Nullarbor Nymph and Whale of a Tail!

The Nullarbor Nymph was a hoax perpetrated in Australia between 1971 and 1972 that involved supposed sightings of a half-naked woman living amongst kangaroos on the Nullarbor Plain.

June 2021 we left Kalgoorlie and made our way to Norseman. This is the 7th time we have driven across and the 4th time West to East. After a couple of overnight stops at free camps, we stopped at Eucla,13km from the WA/SA border. We have travelled 708km across the Eyre Highway (Nullarbor) from Norseman. There is another 489km until we reach Ceduna, considered to be the end of “crossing the Nullarbor.” We are taking our time and only doing a few hundred km each day. In comparison to previous times, there is actually minimal traffic on the roads, with more heading West than East. The roadhouses and free camps have had plenty of sites available, with lots of space to spread out. We are spending a few days at Eucla to soak up the views and the sunny weather. Then we will cross into SA and onto the Nullarbor Roadhouse where we will base ourselves for 4 days to watch the whales at The Head of Bight. 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️🐳🐳

In the early 1900s Eucla was the country’s busiest telegraph station outside Australia’s capital cities. The old Telegraph Station at Eucla is one of the iconic and lonely images of the Nullarbor. It is now nothing more than a few old stone walls slowly disappearing under huge white sand dunes on the edge of the Great Australian Bight.

The iconic SA/WA border sign. The first time in seven crossings that we actually worked out how to get to it!

Our crossing into South Australia was a bit of an anticlimax. We had received our Covid permits to enter SA and had printed them out, all ready to show them to the border officers……..but nobody to be seen anywhere at all. So we just carried on towards the Nullarbor Roadhouse 184 kilometres away and where we would be staying four nights. (Update – a few days later it would have been a very different story. A Covid outbreak had Police manning the border checkpoints and they weren’t allowing a lot of people to cross.) We had a fantastic four days at the Head of Bight Whale Watching Centre which is only a short drive from the roadhouse. It is one of the most significant places for a unique opportunity to view the large numbers of Southern Right whales to congregate “en masse” and give birth in a semi-protected environment. There are a number of viewing platforms which also show off the spectacular backdrop of the Bunda Cliffs. Below are just a few pics of these majestic Southern Right Whales, some with calves. Lots of cruising, blowing, tail slapping and the odd breaching. Can’t wait to go again! 🐳🐳

Sunset at Nullarbor Roadhouse

Grand Ghostly Gwalia

Just over an hour north of Menzies is Gwalia which is essentially a ghost town. The Sons of Gwalia gold mine, closed in 1963. Just four kilometres north is the town of Leonora, which remains the centre for the area’s mining and pastoral industries.

Underground mining at the Sons of Gwalia began in 1897, and continued until 1963. During this time it produced 2.644 million ounces (82.24 tonnes) of gold down to a depth of 1,080 metres (3,543ft) via an incline shaft. Sons of Gwalia grew to become the largest Western Australian gold mine outside Kalgoorlie, and the deepest of its kind in Australia. The 2.644 million ounces recovered (1897–1963) amounts in value to US$4.34 billion (A$4.55 billion) at August 2012 prices.

Shaped from repurposed old timber and corrugated iron sheets, the town of Gwalia sprang up from the red dirt surrounding the goldmine like wildflowers after the rain. Home to 1200 people – including future-US president Herbert Hoover – its patchwork streets were soon filled with shops, houses, a school, church and a community centre, along with the impressive Gwalia State Hotel, a stylish brick building that was the place to be seen on an evening or a weekend.

From the website it is written – “On the 6th December 1963 the Directors’ met to discuss the mine’s losses and discouraging geological reports. The decision is made to close the mine on 31st December, however the Mine closes three days early. Extra trains were arranged to manage the exodus of people leaving their homes and belongings. Gwalia’s population dropped from 1,200 to 40 in less than three weeks.”

A historical preservation effort began in 1971 to restore and preserve the town’s remaining homes and buildings, as well as the mine’s original structures (headframe and winder building).

As written on the website of gwalia.org.au, “The Gwalia experience is three-dimensional: step inside the quaint cottages built of corrugated iron, timber and whitewashed hessian and imagine a miner’s wife cooking dinner on the cast iron range, while her husband toils far underground to support his family and their children recite their lessons in the State school. Look through the windows of Mazza’s Store, where the shopper could buy everything from two pounds of flour for the day’s baking to a length of fabric to make a frock for a dance at the State Hotel – or wander through Patroni’s Guest Home next door, for decades a home from home for single men employed at the Sons of Gwalia Mine.”

