Farm Story

We chose a property in 2013 that gave us a way to connect with our local environment as well as respecting the history of the region. The farm has a magnificent billabong and river flood plain of the mighty Murray River - Australia's longest. Part of the tradition of the local first people was that a spiritual creature called the Bunyip was located in the area.
Early white settlers of what was then known as Woodonga (now Wodonga) also reputably heard the hollow bellowing of the Bunyip, the mystical creature that Aboriginal people had known about for Millenniums. The Ovens Constitution December 9, 1857 Reports

A gentleman who has returned from Albury, informs us that the inhabitants of Woodonga have been startled out of a week's growth, at least, by the supposed presence, in their immediate vicinity, of two or three of those Mrs Harris's of zoology - Bunyips!

The gentleman to whom we refer, and whose veracity is beyond all question, says that he himself has visited the waterholes in which these monsters are said to have located themselves; and, whether they are bunyips or no, certain is that most inhuman sounds, some-what resembling the 'bellowing of bulls','but' more hollow,' are heard to issue from the water.

These sounds can be heard at the distance of a mile. We cannot for one moment suppose that the gentleman from whom we derived this information is hoaxing us; we are, therefore, quite as curious as the alarmed Woodonga people to have the mystery cleared up.'

Modern scientists have speculated that the mystery of the Bunyip might have originated from people seeing seals in the Murray river, which was common up until the many dams and weirs where put it in.

Additionally along the banks of the Murray and it's various billabongs and lagoons can be found the majestic barking owls who have a blood curdling cry. Old pictures of Bunyips betray them as odd combinations of many animals, and perhaps bunyips are an amalgamation of many, rather than a single creature.

We acknowledge the first peoples of the land the Waveroo. Out of respect to the traditional owners of the region, who's story and culture is all but lost, we have refrained from producing an image or logo with a Bunyip, as it is still today a spiritual figure with significance for many Aboriginal peoples along the great Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers.

The four realms of Bunyip Hollow

Bunyip hollow was once one block, but with development has been split into into four distinct blocks, split by a train line and train station, freeway and a public road used by cars, bike trail riders, pedestrians and stock.

Click on the 4 realms below to learn more about each.

The Billabong

The Billabong

Unlike other waterways in the region it hasn’t been abused by cattle, stock or pollution. We are preserving it for all the wild life which includes, Swans, Wrens, Pelicans, Ducks etc. We hope to one day have a bird-hide and viewing deck.

Described by one highly respected environmental scientist as ‘the best waterway I have ever seen’.

Recent bird surveys have identified nesting birds, including vulnerable and endangered species.

The Hollow

Under the red gums that were here hundreds of years before white man, this is were our rare Australian breed sheep are free to roam around under the watchful protective eyes of our first Maremma dog.

In the middle of this block is a seasonal lagoon that under our conservation is returning to health. One half of the hollow is fenced off from our sheep and there we are growing edible plants, native produce and restoration native trees.

The seasonal calls of birds or the  Pobblebonk frog are a common sound. An endangered Powerful Owl has been seen nesting here.

We sometimes host events under the trees, where people can forget they are only minutes from town.

The Hill

This busy area houses most of our activities.  It is where the vineyard, truffiere, herb and vegetable gardens, olive grove, and other special plants are to be found. Here we will craft our special and unique wines.

This is also the home of our marvellous pigs, our delightful Jersey cows, our chickens, geese, guinea fowl live, and where our other wonderful Maremma guardian dogs look after them all.

This is where the old dairy used to be for generations, and we hope to continue the tradition by building our farmhouse here, for the next journey of Bunyip Hollow.

The Fens

This conservation area is filled with trees and fallen trees, and is habitat for frogs and bird life.

Unfortunately it is a prime spot for rubbish dumping, and requires regular clean-out by us to keep it healthy

We are gradually replacing invasive species with native ones. Originally we intended to remove all the invasive and replace with native seedlings, our progress slowed as we realised how many birds were using the invasive species to breed and live in, and to do it all at once would potentially destroy their habitat, including breeding grounds for vulnerable and endangered species. So we need to gradually replace instead.

 

 

The Bunyip Hollow Philosophy

  • To make and sell the wines and food we ourselves love to enjoy.
  • To work with nature. We don’t use any chemicals or additives anywhere on our farm. We maintain an organic principal in all we do.
  • To share our passion and our enjoyment. We love to include others in our vision.
  • To do what we do small but great. We are not, nor will ever be, a big producer of anything. Everything is strictly limited, hand-crafted, organic in principal, unique, seasonal and very special.
  • To keep learning and improving
We are restoring parts of our property to their natural state, hopefully encouraging even more native animals and plants to return. North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA) have assisted us to restore these areas quicker, along with guidance and environmental requirements to meet the objectives. It will take hard graft to restore these areas and remove the invasive animals (foxes, rabbits) and plants, but well worth it.  So far we know we have quite a few native species and animals and hope to attract more.

Animals and Birds

We did a bird survey with a fantastic friend who is an ornithologist, and counted over 365 birds, including endangered species and vulnerable ones, some of which are breeding on our farm. We have also  been excited to see a Black Swamp Wallaby and Blue Tongue Lizards coming back. Recent visit by Birdlife Australia has added to the known birds. We are sure that as we continue our conservation and restoration work the animals, birds and critters will continue to return. Looking through the Atlas of Living Australia(check your location!), there are even more fascinating historical sightings we hope to see ourselves!
ENDANGERED SPECIES

Freckled Duck
[Stictonetta naevosa]

Powerful Owl
[Ninox strenua]

Superb Parrot
[Polytelis swainsonii]

VULNERABLE SPECIES

Blue Billed Duck
[Oxyura australis]

Brown Treecreeper
[Climacteris picumnus]

Nankeen Night Heron
[Nycticorax caledonicus]

Royal Spoonbill
[Platalea regia]

Sloane's Froglet
[Crinia sloanei]

NEAR THREATENED SPECIES

Azure Kingfisher
[Ceyx azureus]


  • Australian Brush-Tailed Possum [Trichosurus vulpecula]
  • Australasian Darter [Anhinga novaehollandiae]
  • Australasian Grebe [Tachybaptus novaehollandiae]
  • Australian Hobby [Falco longipennis]
  • Australian Magpie [Gymnorhina tibice Cracticus tibice]"
  • Australian Pelican [Pelecanus conspicillatus]
  • Australian Raven [Corvus coronoides]
  • Australian Reed-warbler [Acrocephalus australis]
  • Australian White-Ibis [Threskiornis molucca]
  • Australian Wood Duck [Chenonetta jubata]
  • Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike [Coracina novaehollandiae]
  • Black Swamp Wallaby [Wallabia bicolor]
  • Black Swan [Cygnus atratus]
  • Blue Tongue Lizard [Tiliqua scincoides scincoides]
  • Common Blackbird [Turdus merula]
  • Crab Spider [Lehtinelagia variabilis, multopunctata or evanida]
  • Crimson Rosella [Platycercus elegans]
  • Dusky Moorhen [Gallinula tenebrosa]
  • Dusky Woodswallow [Artamus cyanopterus]
  • Eastern Rosella [Platycercus eximius]
  • Eurasian Coot [Fulica atra]
  • Fairy Martin [Petrochelidon ariel]
  • Galah [Eolophus roseicapillus]
  • Grey Shrike-thrush [Colluricincla harmonica]
  • Grey Teal [Anas gracilis]
  • Great Cormorant [Phalacrocorax carbo]
  • Hoary-headed Grebe [Poliocephalus poliocephalus]
  • Laughing Kookaburra [Dacelo novaeguineae]
  • Magpie-lark [Grallina cyanoleuca]
  • Masked Lapwing [Vanellus miles]
  • Pacific Black Duck [Anas superciliosa]
  • Pale-headed Rosella [Platycercus adscitus] - not even supposed to live in Victoria??
  • Peaceful Dove [Geopelia striata, Geopelia placida]
  • Pink-eared Duck [Malacorhynchus membranaceus]
  • Pobblebonk Frog [Limnodynastes dumerilii]
  • Purple Swamphen [Porphyrio porphyrio]
  • Rainbow Lorikeet [Trichoglossus haematodus]
  • Red-browed Finch [Neochmia temporalis]
  • Red-rumped Parrot [Psephotus haematonotus]
  • Sacred Kingfisher [Todiramphus sanctus]
  • Spotted Marsh Frogs [Limnodynastes tasmaniensis]
  • Straw-necked Ibis [Threskiornis spinicollis]
  • Sulpher-crested  Cockatoo [Cacatua galerita]
  • Super Fairy-wren [Malurus cyaneus]
  • Tree Martin [Hirundo nigricans]
  • Welcome Swallow [Hirundo neoxena]
  • Whistling Kite [Haliastur sphenurus]
  • White-faced Heron [Egretta novaehollandiae]
  • White-necked Heron [Ardea pacifica]
  • White-plumed Honeyeater [Lichenostomus penicillatus]
  • Willie Wagtail [Rhipidura leucophrys]
  • Yellow-billed Spoonbill [Platalea flavipes]

Restoration - Hill

We have to restore the slope on the entry to the 'hill', on our side its destabilising and eroding, and outside the entry the cattle moving down the stock route are eroding it. Council have agreed to help with this part outside our property (August 2016) as it makes local stock movement difficult as well.

Fencing and cleanup

One thing we have learnt is fencing. Do it once, do it right. Because we are on floodplain, we can't have ring-lock on the 'hollow', and because we have stock being moved alongside our property, they have to be strong! Add to that an escapologist Maremma, and you then have to electrify it.. Being so close to town, unfortunately some people feel its a perfect place to dump their rubbish or throw away their drinks while on a healthy run (ironic?)  
We have a passion for plants (especially ones that are native and edible), and as such we are developing a variety of gardens of our favourite plants from around Australia and the world, with a particular focus on edible produce.   Some of the groves and plants will take many years to establish, so it definitely is a labour of love, and patience.   One of the benefits we have seen is an increase in visiting animal numbers and diversity.   We have gardens roughly split into 3 groups, click the heading to read more.
Found within 50km of Albury Wodonga
  • Alpine Baeckea
  • Alpine Pepper
  • Apple Dumplings
  • Australian Caraway
  • Barbed Wire/Ginger Grass
  • Bardi Bush/Wattle
  • Beach Bean
  • Berry Saltbush
  • Blue Bell
  • Blue Bell Creeper
  • Bower Spinach
  • Broad Leaf Peppermint
  • Bush Passionfruit
  • Cherry Ballat
  • Christmas Bush
  • Coffee Berry
  • Coral Pea/Native Sarsparilla
  • Currant Bush
  • Elderberry - Panax
  • Elderberry - White
  • Gum - Lemon Scented
  • Gum - Manna
  • Indian Bay Leaf
  • Karrajong/Flame Tree
  • Lily - Black Anther Flax
  • Lily - Blue Flax
  • Lily - Bulbine
  • Lily - Chocolate
  • Lily - Nodding Chocolate
  • Lily - Small Vanilla
  • Mangasteen
  • Milkmaids
  • Mint - Dwarf Bush
  • Mint - River
  • Mint - Slender
  • Mint bush - Alpine
  • Mountain Pepper
  • Myrtle - Cinnamon
  • Myrtle - Twiggy
  • Native Carrot
  • Native Currant
  • Native Flax
  • Native Grape
  • Native Lemon Grass
  • Native Parsnip
  • Native Pennyroyal
  • Native Plum/Native Grape
  • Native Sage Mint Bush/Cut Leaf
  • Native violet
  • Native Weeping Cherry
  • Nippan
  • Oondooroo
  • Pale Pink Lilly Pilly
  • Passion Berry
  • Pear Tree
  • Pigface (Modestrus and Rossii)
  • Pigweed
  • Plumbush/Northern Sandlewood
  • Quandong (Red)
  • Quena
  • Salt Bush - Ruby
  • Saltbush - Old Man
  • Small Leaf Goosefoot
  • Spinny Headed Mat-rush
  • Sweet Apple
  • Tanami Apple
  • Thyme - Native (Rotundafolia)
  • Thyme - Native/Grey Everlasting
  • Yam Daisy (Lanceolata and Scapigera)
Not found within 50km of Albury/Wodonga but native to Australia
  • Atherton Oak/Bush Almond
  • Atherton Raspberry
  • Beach Bean
  • Black Apple
  • Black Plum
  • Blood Lime
  • Bloodroot
  • Blue Bell
  • Blue Bell Creeper
  • Blue Marble Tree/Blue Quandong
  • Bolwarra/Native Guava
  • Bopple Nut
  • Broad Leaf Paperbark
  • Brush Cherry/Creek Lilly Pilly
  • Brush Pepper Bush
  • Bunya Nut
  • Burdekin Plum
  • Bush Banana/Marsdenia
  • Bush Cucumber
  • Bush Orange
  • Bush Passionfruit
  • Bush Tomato/Desert Raisin/Kutjera
  • Cedar Bay Cherry/Beach Cherry
  • Cherry Tree
  • Coolamon
  • Corduroy Tamarind
  • Cotton Tree
  • Crabapple
  • Creek Sandpaper Fig
  • Creeping Strawberry Pine
  • Davidson Plum (NSW)
  • Davidson Plum (QLD)
  • Dessert Lime
  • Dorrigo Pepper
  • Finger Lime (coloured)
  • Finger Lime (Green)
  • Flame Tree
  • Giant Pepper Vine
  • Grey Persimmon/Black Ebony
  • Gum - Cider
  • Holy Basil
  • Illawarra Plum
  • Indian Bay Leaf
  • Kakadu Plum
  • Kangaroo Island Cranberry
  • Koda
  • Lemon Aspen
  • Lemon Plectanthrus
  • Lemon Scented Tea Tree
  • Lemon Wardee/Tangy Ironbark
  • Lily - Pale Vanilla
  • Lily-of-the-valley Tree
  • Magenta Cherry
  • Mangasteen
  • Midgen/Native Blueberry
  • Milkmaids
  • Mint - Forest
  • Mint Bush - Cut Leaf
  • Mint Bush - Scarlet
  • Mint Bush - Spiked
  • Molucca Berryy
  • Mountain Plum Pine
  • Muntries
  • Myrtle - Aniseed
  • Myrtle - Lemon
  • Myrtle - Lemon Scented
  • Myrtle - Rose
  • Myrtle - Scaly
  • Myrtle - Thyme Honey
  • Myrtle - Twiggy
  • Narrow Leaf Papperbark
  • Narrow Leaf Peppermint
  • Native Almond
  • Native Basil
  • Native Elderberry
  • Native Ginger
  • Native Guava
  • Native Nutmeg
  • Native Parsnip
  • Native Passionfruit
  • Native Raspberry
  • Native Sage
  • Native Sarsparilla
  • Native Sweet Potato
  • Nippan
  • Northern Tamarind
  • Olida/Strawerry Gum/Forrestberry
  • Oondooroo
  • Pale Pink Lilly Pilly
  • Passion Berry
  • Peanut Tree
  • Pear Tree
  • Pothos Vine
  • Queensland Bottle Tree
  • Rainforest Spinach
  • Red Apple
  • Red Leafed Elm
  • Riberry/Cherry Alder/Small leaf Lilly Pilly
  • Rock Samphire
  • Rose Satinash
  • Rough Shell Macadamia
  • Round Lime
  • Sacred Lotus
  • Sandlewood
  • Sandpaper Fig
  • Saw Sedge
  • Saw Tooth Parsley
  • Sea Celery
  • Sea Parsley
  • Sea Spinach
  • Seablite
  • Shiny-Leaf Stining Tree
  • Silky Grass
  • Silky Heads
  • Silver Aspen
  • Small Leaf Lillypilly
  • Small Leaf Tamarind
  • Smooth Shell Macadamia
  • Sunrise Lime
  • Tanami Apple
  • Three-leaf Water Vine
  • Walking Stick Palm
  • Warrigal Greens
  • White Apple
  • White Aspen
  • Wild Rosella
  • Yellow Mangosteen
  • Zig-zag Vine
  • White Truffle Oaks
  • Olivesr
  • Cider Apple Trees
  • Bhudda's Hand
Bunyip Hollow looks very different across the seasons and in the different areas, flat, billabong and hill.
The Billabong

