Western Australia’s South West region is generally known for it’s spectacular coastline and wine region in Margaret River – but have you been to Balingup?! As the seasons change and summer approaches, an ethical farm stay in Balingup is the perfect little getaway & I have found a beautiful place where you can do just that.
Balingup is a small country town located just 2.5hrs south of Perth and is surrounded by rolling green hills, stunning countryside, forests and walking trails. It sits at the entrance to the Blackwood River Valley and is famously known for it’s quirky scarecrow population scattered around the town.
The town of Balingup has previously been used as a service centre to meet the demands of the dairy, potato and fruit growing industry. However, thankfully these days it is becoming well known for its locally handcrafted pottery, herbal products, and quirky festivals.
One of the quirkiest festivals is the Balingup Medieval Carnivàle that occurs in August each year. People flock to the town and dress up in medieval themed costumes as part of the celebrations. Also, on a day in April each year, the entire town is decorated with 100’s of colourful scarecrows.
Without a doubt, the best place to stay in Balingup is Balingup Highview Chalets. The chalets are located on a property at the top of Bailey Heights just a 1 minute drive from the main strip in town. The property has spectacular views of the rolling green hills in the area and if that hasn’t already sold it to you, the best bit (in my opinion) is that it is home to LOTS of rescue farm animals!
Balingup Highview Chalets is situated on 5 acres and consists of two self contained chalets that have sweeping views of the valley and rolling green hills. The chalets are owned by a lovely vegan couple who really take pride in the property and have ethically equipped the chalets. They also VERY clearly love all of the sanctuary animals that they have rescued.
The chalets are self-contained and include a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area and spacious bathroom. There is also a TV and a DVD player, however if you love animals, I doubt you’ll spend much time watching TV! Each chalet has a private deck overlooking the valley and the animals on the property – it is such a treat to watch the animals graze and enjoy their day whilst having a meal or drink on the deck.
The chalets have been styled and resourced with veganism, sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind. It was such a lovely surprise to check-in and find vegan chocolate on our towels, soy milk in the fridge for teas and coffees and vegan biscuits (Lotus Biscoff).
All of the toiletries (body wash, lotion & soap) and cleaning products (spray & wipe and dish-washing liquid) are vegan. The toilet paper used is ‘Who Gives a Crap’ which is environmentally friendly. The chalets are also equipped with fresh rain water and you can definitely taste the difference – the quality is amazing!
Now to the best bit. The property is home to lots of rescue animals, including; sheep, alpacas, cows, joeys, a miniature pony, chickens, ducks and a very friendly dog named Trevor. Most of the animals have found a home in Balingup Highview Chalets as a result of unfortunate circumstances. Many of the sheep were saved from holdings yard prior to being put on live export ships bound for overseas, the two cows were bobby calves from the dairy industry due to be slaughtered as they do not produce milk and the joeys are orphans. All of the animals at the chalets are now free of suffering and are free to enjoy their lives without fear of exploitation.
Many of the animals have been hand-reared so are very familiar with humans, and most of them love pats and cuddles! As a guest at the chalet, you are free to roam in and out of the paddocks and spend as much time with the animals as you wish. Tip: the animals LOVE Weetbix so be sure to stock up. The sheep are surprisingly athletic when there are Weetbix involved so be prepared, haha!
For us, it was SO refreshing to meet hosts who have similar values and views to us, especially in regards to veganism and animal exploitation. It was so lovely to stay somewhere and know that everything is vegan and eco-friendly! I sincerely hope this is a sign of changing times and the new future ahead for both travel and day-to-day living.
Of course, this property is certainly not for ‘vegans only’. Anyone is welcome to visit & stay at the property and interact with the animals.
Details on how to book can be made direct via their website, or directly via mobile or email. Bookings can also be made on partner websites however direct bookings are the best option as part of each booking is donated to the amazing Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary in Mt Helena, Perth.
I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did – we can’t wait to return!