The buildings have been faithfully restored and have a number of information boards explaining their usage and history. As you enter each one, you literally feel a ghostly presence of those who lived and worked there. In one house there is an upright piano and as you look at it, you think you can see the keys actually move, and hear the melancholy sounds of an old hymn being played. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

MAZZA’S STORE – “Mazza’s Store was a ‘one-stop shop which supplied all household basics, plus a range of imported items sought by the migrant community. All goods arrived by rail and whenever the train arrived- either six in the morning or at midnight – the store would open to process mail and pack and sell the fresh produce.”

The first mine manager was a young American mining engineer named Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st President of the United States. The mine manager’s house Hoover designed and which bears his name stands on the summit of “Staff Hill” in the Museum Complex. The Gwalia Museum’s extensive collection of objects, documents and photographs which sketch the history of the mine and showcase the diverse cultures and commercial and domestic life that created Gwalia’s enduring legacy is actually housed in the old mine administration buildings. Next to them is Australia’s only surviving timber incline headframe.

At the top of the hill you come to Hoover House which is now a bed and breakfast and function centre. It is open to the public and there is a lovely little Cafe where we indulged in a yummy afternoon tea. The house sits in beautifully manicured lawns and gardens and overlooks the open pit of the modern working gold mine.

We highly recommend allowing a couple of days to explore this townsite and museum. It is fascinating and full of so much history.

Lake Ballard and the Naked Statues!

The town of Menzies, 730kilometres east of Perth and 133 kilometres north-northwest of Kalgoorlie, is one of Western Australia’s most historic goldrush towns. However, Aboriginal people have lived in this area for many thousands of years. The local group is the Kaburn Bardu.

The Menzies goldrush boomed during the 1890s. On the 1 October 1894 a claim was registered, Lease No. 1380 in the name of LR Menzie and Sir George Shenton, and Lease No. 1381 for LR Menzie and RF Scholl. These became the Lady Shenton and Florence mines and the place Menzies. The townsite was gazetted in August 1895.

Our knowledge of Menzies was more to do with it being the closest town to Lake Ballard, home to the statues of Sir Antony Gormley. We had wanted to visit this area ever since we first heard about them. We booked into the Menzies Caravan Park for three nights. It was a lovely park with great drive through sites and very clean amenities. The Menzies pub was across the road and on our first night we had a drink and watched the football.

Aboriginal people have been living near or visiting Lake Ballard for well over 10,000 years. Spiritually, Lake Ballard is intimately associated with a ‘Seven Sisters’ dreaming story.

It involves the ‘Sisters’ on one of their nightly exploits. They were cruising across the sky and far below they saw a lake, and decided to go down and play for a while on its surface. They did this, but soon a man started chasing them, very keen to catch the youngest sister. Very frightened, to escape the man, they had to hide.

Today, many of the features of the lake and its surrounds are testament to the identity of the Seven Sisters, the ‘chase’ they endured, and the hiding places where they found safety.

In 2002, Paddy Walker, an elder of the Wangkatha people, was standing at the south-western edge of what we now call Lake Ballard, explaining “that island right in front of us, the largest of the islands, that is the oldest of the sisters.

Sir Antony Gormley is probably most famous for his huge and beautiful Angel of the North statue in Gateshead, in Tyne and Wear, England. He was commissioned by the Perth International Arts Festival to generate a work for its 50th anniversary in 2003. He travelled to the tiny hamlet of Menzies and persuaded 51 locals (and a few drop-ins) to strip naked. He then digitally scanned their bodies, made life-size moulds and then cast them in stainless-steel alloy. The 51 sculptures stand scattered over 10 square kilometres of the Lake Ballard salt lake.

Our visit to Lake Ballard would have to be one of the hilights of our five years of travel. Quite often when you are looking forward with great excitement to seeing a long awaited bucket list item, the reality can be so different from the imagined. Not here, this was far and away so much better than we expected. We were fortunate with the weather being sunny with bright blue sky but not overly hot. As we got out of the car, the Lake showed a brilliant white shimmer, dotted with the sculptures and you immediately felt a sense of awe and wonder. The colours were so vivid and walking out on the salt plain, the ground popped and crackled underfoot with the salt crystals. Every now and then, there was a squelching sound as your foot hit a very soft spot and went through to the mud underneath. We tended to walk in silence as we wandered from statue to statue. There was no way we could walk to all 51 of them but we covered quite a few. Ray managed to walk to the top of the island and Jude got half way up. An amazing 360 degree view of the lake and surrounding area. Please do yourself a favour and visit this iconic location. Just don’t go in the height of summer!

