Do you consider yourself an animal lover, or do you have kids who enjoy animal encounters?
No matter your age, if mingling with animals brings you joy then make sure you book in for one of the best things to do in Dayboro – a guided hike with llamas courtesy of the family-run Dayboro Cottages & Llama Walks. I did, and I urge all animal lovers to experience this unique activity at least once.
Earlier this month I surprised Mum for her Birthday by booking us both in for a llama hike thinking it would make for a unique mother and daughter bonding session.
Coming from the direction of Redcliffe, we drove out past the Old Petrie Town Markets, through the countryside and into Dayboro Township where we stopped for a takeaway coffee from one of the many coffee shops dotted along the quiet main street.
Making our way back to the car we noticed the weekend biker crowd had started pulling into town with similar intentions – caffeine and a bite to eat prior to embarking on their hinterland sightsee.
Leaving Dayboro Township we passed the Old Mill Animal Hospital and pulled into Dayboro Cottages and Llama Walks a short while later, located just past Glengariff Historic Estate. The property is very easy to find, you need only look out for the large sign at the front of the driveway. You can’t miss it.
Annika, the new owner, and her helper, were waiting for us and the other llama hiking guests down the gravel driveway by the llama paddock, out the front of reception. We were immediately warmly greeted and made to feel right at home by the both of them.
They directed us inside to reception where we handed over our cash payment to Annika’s Mum who was equally friendly and cheerful.
Back out front, the llama experience started with Annika giving us some background info on llamas as a species, and introducing us to each of their woolly residents from afar – describing each llama’s quirks and personality.
After the introduction, we headed-off on our llama walk with about 10 other guests, all of whom had come in pairs.
Each pair was given their very own llama.
Our llama was named Romeo, though Garfield may have been a more appropriate name considering how often our woolly companion stopped to indulge his love for food along the way! His insistence on numerous grazing pit-stops gave Mum and I a good laugh – trying to get a hefty, stubborn llama to obey and move along is near impossible.
Despite the stop-starting, Romeo was a sweetheart, he sauntered between Mum and I as we ascended up the walking track experiencing a small slice of this 85 hectare natural paradise. The journey to the turn-around point was fun and scenic, boasting spectacular views over valley.
We encountered a herd of cattle on the way back down, bemused by our llama procession. Annika coaxed the gentle animals off the path so we could continue our llama walk return trip.
When we returned to the fenced paddock where we had begun the hike, buckets of pellet food were handed to all guests keen to feed the woolly animals. As I soon discovered, the difference in personalities and temperaments becomes abundantly clear during chow time.
The feeding of my gentle, placid llama (whose name eludes me now) was going well until Emery, the hungry hippo of the bunch, finished his bowl and rushed over to me, butting-in and chomping away madly as if he hadn’t been fed in days. The spectacle of Emery rushing about in gluttonous delight was simply hilarious.
Annika explained that while the other llamas aren’t too fussed about pellets, Emery absolutely loves them!
After Emery had his fill we all proceeded to the morning tea, set-up lovingly by Annika’s Mum out the back of their home. We drank tea, coffee and snacked on an assortment of delicious cake slices from Mill Creek Cafe as we enjoyed the great views across the pasture and chatted away, watching the resident chickens peck about on the lawn.
After the snacking was done, we said farewell, both agreeing this was one weekend morning very well spent and an experience we would love to enjoy again, perhaps as part of a weekend getaway on the property as we discover more things to do in Dayboro and surrounding areas.
If you’d like to make a whole weekend of it I would recommend booking accommodation at Dayboro Cottages and Llama Walks. The property is within a 30 minute drive or less of a number of hinterland hotspots including Dayboro Township, Woodford, Ocean View Winery, D’Aguilar National Park, Upper Byron Creek and other places of interest.
You can enquire about llama walks, accommodation and other things to do in Dayboro by contacting the Travel Concierge via the ‘Enquire’ tab on the Dayboro Cottages and Llama Walks business listing.
Dayboro Cottages and Llama Walks changed hands earlier this year and luckily for all us animal lovers, the new owners are continuing the llama walks and llama feeding tradition, and are also looking to introduce other llama experiences to the mix at a future date.
One idea Annika is working towards is offering llama doll making workshops for children, amongst other possibilities which are all in the planning stages.
When: The new owners run llama walks on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 11am.
Duration: The walk lasts for roughly an hour, followed by a llama feeding, with morning tea taking place afterwards.
What to Bring: Hiking shoes or walking shoes are recommended, as well as a hat, sunscreen and a water bottle. Don’t forget your camera to capture all the llama antics!
Upon Booking: Shortly before the day of your walk Annika will send you an email with booking confirmation and parking map attachments. The confirmation contains some need to know information and the map makes crystal clear where to park on the property and where to locate reception.
On the Day of your Llama Walk: Please arrive 5 minutes before the scheduled time and make your way to reception. Parking is located at the front of the property, on the grass just behind the entrance sign.
Need to Know: The hike includes a few somewhat steep ascents and descents so a decent level of fitness is required.