Welcome to Ocean Farm
Driving Directions - (you can't enjoy the farm if you can't get here!)
The House: Troubleshooting
We have tried to make the house as easy to operate as possible; however as with all houses there are a couple of tricks that might help
Telephone Coverage: We get great service from both Optus and Telsta. As of mid 2014, Vodafone struggles. The Optus and Telstra internet coverage is better than the wired service to the house (see WiFi below).
WiFi: The house is rigged up for WiFi in the main room – and some of the bedrooms will receive service too. We don’t have a password, so you can click on any network that you find. If you are connected to the wireless network and the internet does not work then please restart the Modem/router AND your computer. The Modem/Router is located in the cupboard to the right of the chimney in the main room.
Internet Speed: I have the best service I can get in the area…BUT it is still not fast enough. It will be fine for email and documents, but you will struggle with Video files at busy times of the day.
Music: In the main room the stereo is located in the cupboard to the right of the chimney. Connect your iPod onto the stereo jack located on the bench to the right of the chimney. Set AMP to AUX. Control volume using both the iPod and the stereo system. Please do not have the volume too loud (as in the speakers distorting). They can blow up and you are subject to a replacement fee.
Hot Water: We have instant on Gas for the farm. It is not a mains feed – so we have big gas bottles as fuel. Every few months they run out and need changing. If the hot water runs out, please excuse us and you can switch to the new bottles very easily – by calling Craig on 0417 494 358 OR by doing it yourself. Under the balcony on the ocean side in line with the fire-place. (a torch is located on the wall in the closet near the garage entrance if you need it.)
- 1. Switch off the electric power points to the instant on units on the wall.
- 2. Find the two bottles that are currently open (like BBQ gas bottles). Screw close the knob so that is it tightly shut.
- 3. Screw open the new gas bottles using the knob on top.
- 4. Switch the Instant On gas units back on.
- 5. The water should now heat up……
- 6. Please send a text to Craig letting him know that you have done this so he can order more gas. 0417 494 358.
TV & DVD Foxtel: Are located in the loft. Detailed instructions are left in a tray with the remotes at the top of the stairs. The TV screen is a pull down type in the window bay in the loft. Audio and Foxtel equipment are in the cupboard just to your right as you top the stairs in the loft (under the window.) I have a selection of DVD’s available. Please replace after use.
BBQ: The gas bottle should be full and the BBQ ready to go. If you run out of gas, you will find a spare bottle in the garage under the surfboard rack
Pool Heating: The pool is not heated due to environmental reasons – (the power required to heat such a large volume of water is huge. Solar is not an option as we don’t have enough north facing roof space to create a difference.)
Cattle: The cattle are all friendly and are not dangerous. If they come running up to you don’t worry, they are just curious. THEY WILL NOT HURT YOU. If you feel nervous, a loud “SHOO” and a wave of your arms should send them running.
Things to do on the Farm
Checkout www.lovegerringong.com for up-to-date things to do in the area.
5 Great walks on the farm arranged in order of difficulty.
The Headland – A gentle stroll straight out of the front door, along the driveway to the U -bend and keep heading straight south along the grassy car track. About as flat as you will get here and great views along the way.
Rockshelf exploration – Head along the driveway, when you get to the U bend continue straight south along the grassy car track. After about 75 meters, turn left down the other grassy track to the ocean. At the bottom of the hill climb over the gate and onto the rockshelf. South you will find a cave and amphitheatre, north is for the adventurous.
To Kiama – Head to the ocean and walking track as for the walk above then turn left and walk along the coastal walking track to Kiama – about 1 hour each way. Wonderful views if you ever wondered what was on the other side of the hill.
To Gerringong – As for the Kiama walk except you head right to Gerringong. You can stop at Werri Beach or keep walking along the beach OR head 1 street inland to Fern St
Rainforest exploration - Get your long sleeved shirts on and hiking boots and head for the rainforest for an exploration. Dangers include: Ticks, leaches, steep hills, loose rocks and stinging-nettle trees. A good “adventure” to get lost in the rainforest for 10 minutes. 2 locations – Just to the North of the house down to the dam in front OR the point marked X on the map.
We have noted over 40 species of birds on the farm (noted in the bird book on the shelf). If you consider yourself a watcher and identify a new one, feel free to note it along with your name, time and conditions. (House rule – it must be identified by at least 2 people for it to count!)
Good rock fishing on the bay. On the southern shelf it is easier casting, but you will probably still lose tackle. On the northern shelf it is a long cast, but with bigger fish. Always take care while fishing on rocks, it is a dangerous sport and should only be done by those with experience.
A couple of times per year the northern break right out front works. When it does it is spectacular and BIG. (NE swell, long period with some sort of westerly wind). Surf at your own risk as this wave is heavy, but so much fun if you make it.
Things to do in the area
I will not try to recreate the local tourist guide here, but will give you a recommendation of a couple of things I personally like….and a couple to stay away from!
If you like your towns cute, quaint and full of bakeries selling cream buns and shops selling doilies and bali inspired drink coasters, then Berry is your place! Beyond that, you would have seen it all before and if it were my choice, I would relax, make a coffee and chill on the daybed at Ocean Farm. (15 Minutes from Ocean Farm)
Tiny little town with a long beach. Great for younger kids to play on the sand and a great place to walk along the hard packed beach – for miles. Gerroa is 7-10 minutes south of Ocean Farm.
Other things to do
Jamberoo Action Park
I have not been there for years, but have friends with children who love this place and will drive from Sydney to go there. 15 minutes from Ocean Farm. www.jamberoo.net
A wonderful place to visit if you are staying at Ocean Farm for a week or so and want to get out. See the website for details- www.illawarrafly.com.au 25 Minutes from Ocean Farm
Crooked River Winery
If you are desperate to visit a winery then go here, however from my experience you are better off saving your visit to the Hunter, South Australia or Mudgee. I have heard good things about the Coolangatta estate – 20 minutes away in the Shoalhaven Heads.
A lovely beach just north of Kiama. The northern end is protected from the North Easterlies and has a really relaxed atmosphere. Watch for rips on bigger days.
A picturesque beach about 25 minutes from Ocean Farm. In my opinion on of the prettiest beaches on the coast. Difficult to find – put “Buckleys Road, Shellharbour” into your GPS.
So you want some hills? My favourite is parking at Kiama, head to Albion Park then to Robertson via the Macquarie Pass. Have a pie. Then either back to Jamberoo and Kiama via the Jamberoo pass (very steep and pretty) OR onwards to Kangaroo Valley, up Berry Pass, down to Berry, then to Gerroa via the back road, then Gerringong. I would then catch a train from Gerringong to Kiama so I don’t have to do the princes Hwy. (or you can do the train bit first and leave the car at Gerringong so you don’t have to hang around for trains at the end of a ride)
You can also find all the hills you want in Kiama / Saddleback OR drive to Berry and hit the hills to Kangaroo Valley and beyond if you wish.
Was big in the 80’s… not so much any more. If a big southerly storm comes in then you might want to go to the very south of Werri Beach in Gerringong to watch. (park in the carpark then walk along the grass further south for some nice viewing.)
Massages, treatments, facials etc etc. Delivered to Ocean Farm for you and your guests. We have partnered with Team Spa to come and look after you. www.teamspa.com.au 0431 282 307 Ocean Farm guests get 20% off the regular rate.
A similar service is also available through www.Pamper-me.com.au Pamper me have come to the farm many times.
Champange – Ocean Farm Special offer
As a side business, I import a couple of brands of champagne into Australia. These are “grower champagnes” whereby the process of growing to fermenting to mixing to bottling is controlled by the individual grower / farmer. You can read more about this on my website if you choose. I believe that Australians can get much better and more interesting tasting champagne for similar money if they move away from the big 3 brands.
My first container has just arrived into Australia and I have decided to offer guests of Ocean Farm the chance to buy bottles to enjoy at the farm or at home for a 20% discount. The bottles will be waiting for you in the fridge when you arrive! (I particularly like the rosé - which tastes much superior to other rosés’ that I have found.)
The online shop is here: http://www.upstageimports.com.au and as a guest of Ocean Farm you receive 20% off. Please enter the code “ofg” into the checkout page. Or simply call or email and I can give some recommendations.
A couple of good restaurants have opened in the area over the past few years. If you are looking for truly spectacular then this is not the place for you – possibly Melbourne or Tasmania might suit. However if you are just looking to get out of the house and have someone else cook there are some good places about. Here are some of my favourites.
Breakfast / Lunch
This is where things have really picked up lately with a couple of good to very good places opening up. You will find all sorts of places in both Kiama and Gerringong, but these are the ones I can swear by.
Hungry Monkey in Kiama http://thehungrymonkeyyy.com/ for a great burger, good coffee or honest (and well priced) breakfast. My first and last stop in Kiama.
Flour Salt Water bakery in Kiama http://www.flourwatersalt.com.au/. Very good deserts, breads, cakes etc. Not your usual country town baker. More like a Bourke St. Bakery.
Berry Sourdough Bakery, Berry – Possibly the best breakfast in the area (but no better than many places in Sydney). Does very good breads and cakes. Can get slow and busy if you leave it too late! Wonderful apple tart. 23 Prince Alfred St, Berry NSW 253
Seahaven Café in Gerroa – A truly good place for a big burger or breakfast in the area. Transforms itself into very good food at night. No really – properly good and well thought out food with a sophisticated menu and wine from a real bottle. At the bottom of the hill opposite the footbridge.
Recommended: Seahaven Café in Gerroa. See above. But by far and away my recommendation on a nice night. Best food in the area and carries no pretentions.
Pizza – Zoobs at Gerringong. It will save you from cooking. Not bad Pizza. Generic try-hard-fancy other stuff. Stick with the Pizza. Takeaway or dine in.
Upscale: Silos – South of Berry. Set on some vineyards and meant to be very pretty. I have not eaten there before, and have heard mixed reviews – from Wonderful to disappointing. Hmm, not much more I can say about that.
Family: The Gerroa Fishermans Club – BIG schnitzels, COLD schooners and a chance to win a fish tray at the raffle. Fine if unspectacular food. In and out quickly with good parking. Also lots of TVs for sport if anyone is interested.
Groceries and general supplies are available in Gerringong IGA. It is a medium sized supermarket with everything generally available. Fruit and veg are fine (but no better) as is the meat. You will find everything else you would need here. Alcohol is available at the bottle shop next door.
A second choice is the Kiama Woolworths. Bigger, flasher, harder to park with much the same stuff as the IGA. However there is a pretty good Fruit and Veg shop next to the Woolies.
Best local butcher is Adam’s Meats on the North Eastern section of Gerringong. By far the best meat and very good eggs. Be warned, he shuts around 1pm on Saturday and you won’t see him again until Monday.
For the best meat in Sydney (in my humble opinion) you should stop at Pino’s Meats in Kogarah (45 Presidents Ave). It is directly on your way from the City and has really good quality meats. Directly opposite this is a very good Fruit and Veg shop. So basically you can do all your shopping on route to the farm and not have to do any shopping while down here.
Buena Vista Farm
Amazing local farm that offers cooking classes if you book early enough. This is a wonderful place to see but bookings are essential and it is not a walk in place.
History and Facts: Ocean Farm
Ocean Farm – the farming bit – consists of 180 acres of grazing and dairy farming land. Running from the about 1km from Werri Beach north to the area in front of the main house and then back to the highway.
200 years ago the land was densely forested with Cedar trees which the first Europeans duly harvested starting in about 1830. Since then the land was used for growing wheat (unsuccessfully) and then for dairy – for which it is well suited - with regular rainfall, rich soil and proximity to market .
Currently the land is farmed by the Miller family who have lived in the area for nearly 200 years. The farm is currently owned by the Burrell family who have owned it since 1983.
The original house for the farm is located on your left as you drive in near the sheds and Bill Miller, one of the original owners who was born in 1919 (ish) has lived his entire life in that house and still lives there.
The current house was commissioned by Sir Raymond Burrell and his wife Lady Burrell in 1983 and was designed and built by renowned Sydney architect, Espie Dodds. The original brief for the house to represent a series of small farm buildings clustered together while still remaining usable as a weekend house.
I took over the running of the farm in 2005 and implemented a series of changes and upgrades including the pool, which was built in 2009. Interestingly, William Zuccon, the architect who designed the pool worked on the house in 1983 as one of his first jobs.
Drew Burrell - 2015.