Kalgoorlie – June 2021

Kalgoorlie is a city located 595 km (370 mi) east-northeast of Perth. It is sometimes referred to as Kalgoorlie–Boulder, as the surrounding urban area includes the historic town of Boulder. Kalgoorlie-Boulder lies on the traditional lands of the Wangkatja group of peoples. The city was established in 1893 during the Western Australian gold rushes.

Paddy Hannan was a prospector whose gold nugget discovery on 14 June 1893 set off a major gold rush in the area now known as Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia. The resulting goldfield has been mined ever since and is renowned as The Golden Mile, the richest square mile in the world.

Statue of Paddy Hannan. His waterbag has a tap on it, which Ray turned on!

We visited the Historic Burt Street Precinct in Boulder, the neighbouring town to Kalgoorlie. We were impressed with the architecture, the history and the Goldfields War Museum in the town hall.

Below are some interesting facts we learnt about WA and Federation. (Apologies for the glare on the glass of the pics. It was impossible to avoid the glare of the sunlight)Federate or Separate – in the late 1890’s Sir John Forrest, Premier of Western Australia, was vehemently opposed to the idea of Federation.  He believed WA would lose it’s custom duties to the Commonwealth and would not receive a fare share when redistributed. (This sounds similar to our current Premier Mark McGowan and his concerns about WA’s share of the Goods and Services Tax)

In fact, a group called the Eastern Goldfields Reform league was formed in 1899 and they petitioned the Queen to separate from WA and become a state called Auralia, in the new Commonwealth of Australia.

On July 31st 1900, a Referendum was held and people given the chance to vote on whether to become part of the Federation. The Goldfields voted overwhelmingly in favour of Federation.

We went into the Council Chambers and found a couple of posters in regard to the 1918-19 pneumonia influenza pandemic which became known as the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Boulder Council Chambers
Goldfields War Museum

The services on the Trans-Australia Railway line had been halted due to the pandemic and the concern of spreading the virus from state to state. However in April 1919, the Commonwealth Railways announced they would be resuming services From Port Augusta in South Australia to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

This created grave concern amongst the people of the Goldfields and the Mayor called for a Monster Demonstration. He wanted people to emphatically PROTEST against the running of the Trans-Australian to Kalgoorlie and endangering the lives of the community. Despite the protest the decision to reintroduce the service was upheld.

Kalgoorlie is also renowned for it’s red light district. Women sex workers arrived with the miners in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie at the turn of the century. In 1902 Hay Street was officially recognised as the ‘red light district’ of Kalgoorlie. Also known as “THE PINK HOUSE”, Questa Casa is the only remaining brothel from Kalgoorlie’s gold rush era, built in the 1890’s. It has the famous “STARTING STALLS” which were world famous for the scantily clad ladies standing in the doorways. Still operating, the girls throw open these infamous doors nightly.

Another icon is the Kalgoorlie Super Pit, one of the largest open-cut gold mines on Earth. About 900,000 ounces of gold are harvested here each year, making a total of 50 million ounces since it started operating in 1989. The hole is approximately 3.7 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide and around 480 metres deep – big enough to bury Uluru.

And finally we can’t finish this blog without mentioning the Two Up Shed. Two Up is a traditional Australian gambling game, involving a designated person (“spinner”) throwing two coins into the air. Players bet on whether the coins will fall with both heads (obverse) up, both tails (reverse) up, or with one coin a head and one a tail. The Kalgoorlie Two Up Shed is the only legalised Two-Up School in Western Australia. This particular Shed was built around 1960 and these days is only open on Sundays. It is very popular with both locals and tourists.

Wonderful Westonia June 2021

During the planning of our journey, we were going to have an overnight stop in Merredin which is roughly half way between Perth and Kalgoorlie. However we came across some information about a tourist attraction called the Hood-Penn Museum which was located in the town of Westonia. Only a further fifty kilometres from Merredin, we decided to book in to it’s caravan park for a couple of nights.

Heading east along Great Eastern Highway towards Kalgoorlie, Westonia is ten kilometres inland. We turned off the highway and drove through woodlands of salmon gum, morrell and gimlet mixed with granite outcrops. Quite a stunning outlook.

We arrived at the caravan park which was small but absolutely immaculate. It only costs $20 a night for power, water, flushing toilets, hot showers, camp kitchen and a tv to watch. We were met by the lovely caretaker who showed us to our drive through site and gave us a brochure about the town. After setting up, we took a stroll along the very wide main street.

