Come learn about building a Straw Bale House and Farm Help on the mid-north Coast of NSW, Australia




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  • Description


    We are a family of 4, building a straw-bale house and hobby farm on the mid-north Coast of NSW. We bought our 100- acre property just outside the small town of Eungai Creek in 2015. The property is off grid, running entirely off solar power and we collect our own rain water. We have a pizza oven that is used regularly for sharing evenings with friends and enjoying the odd beer and cider that Corey home brews.

    We have a pony, 2 dogs, ducks and chickens and are setting up hügelkultur garden beds to grow fruit and vegetables and become self-sufficient.

    Sarah, from the UK, has lived in Australia since 2007, Corey grew up on the mid-north coast and knows the local area well. We have 2 girsl, 7 and 10. Between us we travelled many countries, before starting our family. We enjoy meeting new people, sharing stories and outdoor living. We hold workshops to teach about natural building and love sharing our project with people.

    Our build is a 300m2 U-shaped house, being constructed using the load-bearing straw bale method. Approximately 500 bales were used to construct the walls. We are now in the process of putting up ceilings, making skirts and door jambs and getting ready for the internal fit out. We are re-using and recycling as many different materials as possible. All our windows are second-hand. Flooring and ceiling panels will be built from second hand materials – fence palings, pallets, old timber etc.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We can help travellers improve their English, learn abut life in rural Australia, and learn about natural building and living sustainably.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    We are looking for an individual or couple to help out for 4 to 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. There is flexibility as to the number of hours, and the time of day. Some weekend help may be required as you will be assisting us with the build (which fits around our day jobs), but these days can be swapped for weekdays off.

    Helpers looking for a stay of 1 to 2 weeks at a time are ideal, but we may be open to longer stays.

    Some of the tasks involved have a physical element, so a basic level of fitness is required. Some tasks may include the use of power tools and machinery, but only if you are comfortable using them. Some tasks can be completed independently, whilst others will involve assisting us. Training and guidance will be provided where required.

    We are looking for helpers that are comfortable working independently or as part of a larger team, keen to learn new skills, have a good work ethic and take pride in what they do.

    There are lots of aspects of the build that we need help with. Some of which include:
    • Sieving clay and mixing the clay, sand, straw and lime render
    • Rendering the bale walls
    • Cutting and fixing wire to the internal wood framing ready for rendering
    • Detailing second hand floor boards
    • Stripping, sanding and varnishing recycled doors
    • Moving and deconstructing fence panels and pallets
    • Planting trees
    • Building raised garden beds using recycled materials
    • Planting vegetables
    • Mowing lawns and whipper-snippering (strimming)
    • Weeding gardens, weed removal in paddocks
    • Re-fencing and maintaining horse paddocks and chook pens
    • Clearing trees and fallen logs for bush fire hazard reduction
    • Cutting and stacking firewood

    Depending on your experience and references etc we may ask for occasional child care, but this is not a requirement!

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We can offer a room (single and double bed), and shared access to family bathroom, kitchen and complimentary Wi-Fi.
    The room has been built inside the main house, so is separate, but next to our family lodging.

    A combination of meals or ingredients to prepare your own will be provided.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Due to our location it would be an advantage to have your own vehicle. There is no public transport within walking distance. We can help with lifts locally, but due to our work commitments this may be limited. Our property is a 5 minute drive from the Pacific Highway, and Eungai Rail Station and only an hour from regional Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour airports.

    About the area:
    Eungai Creek is small picturesque township on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, located half way between Sydney and Brisbane, (approx. a 6-hour drive in both directions). It has a population just under 400, and alongside Eungai Rail and the country areas of Allgomerra and Tamban it forms part of the larger community of Eungai.

    On the last Sunday of every second month the Funkya @ Unkya Markets are held at the Unkya Community Reserve between Eungai Creek and Engai Rail. They are always busy and vibrant, with live music and a showcase of the best local produce.

    Local attractions
    The base of Yarrahapinni Mountain, which stands at 498 metres is just a 10 minute drive from Eungai. Yarriabini Lookout, which is just below the summit has the most amazing views across the Macleay Valley to the coast and Trial Bay. Half way up (or down) is the beautiful Pines Picnic area and Way Way Creek rainforest walk.

    The coastal beaches of Stuarts Point (15 mins), Scotts Head (20 mins) and South West Rocks (25 mins) are all just a short drive from Eungai.

    Stuarts Point is a great spot for beach and river fishing. It is a quiet township sited at the old mouth of Macleay River, with access to the beach through the sand dunes.

    Scotts Head has sandy beaches that run for miles. It is a popular surfing and fishing spot and good for families too. Walking tracks provide access to great coastal views and the chance to spot dolphins and whales (May to October).

    South West Rocks has an abundance of sights and activities as well as several great cafes and restaurants. It lies at the mouth of the Macleay River and has one of the top 10 diving spots in Australia - Fish Rock Cave where you can swim amongst the grey nurse sharks. Visit Trial Bay Gaol, Smoky Cape Lighthouse, take a fishing charter or explore the endless beaches and National Park.

    Bellingen is an historical country picturesque town just 40 minutes north of Eungai Creek. With an eclectic mix of boutique shops, string of good cafés and vibrant community of artisans and artists, Bello celebrates its creativity with the monthly Bellingen Community Markets and several festivals such as Bellingen Music Festival, Bello Winter Music Festival and Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival.

    Just over half an hour's drive inland is Taylors Arm; made famous by Slim Dusty it is the location of the "Pub With No Beer". The Pub itself has plenty of old country charm, beer is a plenty and the meals are both satisfying and very tasty.

  • 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

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

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

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Host ref number: 723466653462