We are artists and teachers who are well travelled, enjoy good company, and find fun in what we do. Our comfortable mud-brick dwelling is set on 40-acres of natural bush habitat amongst stunning granite rock outcrops, big night skies, kangaroos and abundant bird life on the traditional Indigenous sovereign lands of the Djab Wurrung people. This land backs onto the Black Range Scenic Reserve of the Northern Grampians in Western Victoria, 3 hours west of Melbourne.
We are making a place for ourselves and fellow artists (and you!) to work and live in close connection to this ancient geology and natural environment. There is a range of work to do, which changes with the seasons, so you can work on tasks to suit your skills, interests and what you'd like to learn. We have building and repair projects like currently landscaping a small camp ground; restoring a beautiful old wooden caravan, building sheds, painting buildings, building fences; re-designing and re-building our substantial vegetable garden and orchard to be more efficient with permaculture principles; orchard and vege garden work; clearing fallen timber and weeds; and much more. We regularly have visiting artists staying with us, and small groups of artists and researchers staying for a few days doing projects here, which you can help with if interested.
Workaway solo travellers, couples or a few friends are welcome. You need to be physically fit!
We are 3hours west of Melbourne, 5-7km away from the two nearest towns (Stawell and Great Western) not far from the Western Highway between Melbourne and Adelaide. The amazing Grampians National Park / Geriwerd is 25minutes drive away, You can easily travel to us: via train from Melbourne to Ararat and connecting bus to Great Western, where we will come and pick you up. Or from Adelaide or Melbourne, you can bus to Stawell or Great Western and we will come and pick you up.
Staying with us will suit people looking for time outdoors in nature, interested in sustainable approaches to living, and perhaps pursuing a creative life. This is a great place to learn! Our place has plenty of spaces to hangout: verandahs all around to sit and read or hangout in a hammock; shady tree to lay under; an outdoor fire-pit to dream with. We have been living in Black Range for one year, and have only just joined as WorkAway hosts. Come and be one of our first special guests!
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Staying with us is an opportunity to learn about caring for and conserving a remarkable area of Australian bush and wildlife, growing and cooking food, and how you might pursue a unique creative life in comparison to how we are doing it. We love to exchange ways to cook with guests. You can join in Mick's baking sourdough bread, and Amaara's Sri Lankan cooking. Mick is a keen bushwalker / overnight hiker, (hikers are welcome!) and is happy to share what he knows. He is an artist and designer, who can share with you his know-how in making things. As a choreographer and writer, Amaara can share tools for getting to your most creative side. Depending on weather and time available, we might be able to take you walking into the Black Range and the Grampians / Geriwerd, or for a little kayaking.
We are keen travellers and enjoy learning about the lives, cultures and pursuits of our guests. We welcome you into our family life and community. We'd also love to learn from people with permaculture knowledge and experience, and agricultural or land management experience.
We need help with our vegetable garden and orchard, with clearing fallen wood before the fire season, with some building and eco projects (like landscaping a small tent camp ground, re-building a shed, restoring a wooden caravan), and with land maintenance task (like weeding, mowing, wire fencing). We regularly have visiting artists staying with us, and small groups of artists and researchers staying for a few days doing projects here, which you can help with if interested. We all help out with cooking and cleaning up the kitchen and living areas of the place.
There are a three accommodation options dependent on who else is staying with us the time of your visit, and what you would most prefer. If you prefer the outdoors and more independence, you can pitch your tent or use one of ours in a beautiful bush setting. A large upstairs mezzanine room in the main house provides your own big space for sleeping (plenty of mattress options) and hanging out. A front light filled room in the main house with queen bed is the deluxe option (sometimes taken by a visiting artist) that includes a desk under a window that writers like. We have plenty of bedding and sleeping bags. We are sensitive to giving our guests as much company or space to yourself as you need.
We provide your food with a help-yourself breakfast and lunch. We like to share an evening meal together, cooking together and exchanging tips, and gather around the table. We eat a mainly plant based diet, and much of it comes from the garden. We are happy to accomodate different diets or allergies of our guests.
We are in the Wimmera area, 3 hours / 220 kms west of Melbourne at the edge of Gariwerd / Grampians National Park. From Melbourne, you can train to Ararat and then bus to Great Western, for $30. We will pick you up from Great Western, or Stawell and can sometimes from Ararat.
We have bikes you can use to ride around the area, and the 7kms into the nearest towns of Great Western or Stawell. Great Western is wine growing region. Stawell is a larger town with most facilities, shops, community classes and pool. Halls Gap – the town centre for Geriwerd / the Grampians National Park - is 25mins drive away, and features the Brambuck Cultural Centre which provides a fantastic introduction to Indigenous culture in this region. By arrangement you can occasionally use our vehicle for the cost of fuel.
The land we live on is protected by a nature conservation covenant. This commits those who live and stay on the land to conserve and care for the land’s ecological significance, for the habitat it provides native plants and wildlife, for its bushland trees and rock formations, watercourses and marshes. We share this with wallabies and kangaroos, much birdlife, possums and bats, the antechinus tiny marsupial that will eat almost anything, echidnas, the endangered Powerful Owl, amongst many others. Yellow Box and Red Gum Eucalyptus and Black Wattle Acacia trees predominate amongst grasses and sedges, interspersed with lilies and orchids. Invasive species that we are obliged to manage include rabbits, deer and foxes, and various weeds. We are asking ourselves as visitors to leave this land improved as an ecosystem providing habitats to a rich diversity of species along with humans.
From the back door of our mud brick home there is much land to walk out into and explore! You will be joining us in learning and sharing land, art, ecology and community.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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