The Nature Refuge (7912ha) is 60 km north-west of Alpha and 45 km north east of Jericho in Central Queensland, and is protected under the Nature Conservation Act. We are a small group of friends managing an environmentally-oriented, low density cattle property in an arid zone of the very peaceful Desert Uplands bioregion. There are large areas of uncleared bushland and you can enjoy long walks amongst the native flora and fauna, with plenty of birdwatching (152 bird species have been documented on the property). Bimblebox is currently fighting a legal battle to stop its wholesale destruction by a proposed coal mine.
The refuge is run in conjunction with a sister property, 110 km to the east of our location. It is a different ecosystem but managed under the same principles. The day to day maintenance of both properties is undertaken by Ian and Paola, who the volunteers stay with.
Babysitting / child care
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
The core principles underpinning work here are conservation, sustainable grazing, and self-sufficiency in a semi arid environment. Volunteers will be able to learn about all of these things, as well as developing skills in practical bushcraft. Ian was born and raised on one of the properties and has much knowledge of the region that he is always enthusiastic to share. This is a no-frills outback experience where one can live in close connection with the land
Help needed can vary, including weeding, fencing, gardening, species retention, erosion control and/or the maintenance of the buildings and machineries. It is not a hand-holding volunteering experience, so some degree of self-direction and initiative will be required. Instruction is given, but competent volunteers may be left alone once settled into the work. It can be tough and repetitive (and hot in the summer!), but there is so much to be learned.
We lead simple, non-consumerist lives; simple food and comfortable accommodation is offered. There are demountables on one property and farm houses at the other, and sleeping outside is always an option in the warmer months. There is limited wifi and mobile Telstra phone reception, and no television.
Please notify us well in advance of your arrival. The minimum stay is two weeks due to remoteness and infrequent trips to Alpha for pickups. Isolation could be a problem for some - there are no entertainment services and the ecology seems raw and harsh to some people. If you have your own vehicle, it will need high clearance underneath, and preferably four-wheel drive, to travel on our access roads, or you can leave your car in the care of our friends in Alpha.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week (unless you are really keen-- there is always work to be done)