Leaving the Mountain

Failing knees (OK, old age) mean I can no longer manage here without help, so, regretfully, I am seeking a new carer for my Mountain and its creatures. Readers will know how much I love living here, but it’s time to make a move.

I need to relocate closer to family, to a more accessible small rural block. It’s best to do this while I still have some ability to re-establish as close to a self-sufficient lifestyle as I can manage.


My 65.55 hectare property in Upper Hunter Shire, NSW, has been a dedicated Wildlife Refuge since 1980, and is now also under a Voluntary Conservation Agreement (VCA) with National Parks. The wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, kookaburras and eagles really own the place, but they allow many other mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and me to live here. They need to be able to trust the new humans who take over from me.


This sanctuary for man and beast offers rare peace and privacy in a rich mountain forest world where the wildlife is unafraid and abundant, the sky is close, and the springs are permanently generous. I shall miss the privacy and the unlimited water; I can only hope for the peace, and at least visits from wildlife.



The wildlife have it sorted naturally, but I’ve set up here for self-sufficient living for humans too, with stand alone solar power and springfed water supply. Its temperate climate, good rainfall and good soil mean the potential is enormous. 

For such human use, a 12.24 hectare area is excluded from the VCA, enclosing all the many improvements, like the dams, 92,000 litres tank storage, gravity-fed watering systems, my charming (yes, I do say so myself!) owner-built two-bedroom mudbrick cabin, large shed, carport, glasshouse, bunkhouse (sleeps 5-6), and a separate colorbond clad and insulated cabin.

There’s far too many advantages to list here, so if anyone is genuinely interested in becoming the new carer for my Mountain — as in considering buying it — please email me for full details, more photos, price and directions. No merely curious queries please!


Photos of me and the cabin interior by G Beeche

7 thoughts on “Leaving the Mountain”

  1. Hi Jill,
    Thank you for those wonderful comments. I am moving to a 5 acre block with mountain views and a creek, so the nature blog will continue, with a name change I guess. I will write a new book, a sequel if you like, about the changes here and in my life over the 7 years since the first book … and about leaving … but also a new stage of life. I will miss my mud brick cabin; pleased to hear you found yours!

  2. I am sad to say I havent checked in on your blog for months and am only now reading of you leaving. I wanted to let you know that reading your book after coming across this site inspired me to make the move to this house. Although not in the environment I would like it is a mudbrick house, something I would not have considered until reading your adventures. Thankyou for your inspiration, your passion for the environment and for all the wonderful knowledge and information you share. I still have a dream of living in the environment although not on a mountain like you (Age catching up with me). I am sad to hear you have to leave the mountain but you have created a brilliant legacy and taught so many, so much. I am sure you will continue to offer sanity in an ever increasing manic planrt. Good Luck,

  3. Hi Darian,
    We have both been very fortunate to have had the experience of living with the wildlife, and that will never leave us. I actually have fantastic water pressure here from the gravity feed, so may have to adjust to the opposite! Thanks for your contributions over the years, Darian, and best wishes.

  4. I am sorry that I haven’t checked in on your blog for a while and now I read you are leaving the wilderness home, that we all feel like we have come to know and love through your writing. What a shame but that is the reality of it. I too left my mountain 18 months ago (it’s taken nearly that long to get used to having water pressure, amongst numerous other things). It just became to dangerous and unhealthy as well as being quite hard work. However I still look back on that period as the best years of my life, although probably have very quickly become romanticised! I still miss the history everywhere, walks that lasted hours in the wilderness, sights, sounds and smells of the bush, especially the enthusiasm of the Lyrebirds in the early mornings.

  5. Hi Ros and Gaye,
    Thank you both for the empathic commnents. I too hope to make a wildlife garden wherever I go, but I got to rural not suburbs– yet. That will be later. And yes I will feel much happier knowing the right person has taken on my role here!
    And I look forward to new fungi Gaye.

  6. Hi Sharyn,
    I was sad to read that you are leaving your glorious mountain home that was your haven and sanctuary for so long. I left my large property 3.5 years ago for the ‘burbs and found it a little difficult to adjust to noise and wearing clothes! However, I have survived and now see the pros and cons of moving as I face the process of aging. I now have a productive garden which encourages a large variety of bird life and I have seen an echidna, a blue tongue, (and unfortunately a chook killing fox!!) here! So, I hope you enjoy your new home and have a happy move. Love, Ros XO

  7. Sharyn, I can only imagine what a deep loss it will be to leave your mountain refuge behind, but, yes, we all have to make difficult decisions that we can only put off for so long. I hope the right buyer/carer comes along to live a satisfying and contented life on your beloved mountain, and that you can then move on to the next stage of your life with purpose.
    Kind regards,
    Gaye Drady

Comments are closed.