What is Agritourism?
Agritourism is essentially tourism-oriented around visiting, and staying on, farms and ranches – in other words, it is the intersection of tourism and agriculture. In the past, people mainly considered Australian agritourism as visits to vineyards or basic farm stays. However, agritourism in Australia has much more to offer than this. It could include eating at farm-based restaurants, shopping at farmers’ markets, or touring a region that is known for particular produce. Agritourism might be for pure enjoyment, for educational purposes, or to participate in activities.
I’m interested in agritourism in Australia. What are my options?
If you would like to participate in agritourism during your travels in Australia, there are several options. Some companies offer packages, organising your accommodation and activities for you. This could be anything from 2 nights to 4 weeks or more. In this instance, the company will arrange a transfer from the nearest accessible town or city, some or all of your meals, accommodation at a functional farm with a family, and farm-based activities.
Alternatively, you can organise your own itinerary. This can be a good option if you want more independence, as you can stay in your own ‘suite’ within the farm, where you can cook your own meals and operate on your own schedule. In this case, you will probably need to organise your own transport to the farm and take care of planning your own activities.
What else do I need to know?
If you are travelling from outside Australia to participate in local agritourism, there are a few things you should consider before booking your trip.
- Check the climate at the time of year you are planning to visit. Remember, Australia’s seasons might not align with your home country – Australian summer is European and American winter, and vice versa. Don’t come in August expecting scorching temperatures!
- Pick your location and route. Australia is a huge country, so if you decide to visit several regions, you should check a map and how to travel between them. Unless you have a lot of time, you will probably have to focus on one part of the country.
- Book your accommodation in advance. If you want some or all of your trip to be made up of agritourism, you should book this before arrival. As it often involves staying with a family, last minute arrivals are not usually appropriate.
- Check the Australian road rules if you are planning to drive. Remember, Australians drive on the left side of the road! Make sure you are eligible to hire a car, and that you are up to speed on any major differences between Australian road rules and those of your home country.
Does agritourism benefit Australian farmers?
Not only is agritourism a fantastic way to experience Australia, but it also benefits Australian farmers and the agricultural economy. Approximately 1.8 million domestic and international tourists visited Australian farms in the year 2015-2016, and bring huge benefit to Australia due to the fact that agritourism is generally concentrated in areas that do not generally benefit economically from tourism.
If you think agritourism could be an interesting way to experience Australia, look into your options today!