We are both semi-retired teachers. We live on a farm in a beautiful position near the Grampians mountains in Western Victoria. Our farm is leased out, so other people run the sheep farm while we are teaching. We have a large garden, two lively dogs, two lovely cats, plus chooks, ducks and guinea fowl, so any volunteers here would need to love animals and not be allergic to them.
We have three adult children who are here occasionally. We are 11km from the nearest small village and 37km from the closest larger town. Unless you are happy to spend your spare time out here on the farm, a car would be preferable to get around, although we have bikes you are welcome to borrow.
For this same reason, we usually prefer to have couples so that you have a companion when none of our family are here. We have always enjoyed travel and meeting new people, and would say we are very sociable with family, friends and visitors.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Travellers will get a taste of farm living in a rural Australian area. They will usually get chances to interact with plenty of friends and family in our small, local community as we generally socialise a lot. They may get the chance to see or be involved in Australian farming practices, watch Australian Rules Footy, see Australian wildlife and experience our style of eating. We are always interested to exchange information with our travellers about where they live and their culture as well as sharing ours.
We have a large, somewhat chaotic garden and leading up to Spring/Summer there are lots of jobs to be done in it: Digging over, building garden beds, planting, weeding, cutting back, mulching etc might all be likely to be on the list of jobs, along with more general house maintenance jobs and animal care. We also have some recycling/upcycling projects to work on, maybe involving sanding/painting etc. So if you like animals and gardening in a lovely country setting, then this might be a good place for you.
Another thing is that if you are addicted to internet use, this is not the place for you. We have limited amounts of download and have sometimes had it all used up in the first few days of the month by travelers!!
Volunteers usually sleep in what we call "The Barn", but currently it is being extended and renovated so all accommodation is in the house with us. You would have your own double bedroom within the house and would share the bathroom, kitchen and lounge room with us. We will not allow smoking inside in any part of the house or barn. We are happy to cook the evening meals each day, but usually during the week volunteers will have to prepare their own breakfast and lunch and take responsibility for cleaning up after themselves. Our pets are considered special family members, and come into the house with us when we are home (not the chooks and ducks!), so it will be important that any volunteers are comfortable with animals and treat them well at all times.
We are close to the Grampians, which is perfect for accessing by car or pushbike (if you're a keen rider), for bushwalking, sightseeing, birdwatching etc. It is also an easy day trip to several great beaches. Our farm is large, beautiful and peaceful, perfect for long walks, bike rides or swimming in dams.
We are also very involved in the local community, the golf club, the school, the pub, and the football/netball club, so there are often events on related to these. Volunteers would be welcome to join in with any of these activities if they wish to.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week