on September 5, 2010
As we were driving through the Tablelands we stumbled on a dairy farm that has opened its gates to the public. We were very pleasantly surprised to find at this one location a fully operational dairy farm; a gourmet cheese factory; a nice café/restaurant; and the most beautiful hand-crafted chocolate. Gallo Dairyland is a family owned and operated business spread across 1000 acres of rich red volcanic soil, which milks, on average, 500 cows twice a day. It is worth stating a little history. Giovanni Gallo emigrated from Italy back in the 1920’s and after years of working the land and growing vegetables, Giovanni purchased the farm in 1937. The prominent location of the Gallo's dairy often meant that school groups and tourist buses would call in to look at the dairy. It was the combination of visitors and financial sustainability that the idea of building a kiosk to make the dairy into a tourist attraction grew. Frank Gallo (the eldest son of Giovanni) often dreamed of converting the family’s rotary dairy farm into an integrated educational dairy farm experience. Seventy years after its initial purchase (in 2007) Gallo Dairyland opened its doors and became a reality.If you have never seen a modern milking operation, you will be amazed by the rotary milking shed. Cows enter, are milked and feed in a matter of minutes with remarkably little human contact. I recommend that you start your visit here if you happen to arrive at milking time. Then you can move on to the cheese making area.You get to see how the age old method of cheese making has evolved over the years to become a complex and innovative process. With European cheese makers developing new and unusual cheeses, alongside the old favourites, a visit to Gallo Dairyland is not only informative it is fascinating and (tasty). Swiss cheesemakers make all of the cheese on site from milk produced on the property. The cheese won gold medals at the Brisbane Cheese Awards in 2008 and 2009. The Cheese Factory is open to visitors. You can see where the cheese is made and watch the DVD showing the factory in operation as well as footage of the working dairy farm.The Café / Restaurant is fully air-conditioned and capable of seating 100 people. Dairyland offers a meal and snack menu from 9.30 am so you can have a late breakfast, lunch or morning and afternoon tea. Souvenirs and local products such as tea, coffee, honey, jam, nuts, and soaps are all available for purchase. The hand-crafted chocolates are on display in the Café/Restaurant. The chocolatier works her magic to create the most beautiful assortment of chocolate. All of the cheeses and the chocolate made on site are premium ranges that use the highest quality products. Prices reflect this but there is no doubting the quality. Hours of opening are 9.30 am - 4.30 pm daily.
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