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  • #256512
    ClaireC
    Member

    Hi everyone,

    I have been reading the fantastic articles and forum entries on this site now for about 8 months and I thought it was about time I introduced myself! My husband and I have recently bought 314 acres of rainforest near Millaa Millaa on the Atherton tablelands, bordering onto the Wooroonooran national park. There is a clearing with a liveable shed (the white square in the triangular clearing on the photo) and as it is very remote we have no power or running water…but plenty of wildlife. We hope to build a small house and to set up a smallholding so that we can be as self sufficient as possible, growing our own fruit and vegetables, keeping chickens for eggs, goats for milk, cheese and butter, and an aquaponics system for fish. We will also rehabilitate and release injured wildlife on our land. We have a wood-fired Rayburn for cooking/hot water, and intend to install a solar system for power. We will collect water for bathing and drinking from the rain.

    I am a British conservationist and spent my time working with wildlife in tropical rainforests throughout the world until I met my new husband whilst working in Nigeria (I actually interviewed him and hired him to work for my organisation as a volunteer vet ). Graham convinced me to move to Australia with him by promising me a home in the rainforest and telling me how beautiful the country is and so whilst still in Nigeria we bought our new place over the internet without ever seeing it! Graham has been on our land a couple of weeks now and absolutely loves it. I will take the two-day flight on Tuesday…very exciting. As I have never even visited Australia before, I am currently undertaking a lot of research on what I might be able to grow in our area, but I cannot find much information online about growing on the Atherton tablelands so I would really appreciate any advice anyone can offer.

    I look forward to getting to know you all,

    Claire

    Attached files

    #519268
    donkeynomad
    Member

    Welcome, and I hope your plans go well.

    Remember that if you plan to grow fruit an veg in such a place one of the first things to do is wildlife-proof your orchard and veggie plot as well as build up the soil fertility as rainforest soil is usually fairly infertile. Been there myself.

    Sounds like you will be very busy, but I hope you have the best time and I am jealous, :laugh:

    #519269
    ClaireC
    Member

    Thanks 🙂 Yes, I have been looking into wildlife proofing, especially as we will likely take in a lot of flying foxes and have pademelons all over the clearing. I was thinking we may need to put everything into poly tunnels as from what I read, nets seem to be a real problem for bats…but that looks expensive. Still trying to investigate wildlife friendly options if you have any ideas?

    #519270
    ballamara
    Member

    A big welcome to als ClaireC I love the photo it looks like you have an island in a sea of green

    #519271
    ClaireC
    Member

    Thanks Ballamara, nice to meet you! That photo actually sold me the house without visiting it :laugh:

    #519272
    mauzi
    Member

    Hi Claire and welcome to ALS. Your place looks very exciting. We are in a similar situation (middle of a forest in Tasmania- although not rain forest :D:). I can certainly see why you bought the place, congratulations. What I call role top fences might be of assistance with possums and pademelons (will not help with the flying foxes though. Maybe something like hail netting would work with them (finer mesh so maybe not get them trapped as much). I have added a link re possums and protective fences that might be some help.

    http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/webpages/sjon-52f54t?open

    Look forward to hearing about your adventures.

    #519273
    ClaireC
    Member

    Hi Mauzi,

    Great link! Thanks so much for that, I hadn’t seen these before. For the orchard area it may be best for us to use something like this and then ‘share’ with birds and bats. I will also look into the hail netting you suggest.

    Do you have a lot of issues with snakes in your home with being in the middle of the forest? My husband has evicted several small eyed snakes and a brown tree snake from inside our shed already! I am hoping this is not the norm for houses in the forest and is just because the place has been empty for a a long time. Hopefully they will seek alternative accommodation once two of us and a puppy are living there.

    #519274
    ballamara
    Member

    I’m sorry to say snakes are about Australia wide. We had a brown snake taking a short cut through our pool and under the house a few weeks ago.

    #519275
    mauzi
    Member

    Claire, Snakes are interesting in that they will visit or pass through, but as a general rule not cause any problems. Mostly, they are pretty scared of you and generally will dash away, particularly if there is noise involved (like stomping about or using a stick to hit the ground if you are concerned snakes might be about where you are going).

    We have a variety of livestock that do tend to attract them a bit more like ducks (ducklings and eggs), and perhaps the meat rabbits that we breed. Our place also had not been lived in for some years, so a similar situation.

    It would be a good idea to train your puppy well though to “drop” or “come” under any circumstances as puppies being puppies (some more than others) will attack a snake to their detriment. We lost a 6 month old Jack Russell to a tiger snake recently…very sad…. Jack russel dogs are well know though for being fairly aggressive with wildlife. We had bought him before we bought this place and he was not a good choice for bush living. Having said that, we have had two of our dogs, one for 14 years and the other for 12 years and both were bought up in forest situations with no problems at all.

    Glad you liked the link.

    #519276
    BlueWren
    Member

    Oh Claire!! What an adventure! Welcome from a fellow Pom,who loves to call Australia home.It sounds as though you have had a very adventurous life already but your husband is a smart man to bring you here with a promise of a rain forest home!! All the best for the journey across, and then for the Big Journey on the ground.We will be very interested to hear how it all goes.

    There’s a section on here called The Garden Log where you can set up a continuous record of your doings.

    #519277
    mumof6
    Member

    Good Luck Claire, and as others here have said the snakes are more scared of you then you think, where i live all the locals will tell you how they have been chased or attacked by a big brown, but it is all talk usally they were running away in the same direction as the snake was trying to flee,as i tell my children the only time I have had an issue with a snake is when I stood on it other than that I tell my children when they see a snake just stand still and see what it is doing if its just lying in the sun then back away if its moving then just stand very still and watch it slither away then continue on, most of the time the snake is there but you dont see it and it will just wait till you go away. we should do the same. a lot less stress alround that way.

    #519278
    BlueWren
    Member

    but it is all talk usally people were running away in the same direction as the snake was trying to flee .quote]

    ………mmmmm …….one of us on here knows all about that……..so true!! Fortunately I was still back on here later to tell the tale……and everyone laughed their heads off! :laugh: :laugh:

    Well, Claire , we’ve sorted the snake issue for you!! :tup:

    #519279
    mistyhollows
    Member

    Welcome to ALS Clare. I am very envious of your land. I can see why you’ve bought it without coming to Australia 🙂 .

    The others are right about snakes. They are everywhere. Some are aggressive and some are not so aggressive. A shot of water from the hose here generally sends them on their way. Unless they are making their home near the house. We get the snake catcher in or if he’s not available ‘other’ arrangements are made. My priority is my family and I don’t like snakes near the house.

    The snake catcher guy told us for every one you see there are thirty you don’t. Something to keep in mind. You can get snake mesh. Like chicken wire only smaller holes from the local hardware store if you want to fence off areas. There are also other devices about that thump the ground at intervals to deter them. You can find them online.

    #519280
    BlueWren
    Member

    There’s a thread on here about the snake deterring devices.Very mixed opinion about their effectiveness and they are not cheap.I decided the common sense advice given so far is more valuable. Summing it up with a famous phrase in OZ…….

    “Be Alert …..but not Alarmed.”

    #519281
    Bobbee
    Member

    Hi Clare, it’s very nice to meet you. :wave:

    Good luck with settling in and growing with your property.

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