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Help us with rainforest regeneration, gardening and small building projects in Upper Coopers Creek, Australia

  • Australia
  • Favourited 19 times
  • Last activity: 17 May 2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    John, Sandra, Xavier and Xero (the dog) live on 5 acres in the Byron Bay Hinterland. We also have an adult daughter who lives closer to Byron Bay. We are fortunate to have a deep swimming hole and a beautiful strip of rainforest along a permanent creek that is home to platypus and turtles. Our valley was once farmed, but now many of our neighbours are, like us, engaged in the regeneration of the rainforest—which mostly means battling invasive weeds. We've learnt so much about the plants and wildlife of this region since we bought here six years ago, and are learning more each day. By profession we are architects and have a design studio catering for diverse clients. We designed our house and finished it two years ago, winning architecture awards for interior design and sustainability. Much of it, including a separate cabin, we built ourselves. The shift to a more physical life after desk-bound careers in academia has been amazing.
    We still have lots of interesting projects to do alongside taking care of the forest. These include building a bathroom for the cabin, erecting a carport, restoring the soil and planting a vegetable garden. We hope also to revive and expand the orchard—currently we have more lemons, passionfruit, and bananas than we can eat, but it's hard to live on dessert alone.
    For pleasure, Xavier plays piano and composes, Sandra makes art, and we all love a camp fire in winter. Like most country folk, we tend to get up early (Xavier catches the school bus just after 7am) and go to bed early.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
  • 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

    Our valley is bordered by national parks and its very beautiful. It is a 5 minute drive to the tourist destination of Minyon Falls and there are many other waterfalls and walks near by. You will learn about rainforest ecology firsthand and experience Australian animals and birds in the wild. You may also see pythons and frogs and glowworms, and will definitely see spiders. You will participate in the ongoing process of caring for the land, including replanting the river banks after the floods of 2022. You will meet other people who are engaged in forest regeneration.

  • Help


    We are looking for energetic people who can work with us in the garden and forest, and on small DIY build projects. We use a range of simple power tools such as drills and saws, a brush cutter and ride-on mower. It would be an advantage if you had experience in basic tool use, but we are also willing to teach you. (Most of our skills have been gained from YouTube, trial and error, and patient collaborators). There are also lots of unskilled jobs that benefit from a bit of stamina and strength, but mostly just require fearlessness in the face of leeches and mud. If you like the great outdoors, then you're a good match.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Japanese: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    You will have a double bedroom looking out onto the forest, and your own bathroom in an architect-designed house. The guest bedroom is separated from ours by a courtyard and connected via a screened verandah, which makes it visually quite private, but not acoustically private. You'll hear Xavier playing the piano and, often, the dog singing along. Likewise, we'll hear you if you break out a tune.
    You will share the kitchen, living areas and laundry with us. As we are a long way from restaurants we are used to cooking most evenings, we will cook for you--unless you wish to cook. We can cater for allergies and don't eat red meat ourselves. We have reliable internet.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We think the best place to swim in the world is in our waterhole, but should you wish to swim in the sea the closest beach is at Brunswick Heads, 35 minutes away. Having your own transport will make access to so many of Byron Bay's sights easier, since there is no public transport. Some people hitch, but we don't recommend it. We can pick you up and drop you off after your stay in either Lismore, Mullumbimby or Byron.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    There is space to work in your room, which has a loft. We are connected to Starlink which is mostly fast and reliable and with unlimited data.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

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

Host ref number: 576691531867

Feedback (2)



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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

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