Come and share our lifestyle for a short time, and stay in a private cottage on the edge of the rainforest. We are committed to environmental conservation, and can offer you an experience you will never forget - solar power; private World Heritage Daintree Rainforest; an organic permaculture orchard; and genuine local advice and hospitality, to ensure you get the most from your stay.
We employ three local young women on a casual basis to help us with the housekeeping and the fruit tasting tours. We grow our own fruit and vegetables on the farm. What we don't have we buy from the farmer's market in Cairns, 2 hours to the south which we visit once a week. There are no local people to do repairs. We do all our own repairs. If we can't fix it, then it goes to the nearest town which is Mossman 1 and a half hours south.
There is no mains/grid power. We are committed to being as energy efficient as possible. Our power is solar panels and batteries with a generator back up. We implement as many energy saving strategies as possible and ask our guests to help us do this.
Each cottage has:
A design which enables excellent cross flow ventilation, through louvre windows and high gable venting, so that air conditioning is not needed
A minimum thermal mass construction with lightweight timber
A low energy fridge
Low energy lights
Instant gas hot water
A gas burner to boil water.
There is no air conditioning and no electrical appliances which generate heat can be used, such as an electric jug. All the sheets and towels from the cottages are washed in a commercial laundry for greater efficiencies. We do live quite happily with no dish washer and no air conditioner, and guests are pleasantly surprised at how effective the rainforest is, in providing natural air conditioning.
We have developed an information sheet for guests who wish to travel by public transport. We have also produced an information sheet which describes all the options for exploring the area, without a car. We also have two mountain bicycles available for guest use at no charge.
We try to reduce, re-use and recycle wherever possible. There is no garbage disposal service. Once a month, recyclables are transported to the recycling depot.
Some of our strategies:
Composting of fruit and household scraps which are then fed to the chickens which produce the eggs for the B&B breakfasts. Glass, plastic and metal are separated and recycled.
Cardboard is used around the fruit trees as mulch
Use of recycled paper where possible
Limited use of brochures with a main emphasis on publicity via the website
There is no town water supply. All our water is pumped from an underground stream about 30 metres below the surface. This uses diesel fuel to pump the water so we try to limit the water usage.
Some of our strategies:
Sheets and towels are laundered by a commercial laundry, not done on site
Guests towels are only changed every second day, if required
Dual flush toilets
Encourage people to stay for longer through our pricing structure - less washing of sheets and towels.
Greeting guests on arrival and explaining the water and energy conservation requirements of living here, and asking for their support in conserving resources. We provide this information on the website to encourage people to stay who are committed to conservation practices, and try and put off those who have resort expectations.
We provide a full orientation when people arrive and explain all the tour options so that they can choose tours which best meet their needs, and then we do the booking for them, as their mobile phones don't work. We support local tour operators in the area, and encourage our guests to support those locally owned rather than those run by large companies. We provide an information booklet which shows them how to explore the local area attractions on foot. There is also a local map which is provided during the orientation.
We support the following charities by providing prizes - 2 nights in the B&B - to raise money at fund raising events in raffles:
Daintree Rainforest Foundation which is buying back rainforest blocks in the Daintree area
Rainforest Rescue which is also buying back rainforest blocks in the Daintree area
Care Australia - all our Christmas presents are 'present' donations to Care Australia which supports overseas farmers. Eg this year, one sheep costs $150 and we are buying 5 sheep for presents! The recipient receives a christmas card saying that they have given a sheep!
When we first came to the area in 1988, the boundaries for the new Wet Tropics World Heritage Area were being determined. The decision had been made not to include private property within the boundaries, as this was too difficult politically. We wrote to the Wet Tropics Management Authority and asked that they include our property within the World Heritage area. They agreed, and the boundary was adjusted so that all our rainforest now lies within the protected area. Less than 1% of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is made up of private property.
We have now entered into a Co-operative Management Agreement with the Wet Tropics Management Authority to manage our land, to ensure its protection. This has been an important decision for us, and it means that whatever happens after we die, the land will be protected. Approximately half of our property (4 ha) is in the World Heritage Area. We have built our B&B cottages right on the edge of the world heritage area, overlooking the creek, and provided self guided walking trails through the forest so that our guests can enjoy the forest.
We have chosen to set up an organic farm and apply the philosophy of permaculture. We needed to develop a system which copied the rainforest and provided a supply of nutrients to the orchard trees in rotting material and vegetative matter. To this end large numbers of legume trees and legume ground covers were planted through the orchard to provide a nitrogen supply for the plants.
We are currently undergoing organic certification for our orchard, and do not use chemical fertilizers on the farm, as these are water soluble and can be washed out on to the Great Barrier Reef.
We provide farm produce from our farm for breakfast for the guests. This includes a tropical fruit platter, free range eggs, and herbs and greens from the vegetable garden.
Ecotourism is the lifeblood of the Daintree Coast, and we encourage visitors to stay for a few days in the area, rather than visit just for a day, through our B&B pricing structure. We encourage our guests to visit local attractions and do local tours with local guides, so they contribute to the well-being of the local community.
The Bed and Breakfast operation enables us to have a more secure income by spreading the risk over several different activities on the farm. This enables us to live in the area, rather than having to move to a large city to seek work. Guests staying with us share our lifestyle and experience our commitment to the environment first hand. They develop an appreciation of living in an area of high environmental value, and reducing their own impact on that environment.
You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.