Friday, April 2, 2010

the yurt farm

Just outside Goulburn is a wonderful, magical place where time stands still and there is space simply to be. In this place, everything that means nothing and the nothing that means everything becomes crystal clear. Everyone needs to experience this at least once in their lives I think. - School Parent

Every year we head off to the Yurt Farm for our annual school camp. 

In true progressive education style, where community is key, everyone is invited: kids, teachers, mums, dads and siblings.

The theme of the Yurt Farm is back to basics.  Everything is made from natural or recycled materials.   

There is no electricity. There are no toys. The kids are unscheduled, unhurried and free to explore and make their own adventures:, to have adventures, to build, to climb, to make fires, to cook, to paddle: - to be.

They make fires and cook (Gerver Tulley would be so proud);

There is a workshop filled with offcuts and paint and tools;

The children respond to the freedom to build whatever they choose, if they choose;

or there are hills to climb;

ropes to swing on;

a dam to muck around in;

tree houses to explore;

you can fly through the air;

or create your own artworks in the most unlikely places, and leave them behind for others to enjoy. 

And what about the Yurts?  

The Yurts are where you sleep, and if you ever have the opportunity to sleep in one then jump at the chance!

They are cosy round houses with skylights to see the stars at night, based on the design of Mongolian Yurts. 

And every now and then Farmer Mike rocks up in his tractor:

and piles all the kids in the back and takes them off on an adventure:

It is the perfect place to connect or reconnect as a community:

The Yurt Farm really is a magical place to visit.


  1. Oh my goodness ... I think I just glimpsed heaven, it's in the the shape of a yurt! I've had a fascination with yurts (and teepees for that matter) since I was a teenager ... don't know why but I have. Sounds like an awesome camp Jenny. What a precious way for families to connect and just ... be with each other!
    Thanks for sharing, Donna :) :)

  2. OMG, I have been there! When I was in school (I grew up in Canberra). I don't think we stayed, just spent the day. I remember the yurts and making damper (and making a hole in the cooked damper and filling it with honey). I couldn't remember many details and thought I must have made lots of it up because since then I have never heard of such a place again.

  3. Mike is still making damper with the kids! He has just had his 70th birthday and has more energy than the kids!

    Donna, this guy is the yurt guru. He can design and build you your dream yurt :)

    When we built our new preschool building it was inspired by Mike's yurts.

  4. Oh wow ... so cool! Right that settles it we definitely want to come visit now!
    :) :)

  5. Oh wow ... so cool! Right that settles it we definitely want to come visit now!
    :) :)

  6. oops! ... Now how did that happen? : ) :)

  7. What a perfect school setting for young children: Nature!! That situation is idyllic. I love that the community is involved. And, those yurts look lovely....aren't they just the best?!?!

  8. I agree with the person who said that this seems like a glimpse of heaven! What a wonderland.... must create something similar in the U.S!!

  9. Oh my goodness! That looks like such a tremendous place! Well, I say that, but really it's just a bunch of stuff on a farm. I guess it's the people there are tremendous to make such a fantastic adventure wonderland of it :)

  10. Now I can see why you were so excited about going to this place! Amazing opportunities to provide for modern children - and what brilliant memories yu are making.