The Billabong

Summer on the flat 01

Summer on the flat

River red gums on the Billabong

Billabong River red gums

Ducks corner, the Billabong

Ducks corner, the Billabong

The beauty of a dry summer

The beauty of summer

Lagoon after autumn rain

Lagoon after autumn rain

Sunset on the Hill

Sunset on the Hill

Trees afire with afternoon light

Afternoon sunlight

Winter transforms the flat

Winter transforms the flat

Panorama of Bunyip Hollow flat in summer

Panorama of Bunyip Hollow flat in summer

Cyan

Cyan

It was initially Cyan's passion with wine, good food and native produce that led to Bunyip Hollow being started.

He is passionate about the role native produce can play in our kitchen and gardens, and loves quality unusual food and wine.

Wine making is something that Cyan made a name for himself in W.A. in the 90′s wining over 40 various awards and trophies both nationally and internationally. Coming from a highly regarded wine making family. He helped pioneer new varieties such as Viognier and new wine regions there.

As a passionate wine writer and lecture on alternative wine grape varieties he knows ‘the unusual’. At Bunyip Hollow he is taking his craft even further, reviving old artisan wine making techniques such as underground fermentation, ‘orange wines’ and long long extended maceration.


Martin

Martin

Initially a self proclaimed 'meat and 3 veg' type man, I have since become an avid connoisseur of interesting and quality food and wine, and passionate about ethical  and sustainable farming.

I am working with Cyan in ensuring our farm meets the Australian Standard for Organic production, and even seeing what we can do to go above and beyond. My passion is not just about 'organic', but ethical farming activities, keeping it local, and caring about our environment.

It is both challenging and a delight improving our land, helping restore it, and watching our animals and plants grow and flourish.

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