Barkala Farm, Outback NSW
Welcome to a farmstay with a difference! Barkala Farm is 'The Jewel of the Pilliga', nestled in a beautiful valley between the forests of the Pilliga and the foothills of the Warrumbungle Range, in northwestern NSW.
As well as being a working farm, it is also home to the fabulous creative energy of Pilliga Pottery, the largest and most unique pottery in NSW. Staying here is like stepping into another world, with its fascinating European-inspired eco-architecture, gorgeous natural surrounds of farmland, bushland, craggy ridges and living forest, extensive native gardens teeming with birds, and little vistas, hideaways, and unexpected highlights wherever you look. Whether you're looking for activity or tranquillity, this is a truly special place you will never forget.
Barkala Farm Accommodation
We have three eco-friendly guesthouses on site, each one hand-built using local materials, an eye for beauty, and a desire to create a “home away from home”. Our hope is that everyone who stays with us will leave invigorated and inspired, brimming with ideas and with full hearts. And in summer, all our guests have access to our newest feature, a large in-ground swimming pool set in the lawn of the main homestead. All our guesthouses are designed to be self-catering, but if you would like to be pampered we are more than happy to cook for you. All meals are available by arrangement, we specialise in traditional German-style home cooking, or delicious wood-fired pizza!
The Old Schoolhouse:
- Experience the enchanting atmosphere of this octagonal "fairy tale castle", handcrafted from local timbers. Relax and enjoy the beautiful views from the large, Swiss-style balcony, and take a shower in a hand-sculpted masterpiece!
- Originally built as a creative place for our kids to do their Correspondence lessons, The Old Schoolhouse has been fully renovated, with artistic touches everywhere to suit its unique charm. It sleeps 6-8 and is self-contained, with a kitchenette, a shower and toilet, and a BBQ downstairs for guests to use. Small pets are welcome..
The Poet’s Cottage
- Tucked away behind our orchard, with a private drive-in access at the rear, The Poets Cottage is the ideal place for a quiet and inspiring retreat.
- This cosy yet spacious mud brick cottage breathes an atmosphere of yesterday. Sleep in with birdsong around you, spend the evening reading by your own woodfire, stargaze through a skylight above your bed!
- The Poet’s Cottage sleeps 6 and is self-contained, with a full country kitchen, a roomy bathroom, a campfire area out the back, and a BBQ on the front verandah. Pets are welcome.
- The Studio was once the original hand-throwing workshop at Pilliga Pottery, one of the first mudbrick structures we made. After many extensions and a full renovation, it is now a perfect base for large families or groups.
- The Studio is a spacious, friendly and relaxing place to stay, directly adjacent to Pilliga Pottery and all its action, but set in its own garden for privacy.
- With its own rec room (featuring a ping pong table and a small pool table), a reading nook, a wood-burning heater, and two lovely rounded mud brick bedrooms filled with handmade beds, it has something for everyone.
- The Studio sleeps 11 and is self-contained, with a full kitchen and bathroom facilities. Pets are welcome..
Barkala Farm Location:
Getting to Barkala
Follow the Newell Hwy out of town to the north, following the signs to Narrabri. Turn left at the big intersection about 5km from Coona – keep heading for Narrabri. Watch for signs to Pilliga Pottery about 20km up the highway. Turn left where indicated, you will now be on a well-maintained dirt road, just keep following the signs to Pilliga Pottery! Total distance from Coonabarabran about 35km, including 10km dirt road.
Take the Newell Highway south towards Coonabarabran. About 95km out of Narrabri (25km from Coonabarabran), watch for signs to Pilliga Pottery – it will be a right turn onto a well-maintained dirt road. Follow the signs to Pilliga Pottery and in about 10km you will be there!
Driving to Coonabarabran
Driving to Coonabarabran
There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to Coonabarabran. The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your outback experience.
Warrego Hwy <> Newell Highway: Distance = 692km approx
Western Freeway <> Castlereagh Highway: Distance = 455km approx
Hume Highway <> Newell Highway: Distance = 990km aprox
Sturt Highway <> Newell Highway: Distance = 1,324km approx
See & Do
Barkala Farm See and Do
- Horse trail riding (and pony leading for the kids)
- Bird watching and guided bird tours: we have 8 threatened species near the homestead
- Farm activities: feeding the animals, farm tours, help milk our Jersey cow
- Bushwalking: an easy stroll or something more strenuous over the ridges!
- Stargazing: marvel at the famous clear skies of the Coonabarabran region
- Horse and Wagon rides
- 4-wheel Driving: either on our property or through the vast wilds of the Pilliga
- Camping or caravanning: we offer unpowered sites where you are welcome to stay
- Photography: rock formations, twisted trees, tiny wildflowers, & beautiful wildlife
- Visit Pilliga Pottery! Free demonstrations, fresh coffee and scones, wood-fired pizza by arrangement, pottery classes, and activities for kids.
More about Barkala
Barkala Farm (cont)
Barkala Farm and Pilliga Pottery is owned and operated by the Rickert family, who emigrated from Germany 25 years ago looking for a pioneer lifestyle, creative challenges, and fresh air – and they found it! With hard work, vision and love they have overcome drought, bushfires, and family heartache to slowly build up an oasis of cultural beauty in what many consider to be the middle of nowhere. Maria and her sons Johannes and Bernhard are the heart of the enterprise, with occasional help from their sister Eva, who is currently studying at university. A team of local artists, craftspeople and “characters” round things out. They also have a steady stream of backpackers from all over the world lending a hand, making this place into a mini-United Nations, where people can share a wealth of cultures and experiences.
Map & Contact Us
Coonabarabran Weather Outlook