Assignment details

Location: Wollombi 2325

Region: Hunter

State: New South Wales

Duration: 29 days

Dates: 28-Jun-2017 - 26-Jul-2017

Requirements: Looking for a tree change? Want to go bush for a while? Love permaculture and organic gardening?

We are in the process of finishing a cute self-contained bush cottage in the beautiful Wollombi Valley. We are looking for someone or a couple to look after our lovely dog, a friendly old kelpie, and our chickens while we are away in July. The chickens are partly self-sufficient as their water and feed can last up to 3-4 days, but they do love company. The chosen person(s) must be available from June 29 to July 27. You are welcome to stay before. If you want to stay after we come back, we can discuss a longer term arrangement.

The entire property is 160 acres though most of it is virgin bush and a giant gully. Only about 3 acres have been cleared and most of it is on a slope. It is a permaculture designed property, although it is in the early stages of design implementation. There are plenty of fresh organic vegetables to eat onsite. The chooks are not laying eggs yet, but they may start soon (they are just about at the point of lay). If you like gardening, there are plenty of opportunities for that! There are 2 wicking beds, (zone 1), 3 annual swales (vegetables, zone 1), and 5 perennial swales (fruits & nuts, zones 2 and 3). We're off the grid so we drink rainwater and have solar power.

The little cottage is an off-the-grid caravan and annexe with a comfortable queen size bed and 2 bunk beds. The property is secluded and private. There's a composting toilet and we're about to install solar power this weekend. The shower and laundry are at the main house. The main house is tiny (40m2) and cluttered so the cottage is much more comfortable. You are welcome to use the facilities at the main house if you prefer. You can also use the veranda and glass house, which is connected to the main house: it has a lovely outlook onto the swales with mountain views.

No smoking indoors, no parties or drugs: it is intended for bush lovers and quiet-loving type people. You can invite friends for dinners or bush walks, no problem with that. Plenty of bush and caves to explore on the property! There are many locals on the property: lyrebirds, wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, black cockatoos, gang gangs, king parrots, goannas, you name it!

In the area there is an abundance of wineries (around Wollombi and Hunter Valley), beautiful lookouts, painted caves and rock carvings, a friendly zoo in Pokolbin, wine tours, and many other things to do (search "Hunter Valley" on Google for more).

The property is located at about 30 minutes from Cessnock, and about 25 minutes from Wollombi, about 15 minutes from Millfield (there's a general store with fuel, post office and other essentials). The famous Wollombi Tavern (our local pub) is a great place to socialize with the locals, particularly on Friday nights.

There's a 9km drive up the hill and along a ridge road on a dirt road - 450m altitude at the top. The road is generally well maintained as a local timber mill drives logging trucks up and down the hill several times a week. But it's a dirt road nonetheless: Not the kind of road for sports cars, though there was one up here just 2 weeks ago. A 4WD or a car with good clearance is recommended, otherwise you must go slow.

There is good mobile reception up here because of the altitude, better with Optus than Telstra, but none for Vodafone. There is no landline. I work from home via internet 40 hours/week and only very occasionally have internet issues, usually when there are storms. I can leave my internet dongle if that helps you, with 10gb/mo of mobile broadband internet, which I won't need while I'm overseas.

Please, give us a call if this sounds appealing.

Sorry, this assignment has been closed.