During my first week in Sydney, my group and I visited a sheep farm called Tobruk Sheep Station. The farm was about an hour and a half from Sydney, containing beautiful scenic views along the way. I had an interesting time at Tobruk Sheep Station and am ready to write a full review on my visit!
I imagine you’re thinking “Sheep? Really?” I had those same thoughts going into the excursion. My mind completely changed when our buses pulled onto the farm.
Immediately we were welcomed by the happiest dogs just jumping for joy and asking for pats on their backs. Suddenly, the crack of a whip caught our attention. The stockman (farmer) came out cracking his up while atop his horse. The whip was shockingly loud and made everyone flinch every time it was cracked. To our surprise, one of the dogs jumped on top of the Tobruk sign in order to be carried on to the horse. This is because Australian farms are typically larger in size and getting around can be very tiring for their dogs. To make it easier on them, the stockman will just carry the dog with them on the horse. It was honestly the cutest thing and definitely a “good boy” alert.
Proceeding the adorable introduction to the farm, we followed the stockman to the shed where there were a collection of picnic tables surrounding a fire pit. The stockman began to talk about Australian farms and the differences between the farms they have here than the ones around the world. Australian farms, as I mentioned before, tend to be much larger than typical farms. Farmers also live on their lands and have multiple sheds. The sheds are not just for storage equipment, but also for farmers to camp out if it gets too late to get back to their homes.
After a brief farming history, he gave a comedic demonstration of how to make traditional tea over a fire. He also pulled out some bread that had been baking in the fire for some time.
Yes, we did have the opportunity to try the tea and bread. It was pretty much our breakfast being that it was 11AM in the morning. The tea sweet when combined with the milk. It made me want to start putting milk in my teas, I usually just drink it with water and honey. The bread was topped with a sweet syrup. If it didn’t have that syrup it would have been too dry for me to eat. There also wasn’t much of a taste to it. It was till cool to try though.
After our small breakfast came the whip demonstration. The stockman showed off his cracking whip skills, which were pretty impressive. Whips are not used to harm animals in any way. They are mainly used to grab animals attention and make sure they are being lead the correct way. The demonstration was longer than I was expecting, but entertaining to watch. We did get the chance to crack one, but that came later. The stockman also gave a brief boomerang demonstration. I say brief because he only threw it once.
Having sheep in the name is pretty misleading if you never see any sheep. Of course, the next portion of our visit contained the infamous sheep. The dogs are trained to go on their own to collect the heard of sheep and bring them to the front of the farm. It wasn’t too long of a distance for them and it was mind blowing to see the dogs do this all on their own. The stockman spoke about how the dogs are simply trained to heard the sheep, not to get aggressive with them. He had four dogs out, but only two doing the job. He mentioned the others were still in training for the job.
After the sheep arrived we had the opportunity to go down and take a “shelfie” as the stockman called it. The sheep were adorable and very friendly. I had never felt so much joy seeing so many sheep.
The next part was the sheep sheering which I wasn’t too excited about. It really was not my personal favorite part of the trip so I’ll just leave it at that.
Finally, lunch time! Being a foodie, I’m always excited to see what my next foodventure is. My plate was filled with mixed greens, potato, pasta, beef, and chicken. Everything on my plate was delicious to my surprise. The beef turned out to be sheep (wild, I know). It was really tasty, though. The sheep wasn’t oily or fatty. It was just great, chewy meat. I had it with some barbecue sauce on the side and finished it all. I will say I’m glad they told me it was sheep AFTER I started it eating it. I enjoy trying new things and I’m glad I had the courage to try sheep. I was always very skeptical about it. The pasta was a little too salty, but still good. The chicken was fresh and seasoned perfectly. It was delicious and did not need any ketchup or barbecue sauce with it. Both the potato and salad were very plain. I ate them, but they were each missing something.
Lastly was my favorite part, getting to crack a whip. I don’t believe I successfully cracked, but it was still fun. I slapped on the goggles they provided and whipped away. Cracking a whip is not easy in any way, but was still an experience to try.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to throw my boomerang. I am actually really dissapointed about this. I purchased one as a souvenir, but also because I was excited to actually use it. Our group was rushed into our buses after everyone cracked their whips.
I’m still in Australia for another two weeks so hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to toss my boomerang on Aussie lands.
Overall, Tobruk Sheep Station was a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else. I highly recommend making a trip out here for some Aussie fun. The staff is also incredibly friendly and always make sure their guests are having the best time.