Off-grid farm in semi rural Queensland Australia - Living an alternative, self sufficient lifestyle - Yoga



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Hi all, we are Olly and Ethan (my 11 year old son) we are once again looking for help and to share this time in our life.

    These are one off situations and some are paid work.

    Available volunteer type of work/assistance:

    A) URGENT! Immediate start – one off! - Prepare house and garden for renting.
    Suit couple or two friends:

    1) Painting, plastering, carpentry, stud work, tiling skills for small renovation work, 1 to 2 weeks part volunteer and part paid work. 40 hr week balanced paid per week $400. Must have experience and provide quality finish.
    2) Gardening, weeding and preparing meals. 25 hours per week. Volunteer or share between two people.

    B) OTHER URGENT APPLY NOW! PART part volunteer and part PAID work : Pre and post knee surgery rehab and home assistance and farm help

    Positions (see below for more details)
    B1) Immediate availability earn up to $100 (min 1 week)
    B2) Trainer/ exercise partner/ carer - Start mid June $300 per week

    I am to have major knee Surgery at the end of June and I want to be best prepared physically and mentally prior to the operation and have a good structure for rehab post suregry and assisatance as I live alone, see below. Ethan is with me Weekends and holidays.

    B1) PRE SURGERY TRAINING, flexibility and muscle strength.

    Part volunteer 25 hours per week and pocket money up to $100 per week for the right person. Can discuss higher rates depending on experience you have.

    Minimum weekends or one week Friday to Friday pick up from Cairns otherwise you need to come by bus.

    Exercise partner, cleaning, preparing meals ( may also be gardening and farm help):
    Mainly looking for but not limited to Yoga, meditaion and massage treatment. (If you have accupuncture experience that would be awsome.)

    I am trying to include the following in my training regime: I want someone who can take part in one or more of the following 5 to 6 days per week.

    Especially looking for Yoga and massage, but any of the following.

    • yoga (ashtanga and yin), stretching, balancing, strengthening, I love yoga, the way my body feels after each session. I really compliments my beliefs on wellbeing healthy boy healthy mind and compliments both I believe. I started about 20months ago, but not consistantly mind you, all up maybe 8 -10 months over the last 20months. I know it is so important to my wellbeing, because how it addresses both mind and physical states and hosting yogies means I get to practice yoga more often. You must be experience enough to set up daily 1 to 1:30 hour yoga sessions.
    • Crossfit,
    • Flexibility
    • cycling,
    • swimming (once or twice per week)
    • Meditation.
    • Physio leg and body massage (Proven to speed up recovery- 20% increase white blood cells after 1hour massage) and acupuncture

    “People who received a 45-minute massage had an increased number of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body from disease, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said in a statement.”
    “The massage brought other physical changes, too. Afterwards, participants had lower levels of cytokines, which are molecules that play a role in inflammation”

    Volunteer time and training based on the following schedule:
    • 45mins training together or separate not part of volunteering (cycling or running or not take part)
    • 1 1/2 hour dedicated training focus on my rehab, 1 1/2 hours preparing meals or cleaning, 1 ½ to 2 hours towards gardening or farm work,
    • 1 hour massage per day

    Example of Daily schedule alternate days:
    7 to 7:45 am Daily 30-45 min cycle ride and (in warm weather 15 min swim x 3 times per week)
    8:00 am to 8:20 Roll out muscle exercise and stretching.
    8:30 to 9:00 am Cross fit training
    9:00 am 15 min leg massage
    Optional 20 mins meditation - how we feel
    Finish latest 9:30 am

    5:30 -6:45pm 1 hour flexible yoga intermediate preferred with advance poses to practice.
    Optional 20 mins meditation – how we feel

    4) FROM 10th June - Assistance required with recovery process and routine, 300 per week, minimum 8 weeks stay, but up to approx. 12 weeks.

    I will be on crutches for some time, so would best suit someone with carer/Aupair experience who is interested in Yoga, being fit, cycling, swimming etc. Must be motivated to train on a daily basis.

