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help exchange   Host 24467
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Help Exchange

All Year: From March to Oct
Area (ha): 4000 ha
Persons: 1 to 4
Category: Non Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 24467
Region: Queensland

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Last Updated: January 17, 2018

Hi! We manage a beautiful gay friendly cattle station and retreat space in the central west, purchased about 2 years ago now, right on the banks of the infamous Barcoo River. We would love to have volunteers come and explore our place, to share their stories, create visions and leave their imprint on the place.

We are looking for people who would like to spend some serious time outdoors, helping with work projects in the mornings and then enjoying what our station has to offer in the afternoons (and sometimes the other way around too). We have several horses for experienced riders only, and we are happy for you to take them out every day if you like, or, if you want to go fishing, the river has a good population of yellow-belly and red claw that are both great for dinner. Bring fishing gear and something to swim in. In your spare time, there are a lot of walking tracks through the bush with local wildlife and plants to observe. We also have many sites with loaded memorabilia from the old time Cobb and Co days, when the Ox and Cart was pulled from station to station delivering goods. You can also roll on the lawn with the cat, run with the border collies, bounce around with Ruby the house kangaroo, pick fruit and veges, talk to the chickens, care-take our horses, go swimming, make an outside fire to cook on like the old days, play tennis, or just sit by and watch the sunset after work, whatever you like. We have a massive esoteric library which you are welcome to borrow a book from while you are here (if you ask very nicely :). There are many beautiful spots to meditate or practice yoga. Bring out your mats!

The property itself boasts an abundance of Australian wildlife, and it has become a bit of a animal sanctuary since we built a protective fence for the animals. The sunrises and sunsets, both on the river and in the open areas are magnificent - and anyone who loves taking photos or painting (esp watercolour), will fall in love with the colour palette and lighting. We suggest to bring out any art supplies as you will be totally inspired! We base as much of our property development and food around organic and permaculture principles - and we love natural building too.

We are in the process of setting up a retreat centre (5-year project), a wood working and steel workshop, an artists in residence, building an old school post and rail fence, rebuilding our fishing barge, renovating an 1865 cobb and co station house, and working on our greenhouse and planting out; so we would love to hear from anyone who has skills that might apply to these projects. Anyone with illustration/graf/art skills more than welcome too. However, if you wish to just help out cleaning around the house and getting into our garden, we are happy for you to do this as well. We can also help you to improve your English skills while working with us throughout the day. We speak English, a bit of Spanish, and we love French although we are just learning - like beginner learning!!!

For heavier projects or cattle station experience, we have various tasks daily we maintain like mustering our paddocks, checking waters, cleaning tanks, fixing fences, mothering up, goat herding, pulling weeds, fixing tools and machinery, just to name a few. So, it really depends on what is happening at the property and what we need help with at that time, and what you would like to experience while with us also. In the warmer months, its a good idea to bring a fly net with you, but we will fill you in on what you will need when you apply to us.

The current accommodation is for four people set up in the kitchen cottage, with comfy single beds, TV, air-con, the use of the main kitchen and oven, microwave, a lounge area, washing machine use, and a toilet/shower. There is a fridge/freezer in the kitchen quarters for extra things you might want to bring with you. Please note that you will be in the common dorm area of the kitchen quarters, and it is all shared with the owners and workers of Avington Station.

We will provide food for three meals a day (cooking skills required), and we are happy to cater for dietary requirements if possible. Please let us know of these beforehand, as when you get here its too late for us to organise being so remote. We also provide a fabulous sunshine coast blend coffee to get you going in the morning from the main house. Its truly yummy!

Telstra is the only service that works out here on our remote antenna so please ensure that you have access to a telstra network on your phone, or acquire a sim and service before coming out to the station. No other service network works out here apart from Telstra. Surfing on our wifi is not an option unfortunately.

There is always a spot for a volunteer cook on the farm so if anyone in your party is interested that would be excellent. We love cooking all sorts of cuisine, and we love learning how to cook new foods too - so please, impart your knowledge to us!!! We have the occasional campfire and we enjoy a peaceful boat cruise on the Barcoo River system too, when the evening is clear, and the stars are bright. Canoeing on the river is also available for volunteers. Self starters really enjoy themselves on our property, so if this is you, please come along and enjoy our piece of outback paradise.

The minimum stay is two weeks to really get the feel of the place and to impart knowledge both ways. We also accept longer term stays and internships but you will need to email us to discuss the details. Internships also have a private accommodation set up due to the nature of the arrangement. We like responsible people and we also like to have fun. We have access to two other very large cattle stations further up north so if all goes well we can help you with other placements and different experiences. Kindly note that we do not enter into visa placements.

We can pick you up from the local depot of Blackall or Barcaldine, and are happy to provide you with all bus/flight/car/horse (lol) details to get to us as well - just ask :)

We ask for 5 hours a day in return for food and accommodation with amenities, and of course the experience of being on our station. Weekends are yours.

(Please make a note that we do not take people from the period Nov-Feb as its simply too hot and too wet for most people. After these times its usually beautiful weather.)

We both look forward to hearing from you :)

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