Andrea and Dave Dallinger during their visit to the Oh Deere Farm Stay at Calen. Picture: Contributed.
Andrea and Dave Dallinger during their visit to the Oh Deere Farm Stay at Calen. Picture: Contributed.

How a Calen cane farm became a tourist hotspot

NESTLED among the cane paddocks at Calen is a two-storey house surrounded by up to 20 caravans a night.

The working property is Oh Deere Farm Stay, a place tourists go to experience farm life and country tranquillity.

Owner Karinda Anderson said she started the venture with her partner Dale about 18 months ago, inspired by more than 20 years of travel around Australia with their children.

Oh Deeres Farm Stay is located at 71 Zamparuttis Road, Calen. Picture: Contributed
Oh Deeres Farm Stay is located at 71 Zamparuttis Road, Calen. Picture: Contributed

"We used to live in Tasmania, we were intensive crop farmers," Ms Anderson said.

"We only worked … to take our kids on holiday every year for four to six weeks."

Oh Deere Farm Stay in Calen pays homage to the owners’ love of John Deere tractors.
Oh Deere Farm Stay in Calen pays homage to the owners’ love of John Deere tractors.

Ms Anderson now aims to recreate that experience for their visitors while teaching them about agriculture and supplying food for the nation.

Oh Deere Farm Stay visitors Josh and Bec Hart with Aidan 11, Taylor 9, and Oliver 5. Picture: Contributed
Oh Deere Farm Stay visitors Josh and Bec Hart with Aidan 11, Taylor 9, and Oliver 5. Picture: Contributed

"We're getting 18 to 20 vans a week, sometimes a night" she said.

"They can be in a caravan, a car, tent, camper, fifth-wheeler, big rig - we take the whole lot.

"Or some people just come in their swags."

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She said her latest visitors had only anticipated staying two nights but ended up extending their stay to three weeks.

Oh Deere Farm Stay visitors Ash, Dave and their three children left today after an almost three-week stay. Picture: Contributed
Oh Deere Farm Stay visitors Ash, Dave and their three children left today after an almost three-week stay. Picture: Contributed

"Their kids cried because they had to leave this morning," she said.

Activities on offer for farmstay visitors include farm tours, cane juicing, the occasional crop burn and feeding the friendly cattle.

Amie Bolton getting friendly with the cows during her visit to Oh Deeres Farm Stay at Calen. Picture: Contributed
Amie Bolton getting friendly with the cows during her visit to Oh Deeres Farm Stay at Calen. Picture: Contributed

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There is also an undercover kitchen space, a toilet and shower onsite.

The camping grounds at Oh Deere Farm Stay, Calen. Picture: Contributed
The camping grounds at Oh Deere Farm Stay, Calen. Picture: Contributed

Andrea and Dave Dallinger, in just one of many rave reviews left about the farm stay, said the experience was "highly recommended".

Andrea and Dave Dallinger during their visit to the Oh Deere Farm Stay at Calen. Picture: Contributed.
Andrea and Dave Dallinger during their visit to the Oh Deere Farm Stay at Calen. Picture: Contributed.

"Karinda and Dale are the best hosts and are keen to offer their home, knowledge and hospitality," they said, adding the homemade scones were "awesome".

To find out more about Oh Deere Farm Stay or to book your visit, phone Karinda on 0419 873 909.

 

This story was thanks to the My Town series - a Daily Mercury and Mackay Regional Council initiative.

My Town is about telling the stories of Mackay and surrounds that matter to you.
My Town is about telling the stories of Mackay and surrounds that matter to you.

Next up, a Daily Mercury reporter will visit Marian on Tuesday, November 3 alongside a Mackay councillor.

Let us tell the stories that matter to you and if you think we should come to your town, send us an email to news@dailymercury.com.au

 

In the meantime, check out some of the MyTown stories so far:

Calen and Kuttabul:

Cooking with gas: Zarby's Cafe celebrates 2nd birthday

Desire for new sports facility for Calen region youth

Eton:

Small town's headache over miners' long-term parking

Push for new ambulance station at Eton or Marian

New owner at the helm of 154-year-old pub

Widow waits for husband's funeral 6 months after death

North Eton State School rejoices for 125th anniversary

'We desperately want something done about it': Antoney's Crossing, Kinchant Dam

'You've got to have a lot of electricity in your body': Eton's water diviner

Habana:

A Mackay castle fit for the bride and groom

Flashback: The heroic story behind a Mackay bridge

The hidden history of proud, culturally-rich Habana

Habana residents vent anger over subdivision stifling

Habana charm inspires city dweller's tree-change

$165K plea to build emergency assembly point at Habana

$47.1M boost for firefighters in the yellow trucks

Northern Beaches:

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GALLERY: Holiday travellers' pilgrimage to iconic pub

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