help exchange   Host 22431
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 60
Persons: up to 6
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 22431
Region: Queensland

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Last Updated: September 25, 2017

If you want an “outback” experience we can certainly give you that!! We are surrounded by nature. The drive here after leaving the main road is a 45 minute 4wd track with creek crossings and croc-free swimming holes which we stop at frequently to enjoy a beautiful swim in some of the cleanest water in Australia.

We have a wonderful person living on the property with us who would be happy to take you on guided bushwalks to the nearby waterfall, and teach you fire twirling - or at least put on a show for us all! Our children are now fire twirlers in training - even the two year old (with some heart stopping moments for us!) :)

We have just spotted platypus in the water systems on our property - first ever recorded on the Normanby river system and the highest elevation recorded in Queensland (500m).

We have dingoes that howl on nearby ridges, amethyst pythons and tree pythons, wild pigs and cattle, endangered tree kangaroos, sugar gliders, kangaroos and wallabies that come up close to the house and camping areas, turtles, platypus, and lots of beautiful birds - its a really nice place to live.

There is so much more waiting to be discovered up here (only spotted the platypus after being here 3 years!). One of the people who live here and our helpers went on an overnight hike to the waterfall on their days off in July and found an isolated population of crocodiles we had been told about but had never seen. This is not on our water system so there are no crocs near us, but you can walk to the waterfall (3hr hike) and see crocodiles in their natural habitat. We need to clear the tracks for the walks after each wet season, so that might be on the jobs list!

We work closely with the Jabalbina Rangers to monitor flora and fauna in the area. We are currently working with them to eradicate an invasive water plant, and consulting them on species of fish to add to our aquaculture system.

We have extensive resources (DVDS and books - some downloaded in other languages - and our own personal knowledge which we love to share) on topics like Permaculture, Peak Oil (Scott was an ASPO representative and has extensive knowledge on Peak Oil and Peak Resources in general), Global Economics, Natural Building, Natural Learning and Home Education (for children and adults), Aquaponics, Natural Medicine and Health, and Nutrition. We have WiFi and Telstra Mobile is a ten minute walk.

We moved to this bush block just over 5 years ago. The goal is to create from a bare bush block a self sufficient property on a very small budget to show that it is possible to live a different lifestyle on country if you are willing to be creative and put in the effort. Progress is slow but worth it.

Our current helpers have been busy improving our helper accommodation and starting the extension on our communal house. We have two private cabins on the lake front, and many tent sites (we have tents for helpers to use) as accommodation for helpers.

Currently we are working on :

House extension
Building a shed
Setting up solar off grid power
Machinery maintenance
Setting up an aquaponics system
Gardening - creating and maintaining garden spaces
Creating walking tracks around the property
Improving existing cabins and identifying spaces for new cabins
Clearing trees
Earth building projects - rendering, cob walls, wattle and daub walls, cordwood walls, rock walls, pizza oven etc
Making the earthbag dome (its in one of the photos) into helper accommodation
Maintaining roads and bridges

Projects we are planning to get to in the near future:

Creating tanks for our spirulina growing experiment
Building a barn
Ferro Cement water tanks
Completing our design for a gasifier (original design was a combined effort with some of our helpers - thank you Joel and Ben!)
Digging a ditch around a headland on the lake to create an island where the earthbag cabin is
Planning paddock systems for the soon to come milking sheep
And more .....

We also go camping to a local river system to catch redclaw (a fresh water lobster which is delicious!!), and freshwater mussels to add to our lakes as part of an integrated multitrophic aquaculture system, and to the beach collect coconuts for eating and planting.

A person with mechanical experience would be very helpful at any time - particularly someone who knows autoelectrics!

There is always so much to do and your help would be much appreciated to help create this property into the vision we have for it.

A nutritious mixed diet is provided. At each cabin a small cooking space is provided for coffee and simple meals. If your interested we'll teach you how to make bread, yoghurt, kombucha and jun, fermented foods, grow sprouts and raw food recipes.

We work 5 days a week and have 2 days off. Usual work hours are from 9 - 12 in the morning and 2 - 4 in the afternoons.

We have four young boys aged 4 to 12 who love "helping" our helpers. Maybe you can teach them some words in your language. Its very sweet to hear them call out "bonne nuit" to the french person staying with us at the moment as he goes to bed!

Bring clothes that you don't mind getting dirty when your working, and boots - or go barefoot on the earth like we do.

We live over an hour from the nearest shops, so we only head out once a week. Make sure you have everything you need before you get here (buy more cigarettes if you think you'll run out!! :) )

We supply all food, but if you have special requirements (like chocolate, cigarettes or alcohol :) ) bring it with you!

Minimum stay is 1 week (we only go in to town once a week) - maximum stay is negotiable (we've had people stay from 1 week to a year).

Transport to the area from Cairns is with TransNorth - on the coastal route getting off at the Lions Den Hotel. We can pick you up from there. It is a beautiful 4wd bus ride through Cape Tribulation and Bloomfield. Often the bus needs to stop to allow endangered Cassowarys to cross the road. Its a very scenic trip to get here!

You can also catch a Cairns Cooktown Express bus - - the drive is less scenic but it is about $10 cheaper than the TransNorth bus! Make sure you tell them you are going to the Lions Den Hotel when you book!

If you want a unique Australian experience just get in touch!

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