The Shire of Westonia brochure explains: “The Wolfram Street Facades project involves the construction of all new buildings in Westonia’s town’s centre in a 1920’s historic style as well as the restoration and maintenance of all existing historic buildings in the town. The facades of the town’s original bank, cafe, hotel, fire station, boarding house and green grocer store have also been replicated and front new buildings constructed in Westonia.”

The Hood-Penn Museum – Wow!!! This has to be one of the best museums we have ever seen. Again from the brochure – “this is the result of an extremely generous donation of a large historical collection from the Hood-Penn family who previously owned the Burracoppin Store.  The museum features a variety of scenes showcasing early life in the shire including a pub scene, a shop/hardware store scene, a petrol station/garage scene, a kitchen scene, a bedroom scene and a blacksmith/farm workshop scene.  Each scene also includes a realistic lifelike mannequin, complete with wrinkles and blemishes.” The Council only charge $3 per adult to enter which is incredibly cheap, we would have been willing to pay far more. We highly recommend a visit as the photos we took don’t do it justice at all.

If you follow the AFL team Fremantle Dockers, which we do, you will love the Westonia Tavern! We had a tasty meal whilst watching a game on tv and chatting to the friendly locals.

We absolutely loved our couple of days at Westonia, an unexpected gem.

Salute to Wave Rock!June 2021

Wave Rock – a bucket list item. We had been trying to get here for years and finally made it on this trip. Rising 15 metres from the ground and more than 100 metres long, the rock looks like a giant surf wave of multicoloured granite about to crash onto the bush below. It’s believed this amazing formation was more than 2,700 million years in the making. It is located near the Wheatbelt town of Hyden, 340 kilometres south-east of Perth. We stayed at a place called Tressies Museum and Caravan Park which was a 15 minute drive from the rock.  It is owned and run by Charlie and his mum Laurel. They had a small museum on site showcasing a variety of items in use from years gone by.  (Update 2022 – Tressies is now closed permanently.)

Next to the entrance to Wave Rock were two museums – Memories of Yesteryear and Miniature Soldier Military Display. Both interesting and well worth the time to look around.

We also checked out Hippo’s Yawn – a stony outcrop looking like a Hippo yawning, Mulka’s Cave – The name comes from the aboriginal legend of Mulka and inside you can see the imprints of his hands, much larger and higher than that of an ordinary man. Lake Magic, a colour changing salt lake. There is an awesome floating pool at the Wave Rock Resort, next to Lake Magic. The water of this natural pool has a beautiful turquoise colour and is full of minerals and salt, so much of it that it will keep you afloat.

Bunbury to Albany

May 2021 – we set off to Albany. We are slowly making our way to South Australia. Heading there via Albany, Hyden, Westonia, Menzies, Kalgoorlie, Cocklebiddy, Head of Bight, Nullarbor Roadhouse, Ceduna, Port Augusta, Clare and Adelaide. A journey of approximately 4000 kilometres.

Albany sits on the south coast of Western Australia. Before European settlement, the Albany region was inhabited principally by the Menang Aborigines of the larger Noongar group. The area was called Kinjarling which means “place of rain”.  Evidence of an Aboriginal presence in the area dates back to about 25,000 years.

In December 1826, Major Edmund Lockyer arrived on the brig Amity to establish a military outpost at Mammang-Koort/ King George Sound.  On the 21st of January 1827, an official ceremony was held proclaiming the foundation of the first settlement in Western Australia.

In 1952, the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company began its operations at Frenchman Bay, continuing until 21st November 1978, when the Cheynes II, Cheynes III and Cheynes IV berthed at the Albany Town Jetty after their last whale hunt.  The last shore based whaling station in Australia closed and 178 years of whaling in Albany waters came to an end.

Between 1952 and 1978, they had caught 1,136 humpbacks and 14,695 sperm whales alone. In 1954, over 1,016 tonnes of whale oil was produced from 120 whales, and in 1957, the company purchased their second chaser, Cheynes II.

The Australian author Tim Winton, patron of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, grew up in Albany. He doesn’t remember seeing any live whales in the ocean as a child but he saw plenty of dead ones. When visitors came from the city, the Winton family would head to the station’s observation platform for a view of the flensing deck – the place where the skin and blubber was manually stripped off the whales. “You would stand there in this fug of blubber steam – the most repulsive smell you could imagine.” (As written in an article in The Guardian by reporter Graham Readfearn 21/11/18)

Jude remembers going to Albany in the early 70’s and also smelling the stench from the Whaling Station wafting over the town.

