Ding ding ding. It's 3:30pm, the bells have gone for the kids to finish school, it’s Friday afternoon and little do they know I have a huge surprise waiting for them.
Sally (7) and Tommy (5) come racing up to me in the playground. "Guess what kids? We’re not going home this weekend!"
"What? Where are we going, mum? Why aren’t we going home?"
"I’ve organised a surprise weekend away for us so right now, you’ll have to hop in the car, buckle up and let’s go for a little drive. It’s not too far."
Anxiously the kids discuss and guess where we could be going! Grandma's? No. The beach? No. Aunt Kate‘s place? No! "You’ll have to wait and see, it's somewhere we've never been but I'm sure you'll love it."
Driving out of the city I can feel a huge wave of pressure and business leave my shoulders. I can see the hills on the horizon and know that our destination awaits.
Winding around the bends of the hills through the huge gumtrees and beautiful tree ferns, we finally reach our destination, Nurture Creek.
There’s a cute little rusty sign sitting on top of the hill with a great big open paddock and a stunning view all the way down the valley and over the hills. There’s a long driveway that we follow down, down, down - the kids still have no idea where we are but there is something running towards us. The kids scream with excitement and nerves - don't hit it Mum! That something is a very cute grey and white dog running up to us as fast as she can to greet us. Continuing down the driveway, we pass various chickens and turkeys and the kids excitedly spot a pig in one of the paddocks. Pulling up at our little weatherboard cottage we also spot some calves and horses and in the paddock, the kids are squealing with delight they are so excited, "Mum are we gonna get to pat them? Mum can we feed them? Mum, oh my goodness, are we really staying here? I’ve always wanted to live on a farm!"
I'm pretty sure Sally is in Heaven.
We are greeted by Bek who comes and does an introduction to all of the incredible animals that we are going to spend our entire weekend with. We make ourselves at home then the kids get changed out of their school uniforms and into their farm clothes and gumboots and off we go because it’s time for the animals dinner!
Bek is incredibly patient while the children 'help' her measure out all of the different foods and get all of the different buckets ready for all of the different animals. They can’t wait; the goats come running down the hill as do the giant cows thundering loudly with their hooves and skidding to a halt which is fun to watch but a little terrifying. This is exactly how all of our mornings start and afternoons finish at Nurture Creek, Bek teaches the kids all about the animals and how they need to be looked after - she even let Tommy brush one of the cows who is ginormous but he doesn’t seem scared. In between feeding times we enjoy cuddles and pats. All of the animals are so incredibly friendly they just want to be near us - every time we go wandering and adventuring through their paddocks they follow us to see what we might do and hopefully give them a little scratch.
The walk down the Trail is just stunning, with birds everywhere and the fresh mountain air is rejuvenating to the soul. The kids enjoy splashing and squelching in the mud, finding birds nests in the trees, and wondering what made that hole and who did that poop? Not once have the kids asked for screen time which is a very welcome relief given in our regular lives that seems to be all the happy to do. It takes them a little while to get used to everybody, but by day two they're hugging the goats and even sitting and talking to all the animals as they rest.
Each day we go out and get some lunch at a cute little café or go out to dinner. I thought we would need to fill the kids days with lots of adventures and different things to do in the local area however they’re just happy playing at the farm, and I’m just happy sitting and watching them. Life on the farm is busy, funny, full of adventure, or full of lots of sitting looking at the animals in the grass and just breathing the beautiful fresh air and enjoying the relaxing feeling of not having anything actually to do.
That said; Bek and Adam are always busy doing all sorts of things from taking sticks on the tractor, picking up poop, feeding the animals, giving the calves medicine and treating my kids as their own children, so there is never a dull moment and always lots of jobs to chip in and help out with if we feel like it. Sunday night comes, I’ve done the washing (there's a full laundry in the cabin), the kids uniforms are ready and I pack their lunches ready to go to school tomorrow - they have begged me to please feed the animals in the morning so Bek will get up a bit earlier than normal so we can leave by 7:30 and be back in the city for school at 9.
This has been the most magical weekend and I’m so glad that we spent three nights and two full days here, one or two nights that would not have been nearly the experience that we have had this weekend!
Thank you to everyone at Nurture Creek
Story by Claudia Walker.