The Sunshine Coast hinterland's worst kept secret is Maleny Dairies, a fourth generation working farm offering farm and factory tours to tourists.
Nestled near the quaint township of Maleny, an hour and a half drive north of Brisbane, a visit to Maleny Dairies is a must do for city kids and adults alike. This farm has been in the Hopper family since 1948. They survived the deregulation of the dairy industry in 2000 by building a processing plant to bottle their own rich, creamy milk from their herd of Guernsey cows. And in a stroke of marketing genius, transformed this family farm into a tourist attraction. Here, visitors can see first hand how milk from the cow ends up on the supermarket shelf.
Farm and Factory Tours run from Monday to Saturday (Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays) and are suitable for all ages. The tour, costing $11 per person for anyone over 2 years, takes you through the process of milk from the cow to the bottle.
Tours begin with a short film about the farm and then it’s down to the factory to see how the products are processed and packaged. Tour guides then take visitors to meet Millie, the tour cow, for a hand milking demonstration and a chance to taste the milk straight from the udder.
From here it’s into the baby pen to bottle-feed the calves and onto the chooks and pigs. The tour finishes with a look inside the dairy and a taste testing of all of Maleny Dairies award winning products.
As well as the tours, visitors can jump on Our Farmer’s Tractor Rides which run after the first three tours of the day. The Tractor Rides are $10 per person for anyone over 2 years and run for approx. 30 minutes.
From there the Tractor Driver takes visitors up through the beautiful back paddocks to watch the calves being fed, with a rare chance to also feed the emus.
You don't have to take part in a tour to visit the dairy though. It's open to the public six days a week, with plenty of room for the kids to tire themselves out so remember to bring a picnic or grab a Devonshire Tea from the shipping container Milkbar. There are also BBQ facilities available to visitors who want to make it a day trip.
Need to know: Farm Tours are at 10am (this one is best for seeing the pregnant cows being fed). 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm (this time to see the herd in the dairy being milked). Tractor rides are at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm.
For more information or to book visit www.malenydairies.com/book-a-tour/ or call on 07 5494 2392. (Bookings recommended on Saturdays and during School Holidays)
*Prices correct as of September 2017.
by Deb Lidster
70 McCarthy Rd
Tractor rides $10pp*
07 5494 2392