After the last few Covid-crazy months, when the regional borders started to open, I started looking around at some farm stay options in the south west region of WA. After hours of scouring the internet I hit the jackpot with Diamond Forest Farm Stay – a dog-friendly farm stay in between Manjimup and Pemberton.
Thanks to Covid-19, our plans for a once in a lifetime holiday to Florida were well and truly out of the picture. And with the WA borders currently closed, with no potential opening date, we’ve all got a golden opportunity to start exploring more of our stunning state.
So I was super excited to discover Diamond Forest Farm Stay. They’re dog-friendly which means our new puppy addition to the family could come along as well. There aren’t many farm stays that allow pets, with good reason, so this feature is a huge plus for those of us with furry members of the family. We booked a last minute mid-week break and headed off to explore a part of WA we hadn’t seen yet.
Location & Cottages
Nestled between Manjimup and Pemberton, in the South West of WA, you’ll find Diamond Forest Farm Stay. It took us around 4 hours in total to get there (plus a stop for lunch). That was coming from the northern suburbs of Perth so if you live south of the river it will be even less.
There are 4 cottages to hire – 2 are pet-friendly and all of them have 2 bedrooms, sleeping a maximum of 5 people. The cottages are super cosy and come with reverse cycle air con, keeping you cool in summer and toasty warm in winter.
All of the cottages look out over the animal paddocks, and with the sheep and goat being free range during the day, they can come right up to your cottage while grazing.
The cottages are very well equipped and had everything we needed during the stay. The pet-friendly cottage we stayed in had a fully fenced garden area which mean we could let the dog out without worrying about him escaping and heading off on his own farm adventure.
There is no phone signal there (we’re with Optus so not sure if other providers would be better) and while there is Wi-Fi, it was patchy. This could have been because our cottage was the furthest away from reception though. It did however provide me with a legitimate reason to switch off and literally unplug from all things work-related!
Things To Do At Diamond Forest Farm Stay
Another reason we choose to book a stay at Diamond Forest Farm Stay was all the activities on offer on site. It’s a complete paradise for nature-loving kids. They have heaps of animals and each morning you can help feed them with owners Mark and Kerriann.
You are also free to wander around the farm during the day. They have a very clever system to keep you and their animals safe. Each gate either has a red cross or a green tick on it – green tick gates are fine to use, and red tick gates mean keep out.
Their animals currently include:
- A horse and a pony
They also have a 3-acre dam with trout and marron. You can bring your own rods to fish, or you can hire a rod for your stay when you arrive. They also loan out their marron scoop so you can have a go at catching marron. If you catch and release, there is no charge but you can keep your catch if you want to as well – check out their website for costs.
Canoes are available to borrow and you can have a paddle around the dam if you’re up for it. For chilly nights, there’s a fire pit and huge box full of wood – you can head down to the dam, build a fire and roast your marshmallows while the kids hunt for marron (they come to the edge of the water at night so are super easy to spot and catch).
With Mr10 being a keen fisherman and animal lover, he was completely in heaven for our whole stay.
There’s also a games room you can use with a foosball table and air hockey, plus some books and games to play (outdoor games, board games and video games).
What To Do Around Manjimup & Pemberton
Even though regional borders and businesses were re-opening during May and June, we did find a lot of the tourist attractions, wineries and restaurants were still closed or had very limited opening times during our stay.
We also really just wanted a break, so didn’t feel the need to do that much while we were there. Also, as we had the dog with us, we had to be mindful of what we could do with him. There is the option to leave your dogs at your cottage if you wanted to go out without them, but we didn’t do this.
Manjimup Heritage & Timber Park
When it wasn’t raining, we took our chance and headed into Manjimup to explore the Manjimup Heritage & Timber Park. There was so much to see and do we spent a good few hours here.
First, the playground – it was amazing! While Mr10 is starting to outgrow kids’ playgrounds, they do have one of the tallest kids slides, which is attached to a 17m high viewing platform. I was too chicken to go down it as I’m not keen on heights but we did make it to the top of the viewing area. It was a little wobbly in the wind so be warned!
The playground seems to have a bit of a Dr Seuss feel with crooked houses and bright, colourful equipment. There’s also a 40m flying fox which was just SO much fun (yes, I may have had a few go’s on it myself!).
Beside the playground, there is a Historic Hamlet, which has used old buildings from around the region and relocated them to the park. They’re set up just like the village may have looked in the past, with a doctor’s surgery, a blacksmith, police station, school and home.
There is also the Steam Museum, the State Timber Museum and a new Power Up Electricity Museum to explore. The Electricity Museum has a café that was highly recommended but was unfortunately closed on the day we went. Instead, we visited the nearby Two Little Blackbirds café and got some coffee, soup and toasties which we enjoyed on one of the many picnic tables around the playground.
After some lunch to warm up, we took a stroll around the forest trail that backs onto the playground, and discovered more hidden old buildings and machinery being stored and awaiting restoration.
If you have kids, this is a great spot to visit and you really could spend a whole day here.
Diamond Forest Lookout
Only a few kilometres from Diamond Forest Farm Stay is the Diamond Tree, one of the original climbing trees in the region.
The climbing trees were originally used as fire lookouts back in the 1930s and 1940s. There were 8 constructed and in use, but only 3 remain now – and only 2 are still climbable.
The Diamond Tree is one such tree but you can no longer climb it due to rot discovered near the base of the tree. You can visit it however to appreciate just how high up those lookout towers were, and how much health and safety has developed since the 1940s!
There is a dog-friendly walking trail starting at the Diamond Tree that takes you through the gorgeous forest, with different plants and trees marked out along the way.
Other Things To Do In The Pemberton – Manjimup Area
There are plenty more places to see and things to do around this area. Here are some ideas for other activities within an hour or two.
The Gloucester Tree
The Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree
Donnelly River Cruises
Pemberton Hiking & Canoeing
Understorey in Northcliffe
Valley of The Giants Treetop Walk
Lost Lake Winery
Big Brook Dam & Forest
Cascades at Gloucester National Park
Heartbreak Trail Scenic Drive
Northcliffe Pioneer Museum
Pemberton Mountain Bike Park
We had an amazing stay for 3 nights at Diamond Forest Farm Stay. Nothing was too much trouble for Mark & Kerriann. If you’re looking for a place to escape, where the kids will be in their element being outdoors, surrounded by animals and forests, and your dog is welcome too, this is the place to go.
Find them online now:
Disclosure: All expenses were paid by me, all opinions are my own, and I was in no way asked to write, or compensated in any way for this post.