil our grandson with Georgie piglet at one day old.

 

 

Hunter and Coco in their little wagon giving Ruby the Border Collie and Nynke from Netherlands a ride. Many thanks to Nynke who has worked these little ponies to get them to be pulling their little wagon so beautifully.

 

 

Christmas..Beetles!!

Christmas time brings Christmas Beetles!

I’m not sure what their botanical name is but we call them Christmas beetles! They start making their presence felt around November and by Christmas they are fully grown and have munched their way through most of the gum leaves on the trees around the homestead. By mid January they have gone to wherever Christmas Beetles go for the remainder of the year! Christmas Beetles

Like most bugs they love night time lights, that’s OK for us, we are used to it! Alas, guests from urban areas that are used to having street lights and other lights on all night find them a challenge. They are perfectly harmless although they can grab you with their legs, their big nuisance value is their love of lights! They seem to be able to get into the house through the tiniest cracks!

The secret is to keep the lights out!! Pull the blinds/curtains, shut the doors and put those draft stoppers we use in winter to keep the cold out at every outside door. We do provide those little dull night lights for guests.

ONLINE BOOKING TIPS - HOW TO BOOK A HOLIDAY ON THE MOVE, (or even before you leave home!).           

We are having a few days off and we find it incredibly frustrating to have to battle through the OTA’s that dominate the web searches to be able to contact our preferred place to stay.

We often don’t know where we want to stay until lunch time or even mid afternoon, and to find accommodation then is a real chore. All I want is a phone number when I search for accommodation at that hour of the day, (or if prior to when we travel, a website with a email address and a contact phone number.) But, NO, not so easy as OTA’s dominate the search engines.

Now many might say, “What’s wrong with that?” –

I still persevere as we love to find unique places to stay and we like to be spontaneous when it’s mid week and we are just roaming. 

I’ll tell you Barcoos story and why we refuse to use on-line booking agents and their affiliates.

Barcoos has been targeted for 3 years now with one agency refusing to stop listing Barcoos despite many requests from us. They persist to the extent that over the last month they are paying for Google ads using Barcoos, plus Farmstay Bathurst as their bait to get potential guests to click on their site, only to be given the message that there are no dates available at Barcoos…..not ever!!

“BUT, don’t worry, you can find accommodation somewhere else in town”. This is obviously not true, is misleading and is a misrepresentation of Barcoos.

What to do??? Copy and paste the name of the property you are looking for and put it in your search bar. Hopefully the property will have a website and a Google listing, (it appears generally on the right hand side of the page),-  so now you have a phone number, and email address to contact them direct. BUT, sometimes not, so scroll down until you come to a website hosted by the town, district or state web page that comes up, you will mostly find a phone number here for your selected accommodation. If they have a mobile number use it to send a sms also.(Small accommodation providers have lots more to do than sit at the computer all day).

There are also other valuable and honest websites that host speciality accommodation providers. Ones that Barcoos Farmstays Bathurst are listed with provide a link to the website, email and phone numbers. eg; www.farmstaycampingaustralia.com.au; www.familyfriendlyaccommodation.com.au; www.bbfaccommodation.com.au/property www.australianbedandbreakfast.com.au

and a few select others. AVOID the ones that are looking for you to “book now” unless it is on the properties own website.

I also have to comment on the value of using a registered travel agent. A couple of years back I became unwell just prior to a overseas trip.(the day before). For the first time in many years I had organised the trip through a locally owned travel agent. What a blessing that turned out to be! – They did all the legwork in claiming for reimbursement on airline tickets to Europe, maybe I was just lucky but I’ll never book another “big” trip unless I use a local travel agent that I can trust.