    Someone to cook, clean, shopping and driving. Massage, stretching exercises, and help with other exercises. I want to continue training other areas of my body even though I have to rest my knee.

    Must be over 25 years (for car insurance purposes) with drivers licence.

    1st 2weeks
    Cooking, cleaning, 2 massages per day, shopping, help with mobility, etc..

    Help to set up and supervise exercises that do not affect my right Knee?

    After 2 weeks:
    Right Knee- Supervise physio recommended light exercises and stretching working from a list I have.
    Maybe Swimming and under water exercises.

    Training to increase to pre operation levels

    Estimate full recovery to take 9 to 12 months

    I have already mentioned massages as part of my recovery and would also like to include acupuncture, reiki and any other suggestions.

    Also offered in return:

    TRIPS OUT Now only for longer stays: – Cairns (available most weeks staying in Backpackers one night) and Port Douglas (weekend trip (2 nights) with Ethan to discuss together). You have to pay for your accommodation.
    Local sight seeing ½ day or day out. Touring companies charge from $100 to $180 for a Tableland day trip from Cairns. Hey what a bonus it's free if you stay here and it's a lot more personalised and unique (Now only available for long term volunteers). Just to put some perspective on the cost you could pay for such a personal guided day trip could quite easily be around $400 - $600 per day for two people.

    Accommodation: 2 Bed self contained accommodation no longer available. At this time share the two bed house whilst it is being deocrated.

    A general note that you could easily pay well in excess of $1,000 - $1,500 per week for not too disimullar experience. At this time I am not able to provide detailed and varied training as before. Eg. training of this kind could easily be approx. $500 per week for a small class of 5 people, Accommodation provided can be charged out at anything between $400 to $600 per week as a holiday let. I mention this to deferentiate what I provided compared to some farmers who just want cheap labour. I want a quality exchange. From this I think their is a reasonable way for anyone to work out a way to sign off 2nd year visa on work done for construction and farm work, where receipts for services provided are exchanged. I can give basic/intermediate training in carpentry, log cabin building, metal working, farm husbantry, fencing etc.. self sustainability amongst some areas. I still teach people to drive my tractor, very easy until you put a trailor on and have to reverse. Haha

    Type of help that may be required in your stay here to keep our (that includes you, mine yours and Ethan’s) home operational.

    Off-grid maintenance: gravity and drinking water, hydro and solar power, etc..

    House and garden and pets help:
    Cleaning, preparing meals and shopping
    Watering and weeding vegetables and maybe some mowing and flower bed weeding.
    Feeding chickens

    Farm Help that may be required:
    Might be some farm help, cattle, pruning, weeding, etc..

    Who are we looking for?
    Must be:
    • Able to set up a routine and make it interesting and apply to my circumstances
    • Motivated and encouraging motivational to others
    • Encouraging, friendly, easy going, open minded, caring.
    • Able to socialise with and work close and be relaxed amongst all age groups and not just your own, that is with Children, middle age and old people.

    Our place and our story:

    1. Intro
    2. The Property:
    3. Distance and the area
    4. What to expect and experience:
    5. Who I am looking for:
    6. About us, Ethan and Olly

    Hi helpers, travellers and yogis,

    The farm is off-grid, and I try to live as best as I can self-sustainability. I care dearly and am passionate about the environment with my own take on life.

    I would love to host people who would stay for longer periods and use my farm as a base to explore NQ.

    I have a long extensive description, the farm, my way of living, who I am as a person, the exchange, and current situation. I hope it connects with you and gives you the urge to join me.

    Happy travels, exploration to self discovery and fulfilling future. Let’s make the world a better place.


    1. Intro:
    We are lucky to have a beautiful 260 acre farm with many of the unique Australian landscapes, trees, nature and wildlife and would be greedy not to share it, so we hope for those of you that stay with us, that you enjoy our tranquil place and gain memories that stay with you for a long time, and become long time friends.

