Local Producers look outside the square #3

August 25, 2010

Sharing the beauty of the farm with others
With the pace of life seemingly accelerating as each year goes by, another family is offering visitors the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the “simple things,” while continuing to run their beef cattle enterprise. 

When Peter and Ann Mack bought their property 15 years ago, they had an ambition  to share its beauty with others. Three months ago this ambition was realised when they opened their B&B/Farmstay “Peranjou Cottages.”

In common with other enterprises mentioned in this series, Peter and Ann utilised existing infrastructure to establish the business. In their case, it was the weatherboard woolshed, built in the 1950s which was standing idle.

Due to the constraints of running a cattle property, heightened by the last decade of tough seasons, Peter, with the help of local tradespeople, has been working on the shed on and off for nearly ten years, “in between feeding cattle and coping with some health issues,” Peter said.

Council regulations also meant that the project took a lot longer and cost significantly more than they had anticipated, Peter added.

The building is now unrecognisable as the woolshed it once was, offering guests two beautifully renovated, self-contained units called “Sunnyside” and “Riverside.”

Guests have access to canoes, bicycles and five kilometres of laneways which guide them all over the property. “We love the farm and the river and our hope is that we can share this beauty with others, so that they too can enjoy what we do and see,” Peter explained. Peter said he would love to encourage painters and photographers to visit the property, commenting that the light is fantastic and the views constantly changing with the prevailing weather conditions.

Initially, Peter and Ann thought their guests would come from bigger centres, further away but they have found that Peranjou is attracting people from closer towns like Moree, Tamworth and Inverell. They soon realised that town dwellers live on small blocks of land in suburban streets, just as in the cities and that they too are looking for a weekend away, without having to go too far. “It’s the perfect weekend get away,” Peter said.

Peter is keen to sell the safety aspect of a holiday in the country, where adults and children alike can roam without the fears that town and city people have about letting children out of their sight.

“The challenge is to get people to look at the website,” Peter said. “Website designer, Georgina Sinclair has done a fantastic job in explaining what we do, we just have to get people to look at it,” Peter said.

In the future, Peter and Ann will look at providing meals for guests. Ann, who is currently head teacher at Warialda High School, is a Hospitality teacher whose passion is food, according to Peter. “We would love Peranjou Cottages to take over from the property as the primary source of income in the future,” Peter said.

Visit Peranjou Cottages at: www.peranjoucottages.com.au

Other articles in the series: