Gumnuts Farm Resort is a horse riding resort, among many other things, situated on 140-acres in Canungra, QLD which is found in the Gold Coast hinterlands, approximately 70km south-west of Brisbane. Owned by the Webster family since 1985 the farm started as riding school for children during the school holidays and has since come to be a full-fledged farm stay, offering outback experiences for Australian and Japanese couples, families, tour groups, school camps, and holidays camps.
Although the farm has quite a few activities, including cow milking, boomerang throwing, whip cracking, shooting, Cattle & Dog Shows, and 4WD tours, the main focus of the farm is the horse riding tours. The horse riding tours range from half day tours to full day rides and includes all gear required (and a horse of course). According to the Gumnuts MySpace pages the farm has approximately 25 horses at their disposal; however unfortunately when we visited we were not given appropriate horses.
During our visit we were fortunate to have been the only people staying at the farm for the weekend, another couple was supposed to be arriving but did not show. Greeted by a very friendly group of Japanese farm hands we were quick to get started with the horse riding. Having only ever ridden a horse once prior to the farm stay it was fair to say that my horse riding skills were lacking, and as such, I would have expected to have been given a fairly relaxed, calm, and slow horse which I could feel comfortable upon… this was not the case.
The horse that I had been given was named King. He is a standardbred Gelding, with a stubborn nature and scares easily. The ride started off well, with four of us trotting along the main road, but then King decided he had had enough and decided to turn around to go back home. After some persuasion, he turned back around on the track and continued on our journey… that is until a car passed us, giving King a fright, sending him into a gallop. Luckily I was able to quickly bring him to a quick stop (before being thrown off). This was the first, but not last time this occurred. In the end, we decided that it would be best just to turn around and go back to the farm.
After arriving back at the farm we proceeded with the rest of the activities on our schedule; milking the cow, boomerang throwing, whip cracking, and shooting. The friendly staff were kind enough to let us take our time and enjoy each of the activities at our own leisure. Included in the farm stay were 3 meals (lunch, dinner, and breakfast) which were nothing fancy, but edible meals cooked by the farm hands. During the evening, after having completed all of the activities we had free roam of the farm, taking in the beautiful areas and getting some nice photos during sunset.
A great bonus of the farm is that it is extremely close to O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park, for a significantly cheaper price than staying at the O’Reilly resort. All in all Gumnuts Farm Resort is a cheap and fun way to get back in touch with nature but is more suited for larger tourist groups then a couples/family getaway.