The characters of Ballywire Farm, Yorke Peninsula

Friday, 6th Nov 2015 by John Pedler
Categories: Family Yorke Peninsula

One of the girls

For more than a decade Chris and Peter Critchell have been rescuing injured, rejected and lost farm animals from the local area and beyond.

Their property on the southern Yorke Peninsula has become a refuge for cows, geese, pigs, horses, and a storybook of other creatures in need of care.

In fact it’s a delightfully motley crew that call Ballywire home. There’s Heather the shaggy donkey, a farm favourite, and Nova the sheepdog, who never really got the hang of rounding up the woollies.

Heather the donkey
Heather the donkey

Gerry the goose found his way to Ballywire after being discovered confused and disoriented at Mawson Lakes.

There’s also Jacqui the visually impaired sheep, who seems to navigate around her paddock with relative ease, and a brood of ex-battery hens that now enjoy lives of rural freedom.

This is a great spot for city kids to experience farm life and get up close to animals that are unlikely to be found in the big smoke. They might even find themselves feeding a lamb.

Chris and Peter have also set up a display of historic and modern agricultural implements including milk and cream separators, shearing equipment, horse gear, and a whopping 1928 Petersime Electric Incubater, that could nurse 15,000 fertilised chicken eggs at a time.

Cream separators
Cream separators

Enjoy scones, jam and cream and a cuppa in the tearoom, or settle in for a meal of fish and chips, toasted sandwiches and other treats.

If you’re looking for accommodation, there’s a five room renovated farmhouse available for rental, and a converted shearing shed that’s ideal for large gatherings.

There’s also an 18-hole putt putt course, complete with artificial cow pat hazards.

Guarding the putt putt course
Guarding the putt putt course

But back at the farmyard there’s nothing artificial; just a menagerie of animals enjoying a second crack at life in an environment where being different is not an obstacle. 

Chris with one of the family
Chris with one of the girls

Nuts and Bolts
Location: 11km south of Yorketown (see map below)
Opening hours: Weekends from 10am to 4pm, every day during school holidays.
Entrance: Adults $8, children $5

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