Sustainable family fun at Splitters Farm - Bundaberg Region
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Animal rescue and family fun: How Splitters Farm combines them both

Guest Blogger Bio Template Jen Richards

This relaxed camping, glamping and caravanning property, located just 10 minutes from Bundaberg, is perfect for families and animal-lovers looking to unwind.

Carly Clark loves animals. Really loves them. She says she wasn’t intending to collect them, but that’s what she’s done. It all started when she bought a farm in 2017. It was the peak of the drought, when many others were leaving the land, needing to rehome their animals. Carly received a phone call from a desperate owner imploring her to take on a small herd of cattle. She couldn’t help but say yes. Since then, she’s given a home to 400 animals from goats to geese, as well as established camping, glamping and caravanning facilities, creating one unique holiday spot that is adored by families from all over.

Paradise for animal lovers

“I don't necessarily think we set out to have 400 animals, but I guess now we're kind of known for it,” Carly says. From Pedro the teddy bear pony to Blind Freddie the one-eyed horse, Carly knows the name of each one of the furry and feathery friends on her rescue farm, some of whom are colourful characters, like the muscovy ducks who think they run the place and boss visiting dogs around.

When she and her partner started running tours of the farm, they were overwhelmed by the response from the local community. Tours and open days blossomed into sites for tents and caravans, and at the end of 2020 the first of their permanent glamping tents was opened. Families can now take self-guided tours of the farm, with the option of adding a picnic hamper to their ticket so they can laze under a shady tree after they’ve fed the animals. Those who don’t want to leave – and the kids will never want to leave – can stay overnight at one of 53 camping sites or eight deluxe glamping tents. Although the animals are kept separate from the camping accommodation, the closeness to nature is still transformative for many people. “I didn't realise how many kids had never patted a horse or never picked up a baby chicken,” says Carly, happy to offer people that taste of country living when they come.

Sustainability and community at Splitters Farm

Like many Bundaberg locals, Carly is conscious of minimising the carbon footprint of her business and is almost at her goal of being carbon neutral. Installing three 40-kilowatt solar electricity systems was her first priority. This was followed closely by building a state-of-the-art amenities block to recycle wastewater into drinking-quality water so that the local waterways stay clean. She also helps local businesses to minimise food waste by collecting vegetable scraps from fruit farms, wineries, cider factories and cafes for her animals. But it’s the little sustainable touches that guests love the most, like buying honey made by the farm’s bees or wandering into the orchard to pick their own fruit.

There’s also a terrific sense of community at Splitter’s Farm that Carly works hard to cultivate among guests. In fact, it's that personal contact with visitors that gives her the most pleasure. The brand new camp kitchen allows her to do this more easily through on site events as well as connecting with guests through activities like damper making. “When we're not flat out busy I get the chance to go and saddle up a horse and just walk it around the park to give people pony rides,” she says. At the end of the day, there’s just one way to measure the satisfaction of the families who come to stay. “My gauge for success is that every customer has had a piece of us or that we've given them something unexpected,” she says. “Basically, if your kids don't want to go we've done our job right”.

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Friday, 19 July 2024

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