At a friend’s suggestion, we made a trip down to Collingwood Children’s Farm on Saturday morning. Noah decided to wake up extra early, so we had breakfast at the cafe downstairs, before taking a cab to the farm.
French toast, bacon, and a nice cup of hot chocolate to start the day
The weather forecast for the day was supposed to be a sunny 22 degrees, but because we visited the farm at 10am, it was still a very chilly 12 degrees, with strong winds. The cool weather meant that we had to bundle Noah up more, but it also allowed us to walk comfortably in the farm, and to stand around in the fields, patting the different animals. There were many young children there, all extremely excited about getting close to the animals, and we even spotted a birthday party for a five-year-old princess being held there. Such a refreshing and fun change from the parties we see back in Singapore!
Noah loved being able to pat the cow, goats, and sheep, and got pretty upset each time we left a paddock. He kept trying to push himself out of the Manduca, and pointing at the animals we had just left. C and I both felt that Noah would probably have had a much better experience if he were able to walk by himself, as the children who seemed to really enjoy themselves the most, were the little ones who could run after the animals. If you do bring your children to the farm, be careful not to let them stand near the hind legs of the goats and sheep, as they tend to take off quite suddenly, and the little ones might get kicked.
Paddock full of goats
The farm has two cow-milking sessions daily, and we were early enough to catch the 10am one. Interestingly, the kids all seemed more keen to pat the cow, and to brush her coat with the brushes provided, than to actually milk her, so I managed to have a go at milking the cow, with Noah seated on my lap.
Patting the cow
Watching the cow eat
A kind visitor passed us a slice of bread to feed the ducks and geese which were wandering freely around the farm, and that was quite fun too. Do bring along a few slices of bread if you plan to visit the farm, so that you can do the same! Noah got a little confused, and attempted to eat the bread instead of feeding it to the birds though. 😛
Noah got confused and tried to eat the bread instead of feeding it to the birds
Feeding the birds (check out the pretty peacock!)
That’s a huge chicken, mummy!
Taking a closer look at the geese
Geese waddling slowly in a single file
Our favourite paddock had to be Zora’s, which had all the sheep and lambs. Many of them were bleating away, and we were very amused by a little girl who started singing ‘E I E I O’ when she heard them going ‘mehhhh mehhhh’.
Patting a lamb
The joy of patting a lamb
We saw black pigs too, and wondered if they were the same breed of pigs that produced the yummy deep-fried black pig loin we ate back in Singapore. Yes, we are true-blue Singaporeans who think about food way too much.
Huge black pig
We didn’t manage to take many photos, no thanks to C forgetting to bring his SD card for his camera, and wonky iPhones that kept dying on us. There was an incubator with baby chicks that we didn’t spend much time at, and we completely missed the guinea pigs, even though there was a scheduled cuddling session for them. We did see some really interesting chickens (they call them ‘chooks’ here), that looked more like furry cats than chickens. (C told Noah that they were aliens. -.-)
One of the ‘aliens’
Black chicken soup, anyone?
There was also a horse ‘show’ of sorts, where a lone horse galloped round in circles and jumped over low bars. It didn’t seem very happy though, and we didn’t dare to go too near, just in case it jumped the fence or something.
Watching the horse ‘show’
The horse ‘show’
Apart from animals, the Collingwood Children’s Farm has a orchard as well, which had various fruit trees, such as lemons and oranges. They also have a farmers’ market every second Saturday of the month, so we unfortunately weren’t able to experience that. There’s also a Family Day on the first Sunday of every month, as well as a bonus family day on 24th November 2013, with various activities such as tractor rides.
The farm cafe looked pretty decent, with some sandwiches and cakes on sale, and there were quite a number of high chairs available for the little ones. The chickens, ducks, and geese roam freely, and many cleverly hung around under the cafe tables, gobbling up the crumbs that inevitably fell from the tables. There was also a kookaburra perched on a nearby tree, which C initially confidently told me was a kingfisher ‘because it has a long beak mah’. (I overheard a mother telling her son to look at the kookaburra, which is how I found out that C had given me the wrong information.)
The kookaburra (Anyone remembers the kookaburra song?)
We wanted to spend a little more time at the farm initially, but Noah became rather cranky and clearly needed to go back for a nap. All in all, it was a lovely way to spend the morning, and if you are planning a trip to Melbourne with young children, the Collingwood Children’s Farm is sure to be a hit with them. Do check out their website for more information.
Collingwood Children’s Farm
18 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford, Melbourne, VIC, 3067
9am to 430pm daily
Family (2 adults and up to 4 children) $16