We understand many travelers have been left stranded in Australia, without work and are looking for a place to stay while this passes. We are currently self isolating as best as possible and are willing to accept workers who are doing the same and who would be willing to stay for an extended period (3 weeks or more) as we are not willing to support people who are participating in non-essential travel.
We are an easy going couple looking for gardening, maintenance, painting, sewing & building help.
We are an eccentric, free-spirited 30ish couple living in the enchanted Falls Forest, 220 acres of rainforest conservation land on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia, half way between Sydney and Byron Bay. Together we are doers of stuff and makers of things; artists and collectors of oddities, hula hoopers extraordinaire. We like putting into the world what lives in our imagination through woodworking, costume making, prop making, wearable art, large scale art installations, circus performance, fairy house building, wand making and everything in between.
Her: Once an award winning Canadian tour guide, now turned rainforest wood nymph, sustainability and treading lightly means everything to Alex, from traditional food cooking and preserving, fermentation, DIY and resourcefulness. Currently busy studying towards a BA in Interior Design, but on break time she's focused on being a woodland fairy, observing the grandness of nature, hula hooping, reading or collecting curiosities in nature.
Him: Hugh is always tinkering away with something in his carpenter's workshop. A know-it-all to the finest degree, there isn't much this guy can't do. From carving dragons from fallen logs to building treasure from trash, you'll always find him connecting bits to bobs and making things go "whirrrrrr". In his down time you'll find him asleep, because "you can't work in the workshop when it's dark and cold, so what's the point in being awake?"
We have 2 incredibly friendly dogs, who are absolutely in-love with everyone, so you will expect to interact with them daily and likely take them on walks often.
You are invited to spend time using your building, landscaping and DIY skills in exchange for frolics in our lush, enchanted woods, bordering state forest. Follow the trail-filled eucalyptus plantation, beaming with rare native flora and fauna, for afternoon swims in our private 40m waterfall and several secret swim holes. Take your evenings by the pool, or fire pit or just simply sit in the splendor of nature. Through historically famous grounds, meander the Platypus Creek Trail and pick fresh fruit from our orchard. The enormous 200 year old fig tree boasts rope swing and secret fairy pod. Learn about native Australian bush tucker in our newly planted orchard of about 60 baby trees. (or help us remember what they are, as the markers all vanished!)
On our property are 6 unique townhouses which are sometimes rented out as holiday homes, but primarily used by friends and family escaping the city. So you will sometimes encounter holiday guests on the property, or friends and family who are visiting. We often have specific projects going on, but we don't plan too far in advance as we have a pretty irregular but casual schedule.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Historically famous, the Falls Forest Retreat was covenanted by the late Dr. Mary White, paleobotanist and conservationist who with the help of David Attenborough, transformed our 200 acres into pristine conservation land. The rewilding of the area has seen reintroduction of endangered plants and animals, and our regenerating ecosystem is a unique destination for many. You will be immersed in Mary White's life's work as you tune in to nature in the presence of reestablished bird and frog populations, swamp wallabies, microbats, fireflies, rare mushroom growth, and more, not to mention the preservation of natural wonders such as the sacred 40m Yoorigan waterfalls and the river bed to the 17 tier cascade pools. We are also looking forward to sharing art and woodworking skills as well as our own alternative lifestyle as artists in the forest who love upcycling, crafting, cooking, hula hooping, costume making and living the fairy tale life.
We venture off the property often and are happy to take you adventuring in the nearby state forests, national parks, beaches and local farmer's markets. We are heaps keen and flexible in order to ensure you have a good time in our wonderful corner of the world.
Due to a severe industrial accident my husband has recently faced (around the same time we also went into lockdown), we are looking for people who are already skilled with tools or are quick and efficient learners, and who are flexible but also happy and reliable to do your day's work without necessarily having set start or finish times.
Your desired experienced would be tractors and ride-on mowers, landscaping tools, carpentry, painting, sewing and cleaning.
I (Alex) am very busy studying my BA in Interior Design, and Hugh (my husband) is recovering but still very active and requires a bit of help building his art projects. You will split your time between us, with whatever jobs come up.
Our exchange would be 5-6 hours of work a day 4-5 days a week (this just depends on what is going on at the time) for accommodation and groceries. There will be no set meal times, as our schedule doesn't consist of much routine. So you will just be free to do your own thing. We do however often have family meals either with us in our house, or in the common house with other friends and family. During your time here, we ensure you will be comfortable and taken care of.
Our property hosts 6 townhouse accommodation homes which are generally used by friends and family, although we do occasionally rent to holiday-makers. We have one townhouse dedicated for the use of workers. Your stay will either be in a separate private double room or in a twin shared room (with one other person), in a house with others. This is on a first come, first serve basis. Shower/toilet and kitchenette included. All guests and volunteers have access to our communal roundhouse which is a large building with library, billiards table, sunken lounge, fireplace, movie projector, large dinning areas and large kitchen, BBQ area and coffee machine.
We also welcome campers/campervans if you prefer. We have an outdoor compost toilet, but you will share a shower with the worker townhouse or another house...whatever is available. Maybe you can help us make the outdoor shower we've been dreaming of....just in time for winter! ;)
We are surrounded by 4 Nationals parks, are a 30 minute drive to several famous beaches for surf and whale watching and are surrounded by charming small towns, cafes and shopping. 45 mins to Port Macquarie (where you can meet Koalas up close!)
For maximum enjoyment, you would have your own vehicle to get around, however with prior arrangement we are able to pick you up at the nearest train/bus station (Taree or Port Macquarie) and we are happy to take you on adventures during your time off.
Please note, there is almost no cell phone reception here (Telstra does okay) and WiFi and TV are very limited. We encourage you to switch off your devices and enjoy nature and community. We have a wide selection of books and DVDs as well.
To give you an understanding on our location, we are quite isolated for those without a car;
-The nearest towns are Kew, Kendall and Laurieton, about 15-20 minutes by car
-Beaches and national parks are 20-40 minutes by car
-We reside on a rural property, at the end of a 4km dirt road
-Our "town" has a small cafe and a pub that is never open
-Nearest cities are Taree (30 mins by car) and Port Macquarie (45 mins by car)
-We do not have bikes as of yet
-There is no bus or train service in Johns River
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our WiFi is satellite and so it sometimes doesn't work in bad weather however there is a cafe with Internet if you are desperate in our town, located 4km away.
We have ample space for campervans and motorhomes. We have compost toilets but no showers. You would be welcome to use ours or another shower on the property.
Yes, dogs are welcome so long as they are good with people and other dogs and do not disturb the wildlife. Birds are also allowed provided they are healthy. No cats unless they are 100% on lead or contained at all times. This is to protect wildlife (I would have 6 cats if I could but the birds and the creatures here are now my pets ;) )
More than two
5 hours per day 5 days per week