    Myself and Ethan live in North Queensland (120klm from cairns) on a 260 acre farm surrounded by State Forest.

    I am open to any ideas anyone has and if you want to offer any alternative structures to stay please do.

    Vegetarians friendly. We do eat meat, but not everyday and I love vegetarian food.

    Please read on:

    2. The Property:
    The property is really suited for anyone who love’s the outdoor, nature, solitude, to explore and to feel free and liberated.

    a. Property description:-
    We are nestled on three sides by state forest. Our farm is 105.5 hectares (260 acres) in the drier part of the Atherton Tableland. The elevation ranges from 880m to 955m above sea level. About 75 hectares is natural forest, and consist of mainly lemon scented, blue and rose gum, blood wood, northern grey box (gum top box), iron bark, river sheoak and swamp box. We have a permanent creek meandering on our property for approximately 1.3 klm with a total fall of 21 meters. We have platypus residing here. We also have a Dam on the property with small rowing boat.

    The farm is a beautiful place with lots of nature walks, places to stop absorb nature, stop and soak up the sun, relax, meditate and do yoga. A place you can wonder around in freedom away from society’s machine. Also, there is 1.3klm of creek frontage with lovely places for picnics. You just need to get out there and enjoy it. It won’t come to you.

    b. Wildlife on our property:-
    Our property is surrounded by natural woodland (three sides of state forest approximately 2.6klm and 1klm boundary with an uninhabited and uncleared property) and the nearest house being 3klm as the crow flies, nature is abundant. To list a few: Grey kangaroos, wallabies, bettongs (night time- small kangaroo like), iguanas who steal our chicken’s eggs!, many lizards, possums, platypus, bats, owls, king fishers, kookaburras, cockatoos and lots of other birds.

    c. The off –grid farm self sufficient structure:-
    Off-gird: where no services, water, electricity, rubbish are provided to the property.

    We are 100% alternate power (micro hydro and solar), water self sufficient which gravity feeds many areas of the farm via 3klm pipe line system, rain water collection for drinking water, wood fire, gas and home made from recycled material solar and wood fire water heating. I am continuously working on passive heating improvements.

    We have chickens, guinea fowl, horses, run around 20 head of breeding cattle and a have Ethan’s small dog. I also have vegetable garden, banana plants, olive grove and orchard with a variety of fruit trees. I am not sure how many people could say they live with a carbon neutral footprint, but I would imagine we are close to it.

    I have always been environmentally conscious, recycling, trying to never waste food, turning lights out and power off, etc. These ideals l learned as a child.

    I have developed further experimenting with solar passive heating, solar hot water heating, keeping chickens and using them as fertilised compost makers, using the soil along with cow and horse manure for the vegetable garden and the non broken down organic matter from the chook pen to use as mulch around the fruit trees and plants. I have learned to pickle olives, onions and would like to be able to learn more on preserving what I have grown and often have to much in quantity. I always take excess and give to friends or people I know rather than let it go to waist.

    d. Farm self sufficiency objectives and giving back environmentally, in no specific order:
    1) To improve farm for self sufficiency and income:
    a. Cattle: – for income and paddock to plate meat
    b. Forestry – Beauty, environmental and Short and longer term Income - main interest was for carbon trading. . I have spend a lot of time trying to return the forest to a more natural state, improving the tree stand from previous practices.
    c. Self contained cottages (Stopped because of circumstances). For additional cash low income and asset adding value to the farm. I was constructing it as a kit and all timber sourced on the property. 99.9 % complete prior to assembly on site.
    d. Growing fruit – Orchard for healthy eating – with a view to give away excess to people I know and maybe sell at the markets
    e. Growing Vegetables - for healthy eating and as per fruit.
    f. Improve the quality of the land and biodiversity ( all timber remain placed in rows along the contours- slowing water and creating a great environment for insect to live and guess fungi, etc.) for environment and productivity of the land
    g. Improve water retention of the soil so it can handle the dry seasons better. - for environment and productivity of the land
    h. Improve water quality by reducing run-off and slowing water for natural filtration by the land. - for environment and productivity of the land – trying to increase filtration of water by the land so the quality of the water entering my farm exits a little cleaner.

