Cherry Top Farm Stay is everything a good retreat should be – warm, friendly and family owned. Located only two and a half hours from Hobart, it combines a homely atmosphere with a range of accommodation to suit everyone. In the morning head to the farmhouse kitchen for a hearty breakfast made from home-grown blueberries, honey, hazelnuts and eggs.
Take a tour of the farm and help out with the daily farm activities or chase adventures with mountain biking and high rope challenges. Kids will love hand-feeding the chickens and learning about honey harvesting, and everyone can get their hands dirty tending the organic fruits and vegetables.
In the spring, volunteers can also receive discounted food and accommodation as they help the farm to prepare for the busy growing season.
John and Lesley Gallagher are the owners of Cherry Top Farmstay, which spans 5.5 hectares on mixed grassland interspersed with orchards and agricultural land. Native trees such as eucalypts are also found throughout the property. The property features several small dams.
Wildlife found on the property includes eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii) and Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax fleayi).
This sanctuary is featured in Wildlife Lands 21!
At Cherry Top Farm Stay conservation is about consciousness. The simple dream of taking food from the trees found traction for us in Tasmania. Dams created and trees planted, a habitation of birds soon followed. We have witnessed a transformation, a world away from the former cow and greyhound enterprise occupying the spot last century. We now enjoy the fruits of tried and tested experiments in making a living from a small piece of land.
Inspired by horticulturalists such as Mollison, Coleman and the Henderson Brothers, we seek alternative systems that avoid those things that do harm: veganic, permaculture, deep ecology, slow food, seasonal, traditional and ethical. We literally L.O.V.E. working here: Lilydale Organic Vegetable Enterprises and our Cottage, Villa and Pod sustain our projects and are the core ‘business’. Such a lifestyle brings into focus daily the frailty and vulnerability of the natural world around us.
Joining forces with the Wildlife Land Trust and their Sanctuaries You Can Stay program involves us in a confirmation of the importance of conservation and the natural world. This is a source of inspiration every day. Our future course plans to ‘nut out’ ways of growing small farms like this which we believe significantly contribute to the health of the wider community; a symbiotic relationship between ecology and economy.
Guests can take a guided farm walk, take in the country air and forage for food; collecting hazelnuts and getting to work cracking them on a repurposed 19th Century corn crusher, a survivor of our industrial heritage. The Chinese geese are taking the place of the mower and reducing our dependence on fossil fuel—a couple of years ago we swapped our car for an e-bike and our advocacy now extends to cycle tourism. This and our meat-free plant based diet fit us into a broader definition of a sanctuary. We are so glad we are giving it a go. With future generations in mind, we are encouraged to engage positively with agriculture which is, after all, the root of all wealth. Visit www.cherrytopfarmstay.weebly.com for more information.