Cuddle a koala, walk a llama: Top local animal loving spots
WOULD you like to ride a camel, cuddle a koala or feed some adorable baby goats?
Animal lovers can do all of this plus more by visiting a number of farms, wildlife centres and sanctuarys only a short drive from Ipswich.
Whether you have children, or are just a big kid yourself, get up close and personal with an array of creatures big and small this weekend.
1) Summer Land Camel Farm - Harrisville
TAKE a look behind the scenes at Australia's largest camel dairy and training centre by taking a tour around Harrisville's Summer Land Camel Farm.
Summer Land's professional cameleers show you the day-to-day operations of the farm, as well as visit the dairy operation centre, taste the farm's award-winning cheese production or try one of the camel milk beauty products.
Tours start at $25 for an hour long Tour and Taste, or guests can partake in a deluxe experience for $90, which lasts 70 minutes.
Camel rides also start at $25 for a 10 minute journey, or if you have more time, why not indulge in a camel trail ride for $40, or a sunrise camel trek and breakfast for $135.
Bookings are required and sell out fast, so it's best to book nice and early.
Summer Land Camel Farm is located at 8 Charles Chauvel Dr, Harrisville.
For more information, log onto www.summerlandcamelfarm.com.au.
2) Naughty Little Goats - Peak Crossing
SPEND a Sunday afternoon cuddling and feeding baby goats, watch a cheese making demonstration or try some tasty gelato and cheese at Naughty Little Goats in Peak Crossing.
This family-run farm oversees milking, manufacturing and packaging of the goat's milk, and has won numerous awards for their gelato and cheeses.
The farm has roughly 70 adult goats and 40 kids, so everyone has the opportunity to pat them.
Tours are held at 1.05pm, 2.15pm and 3.25pm and last for roughly an hour. They are family friendly and suitable for people of all ages.
You can pre-register through the website at www.naughtylittlekids.com.au/farm-tours.
Naughty Little Goats is located at 1531 Ipswich Boonah Rd, Peak Crossing.
3) Haigslea Ewe-nique Hobby Farm - Haigslea
THIS hobby farm in Ipswich offers families an authentic farm experience where you can enjoy patting and feeding the resident animals, followed by a morning tea in the idyllic country setting.
The farm is home to an array of livestock, including alpacas, sheep, goats and chickens. Each morning a selection of animals are brought up to the visiting area for you to meet.
There is also an on-site cafe where you can purchase tea, coffee and a selection of baked goods.
The owners like to ensure each visitor has a unique experience to the farm, so bookings are essential.
For more information, search them on Facebook and Instagram.
Find them at 187 Missigs Rd, Haigslea.
4) The Llama Farm - Ipswich
THIS farm in Ipswich is home to the largest herd of llamas in Queensland.
The 80 acre farm is also home to donkeys, miniature ponies, miniature goats, sheep, Maremma dogs and multiple poultry species.
The farm offers two experiences for visitors including farm visits and guided llama walks.
To book your day out, email firstname.lastname@example.org or search for them on Facebook and Instagram.
Find them at 563 Riverside Drive, Pine Mountain.
5) Tommerup's Dairy Farm - Kerry
WHEN owners Dave and Kerry Tommerup welcome guests to their Scenic Rim dairy farm, they like their visitors to choose the farm experience that suits them best.
Whether you want to jump into a pair of boots and help out, or stand back and take it all in, the choice is yours.
Start your day off with some freshly baked homemade scones with jam and cream before walking into the milking area to see some of the farm's cows produce the milk that ends up in your fridge at home.
Wander through the historic homestead which was built in 1888 before feeding the menagerie of farm animals.
On your way out, don't forget to stop at the Farm Larder where you can pick up some goodies to take home.
Be sure to bring your Esky or basket!
The farm also hosts a farmer's market, with the first event of the year to be held on Sunday, March 1 from 9am-1pm.
If you wish to stay longer, book to stay in the farm's cottage or homestead.
For more information, log onto www.tommerupsfarmstay.com.au.
Bookings are essential as no drop-in visits are permitted.
Find them at 2142 Kerry Road, Kerry.
6) Ipswich Nature Centre - Ipswich
THE Ipswich Nature centre is home to a range of Australian wildlife, including dingoes, an echidna, bilbys, wombats, wallabies, kookaburras and more.
There is also a barn yard section where you can see steers, chickens, pigs and other beloved animals from the farm.
The centre is open six days a week and is located within Queens Park, Milford Street Ipswich.
It is free to visit, however a gold coin donation is appreciated. All donations are used for the care of the animals and future improvements to the Nature Centre.
7) Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary - Brisbane
ENJOY a cuddle with one of our country's most adorable and favourite animals at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to more than 70 species of Australian wildlife, so you can handfeed a kangaroo, see a Tasmanian devil up close, watch a platypus swim in the water, see a variety of beautiful birds such as rainbow lorikeets, red-tailed black cockatoo, a wedge-tailed eagle, and more.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is open seven days a week from 9am-5pm.
Find them at 708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket.
8) Birds of Prey - O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Canungra
MEET some of the beautiful birds that call O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat home.
Watch them in free flight or performing natural aerobatics in the beautiful scenery.
O'Reilly's is home to lots of beautiful walking tracks, so why not make a day out of it with the family.
For more information, log onto www.oreillys.com.au/activities/birds-prey.
Find them at the end of Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra.
9) Towri Sheep Cheeses - Allenview
IF you are looking for a country farm experience, head on down Allenview in the Scenic Rim to learn more about Towri Sheep Cheeses. Their tours include a milking demonstration, sheep cheese tasting platter, tea and locally grown coffee, and access to the Towri Homestead gardens.
Pellets and milk will be supplied to those wishing to feed the lambs and sheep.
Tours start at $32 per adult. Prices for children will be age dependent and can be discussed when booking.
A variety of cheeses will also be available to purchase.
For more information or to book, log onto www.towrisheepcheeses.com.au.
Find them at 206 Saville Road, Allenview.
10) Emu Heaven - Try It Emu Farm - Marburg
COME face-to-face with an emu at this farm close to Ipswich.
All you need to do is get in contact with the owners first, who welcome visitors and bus tours.
Chick season on the farm is between July and September, which is sure to create some adorable photos for your Instagram feed.
The farm also has a variety of emu oil products for you to purchase.
For more information, log onto www.emuheaven.com.au.
Find them on the Warrego Hwy, Marburg.
11) Ottaba Llama Walks - Ottaba
WE know dogs loved to be walked, but did you know the same also goes for llamas? At Ottaba Llamas you can head out on a guided walk, which could either be along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, or a winery tour.
After your walk, take a tour of the farm and say hello to the other residents, including mini goats, cattle, donkeys, and sheep.
For more information, log onto www.ottaballamawalks.com.
Find them at 6410 Brisbane Valley Highway, Ottaba.
12) Mountview Alpaca Farm - Canungra
FEED and pat the alpacas, as well as browse through the many alpaca products at this Scenic Rim farm.
Chat to the farmers to learn some new llama facts, or get active and take them for a short stroll.
Find them at 852 Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra.