A well-qualified, full time freelance writer in food & lifestyle, I believe in living life to the full. I combine a long food history (including owning an award-winning restaurant) with a passion for inspiring, powerful writing. Feel free to contact.
Published July 29th 2010
There are a couple of truly idyllic little hideaways in our lovely state. One of them is the Churchill Island Heritage Farm just off the coast of Phillip Island via an all-vehicle bridge. This picturesque, 57-hecatre island is an ideal place for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life and re-connecting with nature.
Amidst beautiful sea views (rug up if you're going in winter), you can meet and interact with the cutest, cuddliest farm animals. Pat the baby animals in the nursery and get up close and personal with Clydesdale horses, cattle, sheep, quacking ducks, clucking chickens and brilliantly-coloured peacocks.
There are also hands-on cow milking, sheep shearing, blacksmithing and working dog demonstrations, providing the kids with a great learning experience.
You can also enjoy exploring world-class wetlands, lovely cottage gardens and coastline walking tracks with spectacular views of Western Port Bay (and Tortoise Head and French Island on clear days). Look out for plenty of birdlife, including Royal Spoonbills, Pied Oyster Catchers, ibis, gulls, herons and cormorants.
Pick up a few goodies from the farm shop, check out the informative Visitors' Centre, and enjoy a bite to eat at the licensed café, which features dishes made from island-grown produce.
Part of the Phillip Island Nature Park, the island holds an important part in Victorian history and is on the National Heritage Register. It's the site of Victoria's first crops and European buildings.
Its fully refurbished house and cottages are indeed a step back in time and capture the past lives of early Australian settlers and early farming practices.
Churchill Island hosts many regular events, including a farmers' market on the first Saturday of each month between 8am and 1pm. It is undoubtedly Victoria's most picturesque farmers' market location. The annual Chill Island Music Festival held in January, with plenty of big name acts, great food and hippie stalls too, is a very chilled out event.