FAIRYMEAD HOUSE: Amy, Renee and Lee Nielsen look over the awards presented to Harold and Colin Toft for lifetime achievements. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
FAIRYMEAD HOUSE: Amy, Renee and Lee Nielsen look over the awards presented to Harold and Colin Toft for lifetime achievements. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Nielsens on a high after Fairymead House visit

THEY say sugar and children don't mix, but a visit to Fairymead House, the home of local sugar industry memorabilia, left the Nielsen family on a natural high.

The family of four girls aged from five-11, along with dad, Lee, have been visiting some of the region's biggest tourist drawcards as part of the NewsMail's two-week Tourist in Your Town series.

The Nielsens spent a day exploring the Botanic Gardens and all there is to offer, including Fairymead House.

"It was very nice - the architecture is quite well done," Mr Nielsen said.

The grand homestead was built in 1890, and nowadays houses the region's biggest display of sugar cane memorabilia.

Although there are not a lot of interactive exhibits for the children, Mr Nielsen said it was the older age groups which would get more from the experience.

"To get the full appreciation of the facts and history, you really need to read a lot of the information provided," he said.

"I don't think kids would get a lot out of Fairymead House unless parents are explaining it to them."

Mr Nielsen said the bottom level of the home had a lot more information related to different farming implements including ploughs, as well as informative videos, compared with upstairs.

"A lot of people might miss downstairs because it's not well advertised," he said.

"I've always wanted to know about the cycle of the cane so we sat and watched a video on that."

The dad-of-four said while the entire family walked away with their brains filled with the rich history of the sugar cane industry, there could be more done at Fairymead House to engage children.

"Unless you engage them, their attention spans are very short," he said.