The Alpaca Nursery

Book your four person farmstay with us and get close up and personal with the alpacas. There are some very inquisitive little cria’s running around the paddocks right now.

At night we keep them safe and warm in our alpaca nursery with mum and listen to them humming away.

Visit our website www.littlevalleyfarm.com.au to book your farmstay via AirBnB.

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Discover a world of Little Valley Farm

So much has been happening on the farm this season. From cria births to our annual event, afternoon-on-the-farm alpaca workshop plus our goofy Guinea Fowl as well as Winston the Alpaca - a fabulous drawing by local Hunter Valley artiste. Tonight we say farewell a very warm Autumn and here comes the cold.

Click on the images to view our full Little Valley Farm Instagram page.

Hello little ones!

May is a busy time for us with lots of cria’s unpacking plus our alpaca open day. A big welcome to Roscoe-Lilly and Boey born this month. The weather has been perfect and when winter eventually comes around we have our little coats on and plenty of alpaca shelters.

Lilly and Roscoe on the right and Zoey and Boey on the left.

Don’t forget we currently have some wethers for sale as pairs so contact us for more info.

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Sunday afternoon on the Alpaca farm. For buyers and lovers

Afternoon-on-the-farm is a great way to learn about alpacas for anyone who is interested including those with small acreage and those just who are just dreaming of having a couple of alpacas as pets or lawnmowers.

You will get to know them, feed them and enjoy food and drinks in the park like surrounds of Little Valley Farm.

It will be a great way to learn about;

* alpaca health,

* best shed layouts for shearing and small pens,

* appropriate shade,

* best feed, grass and paddocks,

* nail trimming, grooming, shearing and vaccinations

*alpaca fleece, spinning and knitting.

Get some hands-on experience and ask any questions you have about these amazing creatures.


This day is suitable for people wanting to buy or even just dreaming to own alpaca’s.  Little Valley Farm is a registered breeder with the Australian Alpaca Association.


Cost: $20+gst per person. 

Sunday: 26th May, 2019

Please do not bring your dogs to our farm.

Wood-fired pizza snacks and drinks on the train deck in the afternoon.

Buy tickets through Eventbrite (link) and email us at danielariccio@hotmail.com to let us know your coming. 


Times are 12:30pm to 3pm.

Location: Laguna, Hunter Valley, you will be emailed a map.

RSVP: A must as limited places available.

Payment: Info below. Ticket price + gst & booking fee.

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Buy your tickets here before 23rd May, 2019.

Small Acerage Alpaca Workshop - Considering buying alpacas?

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Afternoon-on-the-farm is a great way to learn about alpacas if you have small acerage and are considering having 2 or 3 as pets or lawnmowers then this is for you.

Its a great way to learn about;

  • alpaca health,

  • best sheds layouts for shearing and small pens,

  • appropriate shade,

  • feed, grass and paddocks

  • learn how to trim nails, grooming, shearing and vaccinations,

  • Find out which alpaca is best for you - females / wethers / entire male.  

  • Get hands-on experience and ask questions before you embark on your alpaca journey. 

    This day is suitable for people wanting to buy or are looking at buying in the future. Little Valley Farm is a registered breeder with the Australian Alpaca Assocation.

    Cost: $20 per person.

    Time: 12-2:30pm.  
    Children to be over the age of 12. 
    Please do not bring your dogs to our farm. 

    Wood-fired pizza snacks and drinks on the train deck in the afternoon.

    RSVP via email to danielariccio@hotmail.com to confirm your place as numbers are limited.  

    Payment: Via bank transfer.
    Location: Laguna, you will be emailed a map. 

    Find out more about Little Valley Farm on our website at www.littlevalleyfarm.com.au

    If you would like to stat at our farm, we have our rustic train and shepherds hut for 4 people. You can book here. http://www.littlevalleyfarm.com.au/accomdation



Christmas in July at Little Valley Farm

The alpacas are ready. They love the cold and really love meeting guests. Guests = treats, photobombing and a lot of extra attention.

So get in early and book your Christmas in July for 4 pax and make the most of our vintage train farm stay and tiny shepherds hut including our amazing wood-fire pizza oven, new bonfire and so much more.

Get your digital detox on our off grid farm and celebrate Christmas in July farm style at Little Valley Farm with friends and family.

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Book online with AirBnB here.

~ glamping ~ off-grid ~ eco-friendly ~ digital detox ~ rustic train ~ shepherds hut ~ wood-fired pizza oven ~ bonfire ~ alpacas ~

24 hours in Laguna & Hunter Valley surrounds…

Escape the city as fast as you can, turn off the freeway and head down the scenic Tourist Drive 33 from Calga/Peats Ridge all the way down to Laguna and into historical Wollombi Village. 

1. Stay: Experience the unique farm-stay of Little Valley Farm with their off-grid 1950's red rattler train and tiny shepherd's hut.  The now-famous Laguna vintage-train has a huge hang-out deck with wood-fired pizza oven and an outdoor bath overlooking the frockling herd of alpacas.  It’s a farm-stay experience that is not to be missed when staying in Laguna. www.littlevalleyfarm.com.au

2. Dine: Great Northern Trading Post known as GNTP.  Do experience a Friday night dinner at GNTP in their uber-cool and rustic dining area. Now it's Autumn, book your table near the fireplace.  Lovely owner, Rose will delight you with her seasonal and local produce on offer.  It's the perfect gateway to the Hunter Valley since 1879. So see you there. https://www.gntp.com.au

3. Hike:  Enjoy an early morning hike around Finchley Trig and experience its 360-degrees views over the Yengo National Park and looking out to the Great Blue Mountains World Heritage.  Accessible by 2WD from Laguna via Yango Creek Road and then Upper Yango Creek.  Approx 10km of dirt road. Enjoy its solitude.  

4. Brunch: Enjoy brunch in the newly renovated Myrtle House Cafe and grab your spot in the sunny Garden Bar or on the wrap-around veranda under the shade. On cooler days enjoy the indoor fire for that extra country charm in this 1932 historical building surrounded by Myrtle Trees. https://www.myrtlehouse.com.au

5. Wine Time: Stop and taste the wine around Wollombi Village boutique wineries. First Stop a 19th century sandstone Georgian building with Noyce Brothers Wine Cellardoor in the heart of Wollombi Village and then a short but beautiful drive to Stonehurst Cedar Creek. Trust me, its all very Instagram worthy!  https://www.noycebros.com.au
https://www.stonehurst.com.au/hunter-valley-vineyard/

6. Get Cultural:  The 1866 building was once a Court House, Police Station, Community Hall and now a Museum. Pop in to check out the old black and white images of Wollombi Village. They are amazing of a world-gone-by. If only these walls could talk!  

7. Afternoon delight :  Pop into Laguna Village Providore and pick up some local Hunter Valley Cheese, crackers, Turkish delight and nuts and head back to Little Valley Farm to enjoy the outdoor bath overlooking the alpacas with your boutique wine.  Chillax at its best and your digital detox starts now. 

Next day.. what to do? We say… book in Melissa!

8. Drive by Tour:  Book in a drive-by-tour with Melissa of Grape Experience Tours and spend the day exploring picturesque Broke and up to the Pokolbin Wineries.  Indulge in a long-lunch at Margan or Bistro Molines with views and local cuisine to delight you. Don't forget to stop at the cheese, chocolate and olive factory as well as the breweries and distilleries.  Now you see why you need Melissa to scoot you around!  https://www.grapeexperiencetours.com.au

9. Sleep: You will be blissfully relaxed so go on, you deserve it, sleep-in and then you can play with the alpacas later.  Daniela Riccio,  Little Valley Farm    Photo courtesy of Melbic and Arlie4Cake  Explore more  Visit Wollombi  &  Little Valley Farm - Alpaca Farm

9. Sleep: You will be blissfully relaxed so go on, you deserve it, sleep-in and then you can play with the alpacas later.

Daniela Riccio, Little Valley Farm

Photo courtesy of Melbic and Arlie4Cake

Explore more Visit Wollombi & Little Valley Farm - Alpaca Farm

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Alpacas

We do know Alpacas are definitely cute and people love meeting them. Here are ten things you did not know about alpacas: 

1) There are only two breeds, the huacaya (wuh-kai-ya), which has fluffy hair (fleece) akin to a teddy bear, and the suri alpaca which has long wavy hair (fleece), that hangs off its body and kinda looks like dreadlocks. 