    Please note at this time I have stopped most of this work because of the personal family matter.

    e. Mobile reception on the farm
    The mobile phone reception is good for Telstra and Optus for most areas of the farm. The data reception is very good at the main house, but not so good at the accommodation. I recommend you look into the provider “Boost” now owned by and uses Telstra network. It is a good price options with packages that offer free international calls to certain countries.

    3. The area and distances
    We are semi rural (Australian standard) 15 minutes to the nearest town. There is a bus service twice per day to Cairns from Atherton.

    The area:
    We are located on the Atherton Tableland inland from Cairns. Cairns centre is about 1 3/4hr drive from our property. The Tableland has way too much for me to list here, but here is a flavour; Herberton historical village, Herberton mining museum, small galleries, Rainforest trails, bushwalks, Lake Eacham (great for swimming), Lake Barrine, water activities on Lake Tinaroo, The crater, Atherton (china town), Mareeba coffee works, Ravenshoe (Millstream waterfall, Sunday steam train) Milla Milla waterfall circuit, Malanda (pub), Yungaburra (markets and pub), Markets on every weekend at a different location. It’s also beautiful just driving around with some breath taking views.
    Atherton (30 min drive) has two supermarkets where we shop for our groceries, small modern library with internet, small hospital, pubs and cafes.

    4. What to expect and experience:
    This is not to work for us, but to share our everyday lifes and live together as in a shared place.

    Come and make the property your home, with your own accommodation, see the same face (s) for a few weeks or months, make a new family relationship and build a relationship. Help me to be me, to have fun, relax for a while.

    Having like minded peoples company is very much appreciated, as otherwise I`m working mainly alone.

    Living style and environment we want to live in:
    Building a good team environment to work and live together is very important for me. I like to build and environment where we like sharing things, making things, mending things and growing things in a supportive, inspiring and motivating way.

    A routine is especially important when living on a farm where work, home economics, exercising, socialising all blur into one and if not careful you loose yourself and loose what you have. That has happened to me all too often in my relationship and now single trying to rebuild who I was, but can’t do it alone living in a rural area where getting to yoga/cross-fit classes, socialising takes a lot of driving. I like to be organised and setting routine with regular days and hours to focus on what I need to do and then to have time to stop thinking about things and have down time to relax and enjoy the moment.

    Everyone is different and they need to take as much responsibility at being organised, motivated to get things done. We will need to be flexible and adjust as we go to find out what best works for us all as a team and not separate groups. Be determined and you will be strong. I know it is not always easy for people, certainly difficult for me at this time, but it is rewarding and very important for me right now.

    5. Who I am looking for:

    Keen fitness person who likes yoga, crossfit cycling, swimming.

    You must be energetic (– bring your energy and madness and spark up our lifes) , fun, self motivated, keen to learn, good organiser, listeners, communicator and especially motivated to get on the go and get things done (A busy bee).

    You must be mature, love the outdoors, don't mind getting hands dirty, easy going, open minded, active, keen to exercise, like healthy eating and be daring and adventurous.

    All helpers must be must be clean and tidy and happy to prepare meals (light lunches, normally left overs and salads and cooked meals in the evening). I have no bias as to diet and adjust to any ones preference.

    I hope to hear from you all. Well some of you? Anybody? ha!ha!

    6. About us:
    Ethan, is a very chatty person, funny, has a great sense of humour, is mature, polite and helpful to name a few. He loves hanging around doing things with volunteers. He asks many questions and has a keen interest in life. Watch it, he will organise what you do when hanging around together. He likes role playing. He loves going swimming and messing around in and out of the water. He also likes playing football, playing uno, go fish, board games, xbox and wii. He likes to listen to music, dance and make Youtube videos.

