Help me create a self-sufficient paradise 4 hours north of Sydney, Australia



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  • Description


    Our farm is a recently purchased property (4 hours north of Sydney), requiring restoration, weeding, clearing, general farm help, and help building a new house and attachments. It's shared with my family and there are 5 adults directly involved in various aspects, 2 of them being my parents that live nearby where I sleep and live currently too. My sister and her partner are doing their own similar thing to me on the other end of the same property, except they already have a house.
    This is my full-time occupation for now.
    I'm 37 and I have spent a lot of time in cities; spent my teenage years on a small farm and travelled a lot.
    I am very good at communicating with non-native english speakers!

    Unfortunately there's just not much to photograph on my land yet! But it's beautiful :)

    Keep reading but ideally I'd like to collect a bunch of people to camp on the property and have at least 4 people at any time for socialising etc.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I can teach many things even besides what tasks we will do.
    My family an I are Aussie born and bred, with British backgrounds, but we have all travelled extensively and lived in cities and rurally.
    I have couch surfed and hosted a lot in the past too, so I am familiar with the needs and requirements of travellers.
    I love learning about other cultures and place and I really enjoy teaching too!

    Between me, my sister/partner and parents we have a few decades of experience in Horticulture, agriculture, landscaping, native plant identification and bush regeneration, home renovation, building, IT and technology skills; numerous degrees and high levels of knowledge and skill.
    My sister and I especially are interested in Regenerative Agriculture and follow people like Richard Perkins, with hopes to do a lot of what the leaders in the field are doing. We do a lot of fermentation and making sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, water kefir, and similar things :)
    I also have bees, and dabble in many areas.

    You can assist me with errands in town, help around my parents place if you have anything to offer.
    Basically, we have 3 properties that could all use some help. The list of help available is endless, and you'll be interacting with 5+ adults with huge amounts of experience each.
    Mostly you can learn about Australia, the bush, building, cattle/Australian small-scale animal farming, coastal farming from the tasks we will do.

    I have "Workaway'd" in Denmark on an organic pig farm a few times and other places and I feel like I know how to be a good host.
    I'm happy to help you explore any part of Australian culture you want.
    Just nearby my farm you can see typical traditional Aussie farmers doing their thing.
    By going into town for supply runs you'll see how a typical coastal Aussie "Service town" works. You'll meet lots of proper Aussies, hear lots of broad (hard to understand) accents, and experience Australian rural family life with my retired parents, my sister and her newborn baby and 2 dogs and animals.

    My family have a huge amount they can teach, among the topics would be:
    landscaping, agriculture, fermentation, farming, fencing, ecology and sustainability, horticulture, botany, physics (and all sciences), trees, plants, birds (we have counted around 40 species), animals (wallabies among many others), animal husbandry, English language, machinery, building, carpentry, metal help, weed identification, driving a 4WD and tractor, tool and equipment usage (like chainsaws), how to split logs with an axe, all about Australian timbers, different types of forests. My land has dry and wet sclerophyll forests (bush), sub-tropical rainforest and other varieties of tree groupings (we really like plants!).
    Between us all, you can learn a LOT, and most of it from just me too. I am a jack of all trades, have done a LOT of outdoor adventuring, canyoning, caving, climbing, camping and multi-day hiking and I'm even a former SCUBA instructor.

  • Help


    I recently purchased property with many weeds and overgrown areas require some help. You can see from the pictures it just looks like a large bit of grass and trees right now, and that's not too far from the truth of it! There is much to be done, and much help required.

    I currently live at my parents property 10 minutes down the road with my young dog. My property is large and co-owned by my sister and her partner/baby/dog and they currently live at the other end of the property in a newly renovated small house.
    I will be building a house and associated attachments: sheds/carports/driveways/fences/outhouse/gardens and doing much property restoration in 2020+ (and hopefully most of it is actually done in 2020!)

    The house will be innovative, fully off-grid with solar power and solar/wood/compost hotwater.
    There will be tasks to do such as collect/cut firewood, feed animals and general farm/rural help. We have about 50-75 head of cattle on the land, depending on season/rain etc.
    The property was abandoned for over 5 years before we got it, and the former owner did not take care of it either.

    The help required will depend on build status, weather and many factors, I willneed help restoring the property to its former glory by removal of large weeds, restoring deteriorated temporary buildings for helpers to stay in, garden help (both edible garden and planting native plants), and really almost anything.

    This kind of help would ideally suit people really keen to get down and dirty who don't mind doing things alone, or lots of random things. I'd love people who are good at taking initiative. Experts are always welcome, but anyone willing to learn and enthusiastic is fine by me.

    Workaway suggests I answer these:
    1. How much time is expected and the details of the tasks you need help with
    - Approx the standard 25 hours per week. We will work to you experience level and skills.

    2. How meals and food will happen
    - It will be provided, or discussed and worked out amicably. We are very flexible and have multiple areas to cook.

    3. Internet/Phone rules
    - Mobile reception is not great around these parts, but sufficient for you if you're on Telstra. We have internet at my parents with wifi. You may use it freely when at the house.

    4. Public transport info
    - THere is very little to the farm area, but if taking a bus/train/plane to a nearby town or city, I can very likely pick you up or help you get here. The nearest major town is Taree, NSW (about 30 minutes away). It has a train station and bus stops, and is between Sydney and Brisbane.

    5. Things to see and do locally
    - It really depends on the weather and what's happening but if you enjoy nature you won't be bored. We have a huge entertainment library, and make regular trips around the area.

    6. Can you accommodate families/children/animals?
    - Probably yes to all 3; just ask!

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Whilst we can shower here and there at my parents place, mostly I'm looking for campers and people who don't mind "roughing" it on my property. I have fire, a new dam that could be swum in, and plenty of space. A compost toilet and solar to charge phones etc. Happy to knock up a camp kitchen too, and a covered space. I have a couple of spare tents and some old portable buildings nearby that need to be cleaned out and fixed up a bit but that will be fine once done.

    Food will be provided and will be mostly good stuff, or whatever people want.

    There is ample entertainment available at parents for rainy days etc, reasonable internet, and whilst we're not exactly central, it's not too hard to get around and between 5 people there are regular runs to town.

    There is a separate kitchen at my parents house for use by guests if we need it, so really, you can do whatever you like regarding food, and if you want to make your own then you just let us know what ingredients you want.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There is much walking to do around, but regular trips to town will happen with various family members. Some beach time can also happen. You will need a car to get anywhere but we have 5 between the family so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Any size vehicle can be accomodated. In fact,vehicleds are preferable as I have no buildings yet.

  • Can possibly acccept pets

    Can possibly acccept pets

    Dogs are fine, provided they're socialised. Anything else.... well, they're welcome but they'll be outside so up to you... I have an intact male puppy/dog.

  • 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

A look across much of my land.
My new driveway!!!
The new house site.
Layout showing my half and sister's half of land. The circles are approximate house and dam sites.
The new house and driveway area. Hopefully by the time you read this the driveway (dark line) is now finished!
A view across the property showing some of the cattle :)
Me and my niece on the property!
My young dog :)
The escarpment behind the property. It's a decent view ;)
Host ref number: 677153547164