2) Like their cousins the llamas, alpacas spit when angry or annoyed.  Lucky for us, our alpacas are well behaved and only spit at each other when I have the food bucket.  I do have to admit, I have been caught in the spitfire a couple of times.  

3)  Alpacas are gentle on the land with their soft pads on their feet, which does not churn up the paddocks like a cow or horse’s hooves.  They do have long nails and we trim them every three months. 

4) They are known as good lawnmowers as when alpacas eat grass, they snip off the top of the plant unlike some other animals that pull the grass up by the root when eating.

5) They “cush” when seated, meaning they fold their legs under their body making them easy to transport in smaller trailers. 

6) Alpacas’ tails are used to express feelings to each other. If they’re bothered by something they will twitch it back and forth. If an animal is being submissive it will raise its tail over its body and crouch down. 

7)  Alpacas always poop in the same place. They line up to use these communal dung piles in the paddock. We then scoop it up and use in our garden beds as its known as 'alpaca gold' due to no weeds being transferred.

8) Mothers almost always have their babies in the morning. By having their babies in the morning, the cria will have the whole day to dry off, begin walking around, and nurse from its mother before the temperatures begin to drop. 

9) Females have an 11.5 month gestation period and about 90% of the time they don’t need help in the delivery of the babies.

10) Alpacas love to sunbathe.  The first time I saw them sunbathing, I freaked out as they look like they are dead. You can walk right up to them and they won't hear you in their deep sunny slumber. I wish I could sleep like that!  

Don’t forget about our 4 pax farm stay where you can enjoy a full weekend of interaction with these lovely animals. Fact 11, they love to hog the camera! See our farm stay for more details.

If you have small acreage and would love some wethers as fantastic lawnmowers, please contact us as we always have several available for sale. Training and alpaca workshops are also held at Little Valley Farm.

Experience Autumn in our vintage train

Its the most wonderful time to visit the Hunter Valley and especially us at Little Valley Farm. The baby alpacas (cria’s) are due at the end of Autumn. The leaves will start to turn a beautiful red colour and if we are lucky to receive rain, (please give us rain), the paddocks will then be green and super lush.

So come on rain and come along guests for this Autumn experience.

Book via AirBnB here for your unique ‘glamping’ vintage train and shepherds hut experience.

www.littlevalleyfarm.com.au

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Glamping at its best with Little Valley farm. Enjoy the outdoor bath, bonfire, wood-fired pizza oven and the unique bonding with our precious alpacas.

Grown, spun & knitted in Wollombi Valley

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Beanie

100% alpaca beanie

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Waterfall Cardi

100% grown, spun & knitted in Laguna.

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Socks

Alpaca bed socks

Autumn has finally arrived and so has our 100% grown, spun and knitted alpaca garments. We are so pleased to have all these garments made in our valley. They are 100% alpaca fleece and handmade - either spun or knitted.

Our beanie with bed socks will def keep us warm this winter and we are looking forward to wearing our 100% alpaca waterfall design cardi. The cardi is one of my favourite pieces and all the fleece spun is from our herd at Little Valley Farm. For now, we are testing the knitted garments to see how the yarn reacts after several months of wearing. So far we love it!

Don’t forgot you can always buy our handspun yarn. Simply send us an email for price and quantity.

Hello Costa!

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Sydney and meeting up with my all-time favourite person - Costa Georgiadis. You will recognise Costa.... and his beard from the iconic ABC's Gardening Australia show. 

More to come shortly..... on our meeting and podcast. All will be revealed shortly. 

Thank you to Costa for your never-ending energy, enthusiasm and dedication to our great Australian environment. You are a champion! See you soon Costa Georgiadis Official

#littlevalleyfarm #lagunansw #wollombivalley #huntervalley #touristdrive33#alpacafarm #lowerhuntervalley #alpacabreeder Little Valley Farm - Alpaca Farm Daniela Ricci

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Breeding Alpaca's

Autumn is here and so its finally time to join our stud alpaca with our girls. We have changed our mating dates in the last couple of years due to the scorching heatwaves and to make it a more pleasant experience for our alpaca mum’s and cria’s.

