Greg and Sheila Galea are the owners of Amarina Farm Stay and Gardens
Greg and Sheila Galea are the owners of Amarina Farm Stay and Gardens

How a Casino chicken farm turned into a luxury B&B

USUALLY Casino is regarded as a good, old fashioned country town with a proud heritage in beef production.

Now it can add tourist destination to that list.

Greg and Sheila Galea are aiming to turn the hearty town into a classy tourist attraction with Amarina Farm Stay and Gardens.

Amarina used to produce chickens for Inghams but after the contract fell through, the couple decided to chase their dream of a bed and breakfast.

"They said, 'aren't you devastated that Ingham's has cancelled your contract?', and I said, no I am quite excited because my bank would never allow me to walk away and do something different … we wouldn't have had this opportunity," Mr Galea said.

The cabins themselves take inspiration from New Zealand cabin-maker Robert Chambers, who Mr Galea travelled overseas to study, and they were made using local materials.

"Greg didn't just want the kit homes, he said, 'I want either a stone cabin or a log cabin', so he searched and found a log cabin course in New Zealand so off he went to New Zealand for a month," Mrs Galea said.


Inside Casino's new farm stay retreat
Inside Casino's new farm stay retreat


Amarina is targeted at couples wanting a romantic getaway and already the handmade cabins have proved an immense hit with customers.

"We like meeting people … so just meeting people who are travellers who could afford to stay here, they're very interesting people, they're usually retired or they've saved up or business owners who want something that is really five star," Mrs Galea.

With two cabins currently and allowance for up to 10 cabins to be onsite, Mr and Mrs Galea have plenty of plans to make this the prime tourist destination in the area.

"We want to develop the property for people to come and relax, we'll have the nursery and everything will compliment each other," Mr Galea said.

"This was putting our toe in to test the market and see what people want and this what they want, they want something rustic, something comfortable."