We live on a beautiful 16 acre farm in Arcadia which is an hour north of the Sydney CBD. We are at the end of a very quiet street and surrounded by national park, there isn't a neighbour in sight! There are lots of beautiful walking and riding trails outside out gate yet the shops are only 15 minutes away. Train stations are 30 minutes away so the city and beaches are very accessible. Our workers and volunteers have free use of a great little Toyota Yaris to drive locally so they can get to the train stations and go out and do fun local things on days off. We pay for the fuel and all other expenses related to the car.
I (Amanda) have a business with horses. I give lessons and train horses for clients in dressage and show jumping. Before I had children, I used to compete at a high level in eventing. I don’t seem to have time to compete much these days. We usually have between 18 and 24 horses here so it's all pretty busy. My husband, Brett is a builder. He tries to work as locally as possible and also has a long list of jobs to get through on the farm so he's pretty busy too!!
We have two children. Toby is 8 and Daisy is 5. They are both at school this year so we don’t need so much help with them. Just having fun playing with them when I have lessons before and after school and on weekends. Both children have beautiful ponies and love to go to pony club. They love the outdoors and spend every spare second outside playing or helping with jobs (in their own special way!!).
Babysitting / child care
Help in the house
We have a large number of clients who keep their horses at our place and come for lessons. So many of our volunteers have made lifelong friends with these people. Many of the volunteers are amazed at how open and friendly Australian people are. We have also stayed in touch with a huge number of our very special volunteers. We always joke that our children, Toby and Daisy will be able to stay with them and help them with their children and horses when they leave school and go backpacking in Europe!!
Our place is very much in the Australian bush, we have wallabys, goannas, kookaburras and many other beautiful Australian animals living in our garden, yet the centre of Sydney is less than an hour’s drive away.
We welcome all travellers who have some horse experience as most of the help on our farm involves horses.
We love having very experienced horse people here, particularly those with a large amount of experience with training horses in dressage and jumping and working with young horses. We do need to make it clear that volunteers who come here should not assume that they will be able to do lots of riding. Most of the horses here belong to clients and need to be trained to a very high level in dressage and jumping, not just ridden around the paddocks. There is, however, a large amount of riding for the very experienced riders. If you can ride safely we will do our best to make sure you have the opportunity to do some riding every week as we want our helpers to have the most enjoyable time possible.
Depending on the volunteer we would also love a small amount of help with looking after the children - basically just having fun playing with them and keeping them safe, nothing too mundane!
For those with good horse handling experience we'd love help with the horses - all the usual grooming work, feeding up, rugging, tacking up, hosing off etc.
For those who love to be outside but don't have so much experience with horses there's always a lot to do keeping everything tidy outside, gardening etc.
We have recently built a brand new studio for volunteer accommodation, it’s really lovely and has a couch, large flat screen television, DVD, veranda and reverse cycle air conditioner. It’s close to our older flat which has a bathroom, kitchen and more accommodation with tv, air con, DVD player etc
You could never get bored here. There are great walking trails, two big shopping centres with cinemas are 30 minutes away as are two train stations so it's easy to get into Sydney. Sydney is an amazing city, it’s so beautiful and there’s so much to see and do. The beach is an hour away from our place, Berowra Waters is a 20 minute drive and Wisemans Ferry is just a little further and both these places are absolutely beautiful.
Many of our volunteers save up their days off and go away for 4 days in a row to places like the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, Canberra and even New Zealand! It’s easy to be based at our place and feel like you’re right in the middle of the Australian bush, but still get to see a huge amount of Australia as we are so close to Sydney and public transport.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week