Maleny Dairies a family day out for kids of all ages! UPDATED REVIEW
On a Saturday morning, my husband and I took our 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter to Maleny Dairies. We drove from the Northside of Brisbane and it took just over 1 hour (by some miracle our children were happy little angels all the way!) After turning off the Bruce Highway at the Landsborough exit, we followed the signs to Maleny and soon saw the ‘Maleny Dairies’ cow (very eye catching signage!) We were surprised to come across the dairy before the town centre of Maleny, so were grateful for the easily spotted sign as we could have easily gone too far.
Maleny Dairies is an independent, family run business, Keith & Sonya Hopper run the farm, Ross & Sally Hopper own the factory, Harold & Dorothy Hopper their parents, still live on the farm where Harold grew up milking Guernseys.
Maleny Dairies is an excellent family outing and only a short drive from Brisbane! Maleny Dairies run tours for the public from Monday to Saturday at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm. If you attend the afternoon tour, you get to watch the cows being milked. The cost of the tour is $11 per person for anyone 2yrs and over, and each tour takes around 1.5 hours. To book a tour, you can call Maleny Dairies on 07 5494 2392, or go to their website.
About the Farm Tour at Maleny Dairies
A tour guide will take you up to the baby animal pen to pat the baby calves. Our 5 and 3 year old loved this, and the calves were gentle and adorable. The children also got to give the calves a bottle of milk to suck on, which they really enjoyed.
We were also given a brief history of the farm and shown how hand-milking is done on one of the cows. The milk was squirted straight into the mouth of any children or grown-ups who were willing, and this was lots of fun and generated much amusement.
The tour group then walked down into the pit of the dairy to see where the cows get milked. As we were in the morning tour, we did not get to see cows being milked here, although if you attend the 2.30pm session you will get to see the cows being milked.
Working Farm Factory
We were then taken to the factory to see where the milk is processed and bottled. As it was a Saturday the bottling process was not in action, much to my husband’s disappointment. We were also able to see the cold room through glass windows (For hygiene reasons you cannot enter the cold room). Finally, we watched a 10 minute DVD showing the process of milk from the cow to the bottle and everything in between. It was lovely to sit in this air-conditioned room and enjoy a well made and funny video explaining the overall process. The video held both our children’s attention.
At the conclusion of the tour we were taken to a lovely area with tables and chairs and offered samples of flavoured milk (strawberry, chocolate, and coffee for parents), flavoured and plain yoghurt, and custard. To be frank I was a little disappointed with how this was organised, as the children were asked to get into two lines and to choose between the chocolate and strawberry flavoured milk. I asked for there to be a line for plain milk, and I was told this would come out later. My children have never tasted flavoured milk (it has as much sugar as softdrink) and I had not expected a dairy (perhaps naively) to hand over flavoured milk. The kids however loved it, and the yoghurt was delicious.
The farm also offers Tractor Rides
The start times for the Tractor Rides are 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm and 4:00pm (they begin after the Farm and Factory Tours end). The ride lasts for 30 mins approximately and begins at the ‘Big Log’ and takes visitors through the stunning paddocks belonging to the farmers. Visitors sit on a large semi-enclosed trailer which is pulled by the tractor. Visitors do not need to book but they recommend giving them a call to make sure they have spaces available. The cost is $10pp for anyone over 2 yrs and they have family passes available. Although the ride is open to all ages they ask that children under 10 are accompanied by an adult.
As well as watching the calves being fed, visitors can feed the emus, a new addition to the farm.
I would recommend the Maleny Dairies tour as it was educational and fun. I felt as though my children enjoyed themselves, learnt about cows and milk, and were treated with care. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable morning for the whole family.
After our tour had ended we drove into Maleny town centre and had a lovely lunch at a very nice cafe. There are many cafes to choose from. We also gave the kids a play in the park across the road from the cafe, and drove home, with two happy and sleeping children in the back seat. All in all it was a very enjoyable day.