By Helen Randell
The grain silos near the veranda are one of the signs that Nicola and Damien Adams’ retreat is not your average bed and breakfast.
Another giveaway is the cows.
Lifting the bedroom blind of a morning, you may be surprised to find your gaze met by a pair of big, gentle eyes, as the family herd goes about their business chomping on some pasture for their breakfast.
But there is no reason to be startled – this is Redwing Farmstay, boutique accommodation located in the middle of a working grain farm on the Yorke Peninsula.
Set on around 400 acres, the property near Moonta is just one parcel of the 4000 acres of land which the family farms in the area.
Wheat, canola and lentils make up the crop mix, but adding accommodation to the business portfolio has been a labour of love which has proved to be very rewarding for Nicola and Damien.
“When we first moved here around nine years ago, all the buildings on the property were in ruin,” Nicola recalls.
“We really had no idea about renovating the houses, or even an idea that we would diversify our business in the way that we have.”
With a determination that has served them well, the couple began renovating the homestead – knocking down walls, building a new kitchen and renovating the old bathroom. With the main house liveable again, Nicola and Damien turned their sights to the Shearer’s Quarters.
“It was one of the original buildings in the area,” Nicola says.
“It was in terrible condition, and we knew that we either had to knock it down, or do something with it – and it seemed like a waste to knock it down.”
Feeling confident after their renovation success, Nicola says they decided to turn the dilapidated, but cosy cottage into a B&B for couples – hoping that it would appeal to visitors in the same way that bed and breakfast accommodation has become successful in the Barossa and Clare Valley.
Renovation of a second building on the property, the old barn, quickly followed to accommodate families.
“It wasn’t long before our family accommodation was getting more bookings than the Shearer’s Quarters,” Nicola says.
“So we extended the Shearer’s Quarters to make it suitable for families as well.”
It is no surprise that parents and children alike get a kick out of staying at Redwing Farmstay.
Two donkeys hang out near the house, eagerly awaiting guests who bring them apples and carrots. Just further on are the resident pigs, goats, poultry and cows, and equally appealing for those with a fascination for all things that go ‘brruuuuummmm’ are the farm’s tractors and machinery.
“People have really responded to the way the accommodation allows them to witness the daily goings on of the farm,” Nicola says.
“Our guests tell us they love relaxing here, and that their kids have a great time running around and seeing the crops and the animals.”
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