Come and learn our unique techniques of working with the fragile western soils and ecosystems as well as retaining two sustainable businesses for wool and beef production in Coonamble, Australia



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    This is a 8000 acre merino sheep and cattle property run by Dougal and Susan. The property also is home to numerous donation pets such as Susan's goats, ducks, geese and chickens as well as the normal dogs and Zorro the housecat. (Many see our farm as an animal refuge)
    The old homestead has a large garden and pool as well as two smaller self contained accommodation cottages. We have hosted numerous backpackers mostly from Europe and Susan welcomes conversation as Dougal has been deaf from birth.
    We organise the farm on an eco sustainable basis with all grazing monitored to retain soil cover and utilising microbes to boost soil microbiological health to promote healthier pastures. We ceased farming conventionally some 12 years ago and now direct drill any (seasonally) opportunistic crops into dormant pastures. Over the years this has dramatically improved soil health. We do not use chemicals unless entirely necessary for noxious weeds.
    This is also a refuge for many species of birds and frogs. We have had "twitchers" here who have registered as many of 60 species of birds before breakfast around the lake and the adjacent area.
    We are proud of the environment which we foster and like to share and encourage others in similar endeavours.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Visitors will learn our unique techniques of working with the fragile western soils and ecosystems as well as retaining two sustainable businesses for wool and beef production. Dougal's knowledge of animal husbandry is locally acknowledged as well as the superiority of his wool production.

    Susan has had a background in international finance and lived in Europe for some years before coming to here. She has retained her interest in sustainable farming by both practice and promotion through various organisations.
    Susan has a working knowledge of rudimentary German and French.

  • Help


    A willingness to listen and observe is important when working with a deaf person. Communication is by way of a person speaking face to face, slowly and clearly(not loudly) as Dougal lip reads extremely well.
    We both enjoy having visitors working with us on our daily tasks, be it mustering sheep, feeding cattle or just weeding the vegetable patch or emptying the chook bucket.

    At present Susan is attempting to increase the lake area and island sanctuary area within the lake to enable more wetland birds to shelter there unhindered by foxes. As winter approaches we are also picking citrus fruit for the annual marmalade production for family and friends.

    Whatever the season, there is always something to do here.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    We can offer self contained cottage accommodation or ensuite bedrooms in the farmhouse. These are a mixture of singles and doubles and the cottages can accommodate up to eight.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Coonamble(50km) hosts the largest rodeo in the Southern hemisphere on the June weekend.
    Quambone (24km) is the gateway to the Macquarie Marshes, a lengthy system of marshes and creeks that house a very large ibis breeding event each year as well as many other endangered water birds.
    The Warrumbungle mountain range National Park(150km) is a remnant volcanic area which rises out of the plains and offers many scenic walks and native animals.
    Lightning Ridge(225km) is a renowned underground opal field with a festivals at Easter. A walk in mine is open year-round.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 134752277697