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We live on a beautiful, undulating 1600 acre farm near Willaura, Victoria, not far from the Grampians mountain range and about 3 hours west of Melbourne. We purchased the farm in October 2019 and have been very busy ever since - there are plenty of simple jobs to do around here to keep us all busy, but nothing too difficult.
Toby is 57, an Englishman and was a commercial film producer for 30 years, prior to us moving to the country. Sally is 51, and Australian. I grew up in this area and am very happy to be back in the district. We have two daughters, Claudia (20) who is at University in Melbourne, and Ava (19) who finished her final year of school last year and is on a Gap Year before commencing University in 2021. Both girls come home from time to time and are a lot of fun, very outgoing and with great senses of humour. We also have a gorgeous Golden Retriever dog, Honey, who is nearly 4 years old and who would love any attention you would like to give her. We are a fun, easy going family, who love good food, wine and conversation.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are a happy family and welcome your stay with us, and we can offer the opportunity to experience country Victorian life. If you're hoping to improve your English skills we're happy to help. If you don't have your own transport we are able to assist with getting you to the local train station. If you are coming to us from Melbourne or the airport by public transport, you would need to make your own way to the towns of (either) Ararat or Hamilton by train, for us to collect you. I believe there is also a VLine bus available from Melbourne to Wickliffe, which is only 15 minutes away.
Our home is about 15 minutes each way from the townships of Willaura and Lake Bolac, west of Melbourne. We are on 1600 acres, and are surrounded by lots of beautiful, undulating country side (and thousands of sheep!).
Workaway travellers coming here would need to enjoy the peace and quiet of country life. We are happy to pick up travellers from the local train station (about 30 minutes away), however I anticipate you will be best placed with your own vehicle, if you'd like to explore the area in your own time. We are close to the beautiful Grampians mountain range and Halls Gap, which are both well worth a visit, and approximately 1.5 hours from the pretty coastal town of Port Fairy and the southern Shipwreck coast.
We have a large garden and 3 bedroom home, and need help doing day-to-day, simple chores to keep on top of everything, and to have it all looking need, tidy and clean.
Gardening work (including vegetable garden) might include watering, weeding and planting, mulching, and carting away (or burning) debris. Having only recently purchased this property, we have pretty much demolished the old, un-cared for garden and are in the process of planting out a new garden, including lots of trees that will occasionally need watering, especially in the summer months.
Around the farm we have many plantations of trees that constantly need tidying up and wood collected for home fires, with the messier bits stacked in bonfires and burnt on the spot. There are a couple of areas where very large trees have been removed over the years, and lots of little bits left behind that need gathering into piles and burning.
In the back yard and work area, there may be some painting needed on our work sheds from time to time, and general tidy up required. If you have building skills, we would love some help with the construction of tree guards and general fencing. In fact I'm sure we'd have lots of small jobs around the property for someone with carpentry or building skills.
Help inside the house might include general duties such as vacuuming, mopping, dusting, ironing, cleaning out cupboards, stacking and emptying the dishwasher, setting the table for meals and (less regularly) polishing silver and washing windows. And we would love our dog, Honey, to be given lots of attention and the occasional walk (if we are unable to take her ourselves). We also have chickens to be fed, and eggs collected, and in July / August we may need assistance with orphaned lambs that need to be bottle fed. So as you can see - there is always a lot to be done, but none of the work that we would ask you to do is difficult. Ultimately, we want you to leave having enjoyed your time with us.
You will be staying in the house we live in and we have one bedroom with a queen size bed available (for either one person or a couple to share) and use of the main household bathroom. If we don't have anyone else staying at the time, the bathroom would be exclusively yours, as Toby and I have an ensuite. From time to time we might have a second bedroom available, also with a queen size bed. This will depend on whether one of my daughters is at home, or we have friends to stay. We provide full board. Toby is a fantastic cook and if you enjoy cooking, he'd be happy to teach you some of his favorite recipes or learn some of yours. Whilst we don't mind if you smoke, we ask that you don't smoke inside the house.
During your own time, we would recommend a day trip to the Grampians, which is very close by. We don't, however, have a car available for travellers to use, so it would be beneficial for you to have your own car. The southern Shipwreck coast and Great Ocean Road is also only 1.5 hours away. A visit to the town of Port Fairy is also highly recommended.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week