    Ethan lived with me up until this school year started at the end of summer. Due to circumstance Ethan had to move and live with his mother a year earlier then planned. He now spends weekends and holidays with me. I do regret that he no longer lives with me during the school days, but that is life.

    I’m Olivier (Olly)
    My past:
    I was born in Belgium English mother and Belgian Father and from the age of 10 grew up in the UK until I moved to Australia with my ex 16 years ago. Prior to moving to Australia I worked in the city of London in Aviation Reinsurance. I have both travelled extensively and lived and worked for short periods of time in a number of different countries. Now I mainly works on the farm. Also In 2015 I worked on a government / Private forestry funded scheme "Caring for your Country" (improving native forests on small farms - weed control and reset thinning).

    I had a serious motorbike accident when I was 17 and nearly lost my leg, where it not for complications. I was not expected to ever walk properly or run, but managed pretty much under my own steam and over 3 to 4 years recover quite well. I returned to play many sports, like tennis, tough rugby to a high level and both 11 and 5 a side football in my thirties. I managed mixed and men’s touch rugby teams for a few years, started a European social club for exploring, travelling, nights out, etc. with an average of 30 to 40 members

    I said goodbye to the corporate world and the UK some time ago for a new life in Australia with my Australian partner of then. With my passion for nature and the environment I quickly adapted to my new environment. Unfortunately, for my ex it was not the case and she soon left her childhood dream behind. For a year I lived on my own on the farm with no running water and two years without electricity. It was so cool living by daylight, spending time on long walks and exploring the forest and especially tracking the brumbies or looking for our horses.

    Just over 2 years ago my partner and I finally decided to go our separate ways.

    A few other things:
    I also find solitude in art and music. I don’t know much about either and no good at remembering names of artist. I don’t listen anywhere enough music, but really appreciate it when people bring it into my life.

    I find meditation in running (not able to at this time), cycling, yoga, laying in the sun, stopping to sit take a moment of solitude and listen to nature when walking.

    It is important feel wanted and to be connected to other people. I think it is a normal instinct of being a social being.

    I am social, love talking a lot especially when we first meet. I am open minded and love philosophy, to have interesting conversations about things people normally don’t talk about.

    I want to keep developing and learn more to improve my knowledge and ability in yoga, meditation, wellbeing mental and physical, people, the environment, sustainability, permaculture, ecology and so much more. Improve my ability to share with others by teaching and leadership. I continue to practice to train people by being exposed to doing it voluntarily.

    Languages spoken
    English, French and Spanish.
    English (2nd language but my strongest) , French (mother tongue to 10 years old but almost lost it and now fluent again) and Spanish (reached fluency, but that was 25 years ago and now very rusty)

    Lone time:
    I also need a lot of time alone to get my thoughts together, work on the hard things and sort myself out and act on things that are some time hard to do. At this time a lot of my paper work and separation matters at this time.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Babysitting / child care
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    As mentioned above

  • Help


    AS above:
    1) Wellbeing: meditation, yoga, crossfit, massage, cycling, swimming
    2) Jobs for the move from main house to accommodation
    3) Set up chicken pen
    4) Set up rain water tank
    5) Relocate homemade solar hot water system and outdoor shower
    6) Sell at the Market: Both I and Ethan have a lot of things we no longer need, clothes, toys. Etc and it would be could for someone to organise this. Ethan is very keen and loves selling things at the market. Only the other day we talked about organising a market day. Maybe we could include some plants too. A project you could do is to take cuttings of plants that are easy to grow or sow.
    7. Gardening
    8. Cleaning
    9. Driving
    10. Paperwork
    10. preparing meals - Cooking
    11. Shopping

  • Host offers a wage in line with the minimum wage

    Host offers a wage in line with the minimum wage

    This host offers accommodation and payment.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    French and Spanish

  • Accommodation


    As mentioned above

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    As mentioned above

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours per day (max 25hours/week)

Accommodation - self contained

Host ref number: 259512192835