We now prefer our births from March to June as the weather is cooler and we have plenty of enclosures to keep the cria and mum warm and out of the rain for the first couple of weeks. Rain, wind and the cold can kill a cria so make sure you have fully-enclosed shelters/pens that will accommodate mum, cria and a companion alpaca in the shed when the weather is not so nice.

What we do:

  1. Summer in the Hunter Valley can reach over 43+ degrees with several days in a row at this unpleasant temperature. So please ensure you have adequate shelter (deep shade) in each paddock. If its hot for you its hot for the alpacas.

  2. Make sure all your alpacas are shorn every year. We shear every October when the sun is not burning hot as we have witnessed sunburn on alpacas shorn December and January when the sun is at it hottest.

  3. Ensure your alpacas have deep shade as well as a large shed as a backup. They do prefer to sit under tree’s but will definitely use the shed when hail or heavy rain appears.

  4. Make sure all your water troughs are placed in a shaded area and not sitting out under the sun. Change the water daily to keep it fresh and cool and use an auto-filler trough. Some days we place ice cubes / bags / bottles inside the trough to keep it chilled.

  5. Shower the alpacas under their bellies on hot days and wet their legs where their sweat glands are. Give them the dam but please ensure they do not get their long skinny legs stuck in the mud and drown.

  6. Summer time is tick time and your young alpacas are more susceptible to ticks. We have found the older alpacas seem to fight it off. So make sure you shear October when the ticks are out and check them all the way until Autumn. Its easier to find a tick on an alpaca once they have been shorn. We have guinea fowl that roam the paddocks looking for ticks also.

  7. For cria’s born in the wind and rain make sure you have a alpaca jacket (dog jacket) for them to wear. Keep the jacket dry at all times and depending on the weather place the jacket on late afternoon and then secure in a fully enclosed pen with mum. Remove jacket early morning.

  8. Make sure your trim your alpaca’s nails every three months. Don't let them get to long and out of shape as they will never be comfortable, look good or be easy to trim again. So trim regularly and it will make the whole process a whole lot easier for you. Hint also trim after the rain as the nails are lovely and soft to cut.

  9. Lucern hay for mum and cria in the pens and some hay for cria to sit on and keep itself warm.

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Alpaca Farm stay BOOKING info

Little Valley farm is an off-grid farm with a 1950's Sydney Train carriage - the famous Red Rattler train.

Rustic farm stay 'glamping' style at Little Valley Farm:  Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed. Its nothing like a hotel, your room does open up to a beautiful landscape instead of a lobby.

More information

A unique 'glamping' farm stay experience for adults plus its the perfect place for star gazing and so much more.

The Space 

We live in a small beautiful secluded valley surrounded by bushland. Our paddocks are the local Wollaroo favourites with good grass all year round. We grow seasonal produce, especially in autumn, spring and summer.

Our train deck is the perfect place to hang out and watch our huacaya alpacas, guinea fowl and chickens moving about the farm totally surrounded by bushland and creek frontage.

We are a working alpaca farm so you will see us about and about. You can get involved in as little or as much as you like. Our house is located up the hill behind the train.

Bedroom 1 - rustic red rattler train carriage features: 

  • Queen bed,

  • Kitchenette with 12 volt fridge and small gas cooking hob,

  • Glam bathroom with hot and cold shower,

  • Waterless-composting toilet,

  • Undercover Gas BBQ,

  • Outdoor wood-fired pizza oven (Requires booking in advance: needs 3 hours slow burn - BYO Pizza). Total Fire ban restrictions may apply during some seasons.

  • Relaxing outdoor bath,

  • Indoor lounge with gas heater,

  • Limited 12 volt lighting,

  • The 'hang-out' deck overlooking the alpaca paddocks. Plus we have two comfy hammocks and a couple of yoga matts available.

General Information
We are an off grid farm and the train is only 12 volt so you can charge your mobile or torch but its not suitable for hairdryers or coffee machines.

The train is not insulated but there is a gas heater in the lounge area and lots of heavy donnas in the bedroom for winter - true glamping style! 

Winter will be cold and summer can be hot - so be prepared for the ‘clamping’ elements.

