We visited Rain, Hayne & Shine as part of our trip to the Mornington Peninsula in late November 2021. We were looking for something to do that would keep our two-year-old engaged for a couple of hours, and this seemed perfect.
It proved to be one of her absolute highlights of the trip and some of our favourite and longest-lasting memories of our time in Mornington Peninsula.
But I want to be clear from the outset, it also might not be for everyone.
So if you’re thinking of visiting and want a balanced, honest and first-hand view of Rain, Hayne & Shine, then you’re in the right place, I’ll cover off as much as I can about the farm and our trip.
Rain, Hayne & Shine Review
As I suggested in my introduction, when I think back on our time on the Mornington Peninsula a few memories come through really strongly – playing in the pool at Stones Throw, the hidden beaches at Point Nepean Nation Park, the wooden walkways down at Cape Schanck and our daughter – as excited as I’ve ever seen her – in a barn at Rain, Hayne & Shine.
We grew up in the countryside in the Uk, so farm visits were a common thing, and we wanted to pass this love of animals onto our daughter.
Rain, Hayne & Shine was simply the perfect place to do that.
They have a huge variety of animals – from common farmyard regulars such as chickens, goats and cows through to Australian natives like emu, dingos and cockatoo.
Each of the pens has a sign on it saying whether you can go in or not, making this a place that is perfect for getting up close to animals.
The Best Bit of Rain, Hayne & Shine
The best bit of the farm was the petting shed.
In the middle of the property, the shed has smaller animals in individual pens which are accessible to the youngsters with adult supervision.
Our twenty minutes in here will go down as some of the happiest memories I have of my daughter this year and probably some of the ones I look back on in many years time and remember.
The image of her sweaty little face (it got pretty hot and humid in the barn!) hugging guinea pigs, petting the soft ears of baby rabbits, trying to make friends with a chicken and needing Mummy to rescue her from a curious piglet made my heart melt.
These are the kind of holiday events I remember as a kid.
Yes, as adults, we might like to go hiking, trudge around a city or see a UNESCO site (guilty!) but as a child days like this would be the ones I remember the most (specifically the time a goat stood in front of a pen door and refused to let me leave while stealing mints from my pocket!).
Admittedly you can have these experiences in lots of places, it’s not just Rain, Hayne & Shine, but it’s rare (in Australia at least) that I’ve seen access to this many animals without having to pay a huge fee for ‘additional experiences’. The petting farm and pen accesses were all part of the ticket cost, with no special stamps or waiting for an allotted time.
There was pure joy on her face the whole time we were there, one of those occasions where time stands still and we were 100% present, caught up in her fascination for what she was seeing.
Why It Might Not Be For Everyone
I want to be clear though, RH&S Farm might not be for everyone.
The main reason is that the farm itself does feel a little run down. Some may call it rustic, some say that that’s how a working farm is, but honestly, it felt like it just need some organisation and attention.
I want to be really clear though. From what we saw, there is no doubting whatsoever that there’s love here, both for the property and (most importantly) the animals.
I don’t want anyone to think the animals were being mistreated in any way, in fact, the opposite. It’s probably the owners’ time with them that’s kept them away from other maintenance jobs around the place, but it’s still hard to miss the broken equipment, missing signs, faded paint and rotting woodwork that’s littered around the farm.
It feels like it’s reflected in the price ($13 for an adult, though it does seem strange that a child over 2 is also $13) and also hinted at on the website where they note a ‘natural, rustic farm setting’ but it still may come as a shock to the unprepared.
If you’re expecting the same experience as at a big zoo, or the manicured lawns and perfect pens of a city-style animal experience this may not be your bag.
If you’re happy in a more rugged environment seeing animals that are well cared for by owners that are clearly knowledgable on what they do, then you’ll find this place of real interest.
You’ll see the same mix of opinions played out on Tripadvisor, with the farm receiving 4* at the time of writing from 5 reviews.
The reviews (as I expected) are polarised with 29 x 5* reviews but 11 x 1* reviews.
This just goes to show beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder the review titles give you an idea of the differing opinions.
Negative reviews have titles such as:
- Clean Up Your Farm
- A Great Disappointment
- Horrid Conditions
up against positive reviews titled:
- Amazing Experience
- Our Favourite Animal Farm
- Great Interaction With Farm Animals.
That’s a real contrasting view!
For context though, the last 1* review was in March 2018 and the last 2* review was in November 2018 with six out of seven of the last reviews at the time of writing giving a 5*.
Rain, Hayne & Shine Facilites & Information
Rain, Hayne and Shine is located on the east of the Mornington Peninsula, not far from the town of Hastings.
We combined it with a trip down to Cape Schanck lighthouse, up the coast via Flinders Blowhole and were originally planning to go to Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Garden too, but it was closed.
The farm is open 1000-1600 during the week and 1000-1700 at weekends.
If you’ve got young kids, I really hope you give Rayne, Hayne & Shine Farmyard a chance, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Go there clear on what you’re expecting, knowing that your money should help them to make further improvements in the future and hopefully you’ll take away lots of special memories too.