Weeks before our trip, I was browsing on Google Maps searching for campsites between Airlie Beach and Gladstone, when I came across Alkoomi Adventure Farm. A farm stay in the outback and it turned out to be one of those places that you should not miss. A farm stay that also offers activities.
Not a fancy place, but all positive reviews. Then I knew I had to squeeze that into our schedule. It is only a short hour before Gladstone and since our boat transfer the next day would leave at 2 pm, there was no need to stay in Gladstone the night before. It turned out that Gladstone was a very industrial town, I do not think that we missed a lot there.
Heron Island was already booked and also the Whitsundays were hard to fit in due to limited availability in the small campsites, so that left us only 2 nights between Airlie Beach and Gladstone. A distance of around 600km, a distance that we prefer to split up.
We called the farm when we were three hours away, to make sure there was a spot for us and we could book the horseback riding for 4.30pm. Although the farm was only a short way from the Bruce Highway, the fact that the last part was over an unpaved road made it feel very remote. Well, I guess it is remote, as we found out that the nearest school is in Rockhampton, a one hour drive from the farm.
On arrival we were greeted and shown around the farm by Cody, a boy that looked around Kai’s age. It was school holiday, so he was helping his parents out. He showed us where the kitchen and the toilet was and we bought four meat packs with fresh meat from their own cows.
We parked our van in one of the 12 spots and relaxed a bit before our horses got saddled. Luka was really excited for her first horse back ride ever. There were only three horses, so we wondered where the fourth one would be coming from. That mystery got solved quickly, as they had a motorized horse – a quad bike, which made Kai’s eyes light up. The kids had to take turns and got half an hour of quad bike and half an hour of horse riding. As they both wanted to save the best for last it was quickly sorted. Kai would start on the horse, Luka on the quad bike. We were riding for about an hour over the land that was part of the farm and had some amazing views from the hill.
Since it had not rained since October last year the land was very dry, which truly added to our outback experience.
The ride had made us hungry so we could not wait to open our meat packs with a piece of beef and 2 sausages each and throw them on the barbie. They did not disappoint! Even Luka thought the sausages were the best she’s ever had.
The kitchen area was great. Next to the hot plate, a water boiler and a toaster there were giant seats that if you sat on them they make you feel like a kid gain.
The only downside here is that there was only one toilet/shower. Which means that if the shower is used, the toilet is no longer accessible. We ended up using the toilet of the cabin next to it. Hopefully they will change that still.
This is also one of those places where you easily interact with the other campers. A great way to exchange stories and get advice on places not to be missed. We met a couple that ended up at the farm, because there was a traffic jam. They planned to stay for a night, but ended up staying there for four.
I am sure we would have done the same if we would have had the time to do so.