Bookings:  Spring, Summer & Autumn 2+ nights bookings we take. Winter we take 1 night bookings and our booking calendar will stipulate this.  

Getting Out and About 

GNTP - Great Northern Trading Post has an amazing weekend dinner menu plus brekkie, lunch and great coffee and is only 4.5km. Book for dinner on a Friday night.  Laguna Village Providore will have fresh fruit, veg, deli and providore goods available. Check their website for opening hours.

Mount Yengo and Finchley Track for bushing walk and sight seeing is a short drive away. Find more info here

If you would like to hire bikes to get around please contact Wollombike hire for more info here.  

If you would like a wine tour, please contact Grape Experience Tours fore more info here

For things-to-do, eat and explore please visit the visitwollombi website for more info. 

If you are attending a Pokolbin concert or hot air ballooning - its approx 40 mins drive.

Guest access

Road access is by standard 2WD & 4WD but you will need detailed directions. Our road is not suitable for motorbikes. Our road is a dirt track road with potholes and surrounded by thick bush. It is steep but only in a small section. It looks rough but any standard 2WD car can get up it.  Low cars will need to go super-slow. 

The wedding pick up bus will have to pick you up and drop you off near our letterbox. You will then need to drive to the train. Our driveway is not suitable for buses.

We have limited wi-fi (unreliable) and there is no mobile reception in Laguna, which is a great excuse to unwind from it all. If you pop up to the house we can sort out the wi-fi and we have a fixed landline phone that you can use.

Interaction with guests

We are here for your arrival and departure and to show you around. I will give you a quick tour of the kitchenette and also how the waterless-composting toilet works, 12V lighting plus a couple of other lovely features.

Other things to note

  • We are off-grid & we love it. That means there are no toasters, hairdryers etc

  • The Train has limited 12volt lighting/240volt access is possible on a sunny day. The entire farm is solar run.

  • Rainwater is harvested for the house, livestock & the produce we grow.

  • Please shut all gates to protect our livestock.

  • Drive slow down our 1k driveway as there are wombats, roo's, lyrebirds, goanna's and a lot of native birds and pot holes!

  • Look out for our neighbours kids on their horses and ponies.

  • We are a working farm so you will see us about attending to our daily chores.

  • Pack an esky so you can enjoy brekkie, lunch or dinner on the train.

  • The wood fired pizza oven takes 3 hours slow burn to set up so book it in advance.

  • The train is not insulated nor the bedroom so its cold in winter.

  • Make sure your car is suitable for our driveway. Good for standard car and 4WD.

  • Sheets and towels are provided.

  • Please ensure you take the time to read our T&C's or feel free to send us a query.

  • ID will be requested on booking and confirmation time.

  • Find us on face book and instagram to see what we are working.

  • This is a couples farm stay and we don't accept children under the age of 12.

House Rules

  • No smokers

  • No pets

  • No parties or events

  • Check in 3pm

  • Check out 12noon (if you would like an earlier check-in you will need to book two nights).   

Enjoy!

Little Valley Farm has been featured on the ABC Newcastle and Hunter Coastal Lifestyle magazine and best of all, it's a unique glamping experience in the Wollombi Valley. Find out more about Little Valley Farm on our facebook and instagram accounts. 

 

 

 

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Autumn at Little Valley Farm

The spotlight shines on autumn, a season renowned for its cooler temperatures and fall foliage. 

Autumn leaf color is a phenomenon that affects the normal green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs by which they take on, during a few weeks in the autumn season, various shades of red, orange and brown. A perfect setting for photographers. Visit Little Valley Farm and stay in our red rattler 1950's train and shepherds hut for your unique farm stay in the Hunter Valley. 

Tree change occurs Autumn so make the most of this beautiful farm in the Hunter Valley.  Book airbnb   https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/16481553?s=51

Tree change occurs Autumn so make the most of this beautiful farm in the Hunter Valley.

Book airbnb
https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/16481553?s=51

CommBank Podcast "Leave Nothing to Chance"

When I am not running around the alpaca paddocks, I have my media-hat on and this week we caught up with CommBank to talk about small business. “Leave Nothing to Chance” in their Podcast series.

Click on the links below to hear Daniela Riccio of Little Valley Farm and BOUTIQUE Public Relations discuss small business.

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