outback

The lure of Bunnyconnellan

A former dairy farm in the Darling Downs high country has grown into a welcome haven for anyone seeking the charm and calm of a lovely rural garden.

Paula Heelan

Country charm exudes from the moment you pass through Bunnyconnellen’s front gate. After a year of wonderful rain, parched land and dormant gardens are once again flourishing. The long entrance is framed with olive trees and there is a scattering of rustic corrugated-iron sheds and timeworn machinery. Rambling gardens contain a profusion of fragrant flowers, seasonal vegetables, creeping vines, herb plots and lots of well-placed potted plants. Vintage containers bursting with foliage, arbours draped in wisteria and ornamental grapevines, garden retreats and water features are sprinkled throughout the grounds, and towering trees beckon in the distance. A spacious chicken coop runs along the garden edge and pathways are packed with a mix of fragrant roses, lavender, geraniums and jasmine. Brightly coloured flowers frame neutral shades of native shrubs and flowers of softer, pastel hues. The magnificent, sprawling lawns are shaded by century-old Moreton Bay figs, lemon-scented gums, liquidambars, magnolias, citrus trees, grevilleas and bay trees.

A true family affair, the 102ha high-country property bought by graziers Ann and Ninian in 2016 will pass on to their daughter Kate Stewart-Moore and her partner Oliver Hinds who have big plans. After some refurbishment, the property will open to the public, offering gourmet picnics on the lawn, live music days, weddings, special events and open days to allow local businesses to sell fresh produce and homemade products. Says Kate "families can come to us for a memorable farm-gate experience and children are able to gain a country connection."