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Our 22 acre "See Change"

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    debbie vdkdebbie vdk

    your place looks great snoopy. :tup: .I googled my block but it hasn’t got our clearing or dam we put in in 2007..but I spose I could liquid paper the trees out…I like trees but with 30 acres of bush I’m allowed to clear some..”only for what’s needed for the infrastructure of the property”. DPI said I could clear for a tennis court and swimming pool but not for a paddock for the house cow..?doesn’t make sense to me :shrug:


    Thanks Jayne. Sounds like your story would be a great read too!! We knew we wanted as much passive solar and cheap to heat and cool, etc as we could get for our limited budget. As most houses were slapped up without any consideration for these things we didn’t even bother looking at the “house and a few acres” adverts. It’s great that you found a match that still had potential for your own stamp on things.

    Thanks debbie vdk. Some of the rules that are imposed on land use are close on absurd aren’t they? I would have thought if a bush block was meant to be retained in it’s natural state, then clearing for swimming pools and tennis courts would be at the top of the non-acceptable land uses. Perhaps you can clear for the tennis court, string up a bit of a net and then let the house cow loose on the grass court?


    One thing I think I forgot to clarify about our “blank canvas” was that the previous owner was a bit of a boy racer and he made the block available to all of his mates too. There’s broken bits of car all over the block and deep gouges everywhere from where they got bogged. When they got tired of racing and crashing their paddock bombs, they lit bonfires loaded up with tyres, gas cylinders and all sorts of other items you would not normally expect to burn out in farming land! So when we first saw the block, we saw debris everywhere we looked. We needed to see around all the smashed and molten bottles and cans and broken car parts to the natural beauty of the block and the magnificent views in almost every direction.

    A month or so before Cosmo and I moved to the caravan almost fulltime, I picked up the tractor and implements and stored all of those in the two shipping containers.

    They were replacing all the timber sleepers with concrete sleepers on the Melbourne-Adelaide rail line and the used timber sleepers were stacked in great heaps in a depot at the other end of our road. I bought 6 packs (120 sleepers) for use in our “garden”. The idea was to make raised veggie beds with them.

    Each pack of sleepers weighed about 1.2 tonnes. They placed them in the tandem trailer with a beefy forklift, and to get them out of the trailer on the block was a little more involved. I had to back the trailer up to a sizeable tree and wrap a sling (a pair of 4×4 recovery straps) around the tree then around the sleeper pack. Once secured, I drove the car and trailer forward and out from under the sleepers. If you ever do this – there’s a minimum speed to avoid the sleepers just getting to the back of the trailer and lifting the rear wheels of the car so there’s no traction!

    I thought I’d get the sleepers into the fenced area so they might be a little less obvious from the street. Simple enough, I thought. Put the carry all on the back of the tractor and hand stack 6 or so sleepers on it then drive the tractor to where I wanted the sleepers stacked and unload.

    Unfortunately, it had been raining for most of the week prior to this and the ground was saturated. Surely a four wheel drive tractor would be right?

    I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as the wheels became “water wheels” churning up the wet sand and just digging the tractor straight down! I jacked one side of the tractor up at a time and used the sleepers as tracks. As the sleepers were super heavy to lug around by hand in the wet, I only put a few down to where the ground looked firmer. I was bogged in three separate places just trying to get the tractor back into the shipping container!

    You could tell it was a bit wetter than usual as shortly after this about 5 of the large trees on the block lost their grip in the slush and just fell on their sides. Sad to see as I hate losing trees, but years of firewood laying there waiting for me to slice up!

    Amazingly, it got even wetter in the months after that and the nearby Halls Gap campsite had the be evacuated!

    Progress on the block was very slow through this time.


    Jumping forward in time in our journey to the current day – we take delivery of our little home today! :cheer:

    It’s a transportable home made by Bond Homes in Ballarat. (If you’re heading west on Western Highway this morning or early afternoon and you get stuck behind an escorted wide load – I thank you for your patience!!! 😉 )


    Snoopy, How exciting. The House looks great, can’t wait to see it on your place. Congratulations :clap:


    :blush: is it wrong to get all excited at the site of that tractor :S I soooo need a place of my own :laugh: cant wait to see the house move :tup:


    That country is granite, i have been bogged a few times when i lived in the areas years ago, as well as in North queenslnd. You will hear stories of a car gets bogged, that end up with 4 tractors all lined up all bogged, . rule of thumb is dont leave the track, If you do dont drive over your same tracks. There is a crust on top of the soup, once you break through! well you can see what happens.


    Hi all, Haven’t been here virtually at all for quite a while, so I’d best catch you all up! 😉

    Thanks mauzi. We’re totally stoked at it all! After the journey we’ve been on, having a home again is awesome!

    No Dianne, quite natural to get excited by the prospect of what is in our own future! (Stick with it, you’ll get there too!)

    You’re so right Bala about the crust on top of the soup! It’s been dry for a while now, so the last “soup” was early last year.

    So, jumping back to our journey. (Apart from telling you in my last post about the transportable house getting delivered, there’s a big hole in the events leading up to that….. So brace yourselves!!! ;-))

    When I last left you, we had a 40’ shipping container for storage onsite. A pair of green houses to force our plants to better enjoy winter. I’d just built my first ever wire fence and was getting some raised vegie beds underway.

    In the meantime our dream of having a multi-purpose American Barn containing hot house, dwelling, storage and cool storage stalled. We tried everything to get a shed company that could build the shell to our spec to work with the council or a local building surveyor and continued trying to find local tradies that could do the concreting, brick laying for internal walls, electrician, plumber, a steel fabricator for the stairs, etc. The more refinement we did, the more quotes and estimates we got in, the more the total build price ballooned!

    Shona and I stopped everything and took stock of what we were trying to achieve. We wanted to build and move into a simple structure that maximised passive solar heating and cooling zones, but it was getting more and more awkward and expensive by the week to achieve this dream. We were about 18 months along on our journey and effectively, we were no closer to living onsite. We were frustrated with knocking down road blocks only to find them replaced with 1, 2 or 3 others! We just wanted to get to live onsite and start enjoying it!

    We decided that if we built standard buildings instead of a hybrid, we should be able to progress much faster. So we tracked down a kit homes company that had a floorplan we basically liked and revised our planning permit. We were now just going to build two sheds and a standard house. Within rwo weeks, the council sent us back the approved revised proposal.

    We’d shuffled the layout of the structures on the block around a bit, but we were hoping to now get our dream finally underway (even if it wasn’t in the same form as it had started!)

    One of the local shed companies was commissioned to build the sheds. Rhino tanks were advised that we would have the tank pads down in a couple of weeks. Things were finally underway.

    The sheds went up. The tank crushed rock pads were completed, and then the rain came!

    But at least we could now go inside or under cover to get out of the wet!

    A phone call came through about this time from the chap we’d been talking solar power to and he was ready to come and put our system up!

    ….. More soon …..


    Wow, looks like things are going ahead now. Congratulations.


    What an exciting journey, love what you are doing and accomplishing, good luck and I will follow with interest and admiration.


    Wow,I’ve just re-read your thread .

    Very very intense.

    Had a chuckle at the tractor.

    THings seem to be coming together,albiet slowly.

    Think how much you both will appreciate your place after the fight you’ve put up to get it.

    Look forward to your next installment.


    No Dianne, quite natural to get excited by the prospect of what is in our own future! (Stick with it, you’ll get there too!)

    hehe, I love this line, (of what is in my future) , I shall be telling myself this one over and over in my head now :tup:


    Hey Snoop hows the house going .. It certainly seems like it has been a journey 🙂


    Hi all, I really should book myself a chunk of time to add updates here, shouldn’t I? 😉

    Suffice to say that we are finally in our little home and have most of our infrastructure sorted, I’ll update with the rest of the story of our journey shortly.

    Thanks for the congrats mauzi, and the thoughts Karma. I wasn’t chuckling at the time (or each of the 3 times) that the tractor went down to it’s axles karyn26! It does bring a smile all this time later though! We really do appreciate our life here, although we are continuously exhausted! Truly, dianne, if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to achieve it (or die trying perhaps!) And Dan, thanks for reminding me that it’s time for another installment!!! 😉


    Hey Snoopy,

    Pleased to see that things are finally coming together for you guys. Your kit home looks great. Which company did you purchase it from? How difficult was it for you to build? Any other feedback on your “humpy” would be very handy. We are thinking of travelling down the kit home road, but still a long ways off! 🙁 🙁


    Hey there jmcal41,

    After all our messing around trying to get things to come together, we ended up with a transportable home! It was built in Ballarat by Bond Homes and it came out as 2 truckloads and was craned into place.

    We took this option just so we could get to live onsite (legally for more than a month at a time) and get our new lifestyle underway!

    We got as far as contract stage with the kit home crowd based in Sydney, but we could not come to any agreement after that. Turns out that they were not licensed to operate in Victoria anyhow (we were going to get the structure built to lock-up as I have physical limitations)….

    Another view of our place across the backyard!

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