The whole family can spend time exploring the various walks around the farm.
Good Hope farm is a working olive and free-range livestock farm 30km from Robertson, nestled below the Riviersonderend mountain range. Located at the end of a 20km gravel road, the drive from Cape Town takes around two-and-a-half hours - making it a perfect weekend getaway.

The farm is surrounded by mountains, so there is no cellphone reception, which initially felt a little strange. However, I soon began to appreciate the stillness of mind and being present in the moment.

On arrival, I was welcomed by hosts Taryn and Tienie, who bought the 1 000-hectare farm five years ago. All the animals are free-range and fed on fruit donated from the neighbouring farmers.

The farmyard is home to chickens, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, cows, swiss alpine goats and sheep. A friendly stallion and mare roam around freely, grazing on the grass between the cottages, nuzzling the guests. The star of the show, however, is the gorgeous SPCA rescue donkey, who nudges the children, encouraging them to cuddle and stroke her.

The SPCA rescue donkey charms the guests.

The farm is teaming with wildlife and is a paradise for bird watchers. From my patio, I watched birds of prey circling the sky in search of their next meal. There are numerous mountain-bike and three hiking trails leading directly from the cottages into the surrounding mountains.

The most popular hiking trail leads up to waterfalls and takes about 30 minutes from the cottages, making it an easy family walk. We stayed in the Mountain Cottages, two-bedroomed, self-catering cottages at the foot of the mountain. Our cottage was located next to the swimming pool and lapa.

Behind the cottage there was a playroom stocked with books, a DVD player, soft toys and games. For younger children, it is the perfect place to spend an hour or two when taking a break from swimming, running around or playing with the animals.

For those like myself who choose to simply relax, each cottage has a hammock on the patio, where I spent a few hours every day gently swaying in the breeze, reading my book while sipping on a glass of local chilled white wine.

Although the accommodation is self-catering, guests can pre-order picnic baskets from Taryn. On our first morning, she delivered a generous breakfast basket brimming with fresh farm eggs, bacon, breads, cheeses, butter, juices and preserves.

The family can feast on the farm-style breakfast picnic.

Further down the hill, overlooking the dam, the rustic two-roomed dam cottages with a communal kitchen and pizza oven can accommodate 18 people, making it ideal for birthdays or family get-togethers.

Tienie explained that the drought had recently caused two of their three boreholes to run dry, so guests were asked to use water sparingly. With the temperature reaching into the early thirties, we swam throughout the day, and my children loved their early morning and late afternoon swims in the pool.

Good Hope Farm is the ideal place to spend a long weekend to reconnect with nature, communicate with your loved ones and escape from everyday stresses.

For bookings, phone 023 004 0504 or visit www.goodhopefarm.co.za