We are a family of 4. Helen is a social worker, Martin works for a visual effects company, Freya (7) and Hermione (5) attend a local primary school. During the week it's pretty busy with work and school. but on the weekend we are working on a project at home, or are seeing friends or family. We have two cats, Feliz and Matilda who will hide from you and 5 chooks. Our house used to be a Bed and Breakfast, and we are slowly turning it more into a family home.
We are slowly returning to normal. The girls are back at school, though the grownups are still working from home most days. So far there have been limited cases of COVID around here, and hopefully, it will stay that way. Given the recent outbreaks in Melbourne and Sydney, we ask that if you are coming from the city you get a COVID test first. We ask that all Workawayers be diligent with hand washing and isolate if they are feeling unwell.
Projects we are have on the horizon: We've had a new septic system installed so a lot of our garden got destroyed in the process :( so we’ve had to redesign and replant. It’s looking pretty great, but with summer on the horizon, the next job is to redo the irrigation. There’s also lots of weeding and mulching to do. Jobs can be done at your leisure - eg we might order a trailer load of mulch and get you to spread it out sometime over the week. So you can choose to either do a bit per day or do it all in a day then take time off to relax and explore.
Helen also has a crazy dream of adopting goats, but first, we'd need to build a fence. So if you are a skilled fencer, we'd love to hear from you.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Castlemaine is a lovely town, very arty and community-minded. There are lots of lovely bushwalks to do where you'll see a lot of Australian wildlife. It is close enough to Melbourne for day-trips, but far enough away to unwind. Staying with us would give you the opportunity to practice your English, relax and read under a tree, and escape the bustle of the city backpacker scene.
Work will be mostly helping in the garden and odd jobs around the house such as painting, moving wood, etc. It doesn't require any particular skill, just a bit of muscle and stamina. We have two children, and whilst we will always be around, they will want to talk and play with you. So you'll have to like children!
You'll have your own self-contained cottage. There are two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen/living area. You can use the laundry in our house. Workawayers provide their own food and cook for themselves, though we'll often do joint meals together. Help yourself to eggs from the chook house or herbs and veggies from the garden, plus you are welcome to raid of the pantry for ingredients to save yourself having to buy packets of things if you only need a couple of tablespoons!
We are about 5km out of town. So ideally you’ll have your own car/bike. We can give you a lift into town if we are around. There is a bus, but it's infrequent.
Here's some information about the region
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
You can work on your own projects in the cottage. We have a good internet connection, however it can be a bit temperamental for Zoom. If your work uses a lot of bandwidth then please discuss with us first as Helen has scheduled Zoom appointments so you might need to schedule high bandwidth tasks to a different part of the day.
You can park camper vans in the driveway. You would prefer to sleep in the cottage as it’s on a busy road. Motor homes would be a tight fit.
Will accept friendly dogs.
More than two
Maximum 3-4 hours a day, 4-5 days a week
These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.
Accuracy of profile: