“We’re here!” came the cry as the bus turned into Chesterfield Farm on Tuesday, for the first day of The Huddle’s School Holiday Program.  

As the 34 participants made their way up the driveway, they shouted the name of every animal they could see and within seconds, the hustle and bustle of city life was left behind.

Hopping off the bus, participants were split into two groups, the first treated to a tractor tour of Chesterfield Farm to learn about farm animals and native Australian wildlife.

The second group got up close to some favourite farm animals including ten-day-old calves, sheep, goats, rabbits, farm dogs and experienced a first-hand encounter with a blue-tongue lizard.

Coming back together for lunch, participants then had the opportunity to feed the animals.  

At first tentative, participants were soon crowding around the fence to be the first one to feed the goats, emus, camels, pigs, and geese.

“Day one of Huddle Holidays has been pretty brilliant,” The Huddle’s education coordinator, Ruth Game said.

“We have had a huge turnout and we have got some parents here as well which is really nice to see.

“There was a bit of hesitation at the start, but once the kids saw how to feed the animals and saw some of the other kids doing it there was a bit more confidence.

“We try out fun activities where there is a learning component and a bit of adventure and at Chesterfield Farm, we got to get up close with native and farm animals.”

An opportunity to learn first-hand farm skills, the atmosphere of the day had everyone laughing, smiling and in some cases, overcoming their fears.

Designed to provide participants with the opportunity to learn new skills, and build new connections, it was heard the first day of The Huddle’s school holiday program was a trip of success.