June 21, 2024 5:07 AM

Barry’s best seat in the Valley



There has been a regular theme for almost 25 years at the Starline Alpacas Farmstay Resort.

It appears that each time you visit, a new addition has been added to the landmark (located just outside of Broke).

“We have 18 cottages with another three to be added before Christmas,” the farm’s administrator Alix Jesky explained last week.

“We also now have 120 alpacas and, as restrictions continue to ease, so many more visitors have returned to stay here from wine tours as well as day trips,” Alix said.

Behind the scenes, the resort has gained a fine asset in the hiring of Barry Anderson as the new head farmer.

Anderson is no stranger to the farm’s surrounds, having spent plenty of time monitoring the area during his duties as the Bulga RFS captain.

“Last summer we were doing the hazard reduction just around from this farm and the main fire was only a kilometre on the other side of that hill,” he explained.

“Everything was brown and dead back then, but the area was lucky to have the Broke brigade looking after this side of the hill.

“Lucky as well that the weather was able to stay out there; if it went down here it would have still kept going to Singleton.”

Thankfully, the pasture is green again and, this month, Anderson celebrates his first six months since commencing his role.

“I just love coming to work,” he continued.

“When I first started this job, the accommodation was closed due to covid but then once the restrictions lifted it was basically booked out until Christmas after only 48 hours.”

THRT 31.1.2 Barrys best seat in the Valley
Starline Farmstay Resort staff Barry Anderson and Alix Jesky feeding their Alpacas last week.

While remaining accountable to his maintenance manager at all times, Anderson has taken liberty to add a few more features to the property.

In July he expanded the paddocks for the Alpacas and then a few weeks later he shifted some large stones to construct a fire pitt near the wedding reception area.

Yet the clearing of long grass and addition of a bench on the top corner of the property has made for the ultimate hidden gem.

We call it the best seat in the Hunter Valley.

“If you want to truly utilise this place, go for a walk up here and watch the sunrise over the veer of Broke while the hot air balloons travel over your head to Pokolbin,” he concluded.

“It is the best way to start your morning.”