We had been told about some amazing wooden sculptures so took a drive out to Darrel Radcliffe’s Sculpture Drive. Darrel is a chainsaw artist and uses old tree stumps as his canvas to create spectacular sculptures and artworks. Below are just a few pics we took. We highly recommend a visit.

We had been to Albany before and highly recommend a visit to the National Anzac Centre. It is a very modern building overlooking King George Sound and it honours the story of more than 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders who left Albany, bound for the Great War in 1914.

Living under Covid-19 Restrictions in 2020/21 in Western Australia.

On the 22nd March 2020 the Western Australian Premier announced they woul be closing the border as of the 24th March and all people coming in would have to self isolate for 14 days. The South Australian Premier announced the same for their border.
On the 23rd March, Australia starts lockdown – bars, clubs, cinemas, places of worship, casinos and gyms are closed; schools start to close.
On the 24th March, the WA Government is planning to restrict travel between Western Australia’s regions to halt the spread of COVID-19. WA residents are being asked to cancel Easter travel plans. Wow, things were really heating up and we needed to do some serious thinking about our future travel plans. The owners of our farmsit made contact and said they would be returning early but would miss the deadline of getting back into WA before the hard border shut. This would mean they would have to self isolate for 14 days on their return. We spoke to the owners of the next housesit and they were very upset to advise that for now they wouldn’t be going away. Okay so what do we do, where do we go?

We were in the Great Southern Region and needed to get to the South West.

We already had a booking for a week at a caravan park just outside Bunbury, a 3hr drive from the Porongorups. We made contact with them to enquire about a longer term stay. This was Waterloo Village Caravan Park in Picton. Given the cirumstances they were happy for us to stay as long as was needed. We were overjoyed at this news. Jude’s brother lived in Bunbury and was supposed to be heading off on a 6 month caravan trip around Australia with his partner, but this had to be cancelled/postponed as well. At least we would get to spend some time with them!

We spent five weeks at Waterloo Village and it felt like a very safe haven in a topsy turvy world. We were living under a raft of restrictions which included:

  • only shopping for what you need, such as food or other necessary supplies;
  • medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
  • exercise, including outdoor personal training without shared equipment.
  • facilities including pubs, bars, clubs, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, cultural institutions and places of worship to close immediately
  • restaurants and cafes restricted to takeaway
  • staying 1.5 metres from others
  • using hand sanitiser

We had enjoyed our time at Waterloo Village, but after five weeks we moved ten kilometres down the road into the town of Bunbury. We managed to get a site at the caravan park opposite Koombana Bay. We love being near the water and this gave us plenty of opportunities for walking and cycling along the beach whilst still following all social distancing rules.

We kept in touch with the Busselton homeowners and six weeks later, the regional borders were reopened and the homeowners were able to leave for their trip up north. Instead of a six month housesit, it became four months. We left Bunbury and moved to Busselton, which was only fifty kilometres along the coast.

From June until the end of September we did the housesit in Busselton which included looking after their dog. The property was outside the town but opposite the water. Again we felt we were in a safe haven, and given WA had no Covid cases at this time, and given what was happening in other States with high numbers and lockdowns, we felt life was getting back to some sort of normality. The WA Government had lifted a number of restrictions, and venues had reopened.

From October 2020 to May 2021, we did a mixture of housesits and long term stays in caravan parks. During those months we continued to experience a sense of freedom from the virus. We did have one five day lockdown when we were staying in a caravan park not far from Bunbury. We spent the time reading and watching Netflix! As time went on and WA continued to be virus free, we felt very little negative impact from it. However we were feeling a little stir crazy from being in one area for so long. We began to make plans to leave WA and head east, back to South Australia. They were virus free too.

Covid-19 and it’s first impact on our travels from SA to WA in 2020.

We first became aware of this virus in late January 2020. Ray had been in the UK and was at Dubai Airport in transit to Adelaide. I sent him a message saying “Watch out for people from China, there’s an epidemic going around. Did you hear about it?” I had read about the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Australia in Victoria on the 25th January. The patient was from Wuhan and had flown into Melbourne.

Ray arrived in Adelaide, safely and in good health, on the 30th January. On the 1st February the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that “foreign arrivals from mainland China will not be allowed entry into Australia” and Australia’s national airline Qantas announced it was suspending direct flights to and from mainland China following bans in the US and Singapore. We had a brief chat about this news but as we had no intention of going to China we didn’t think too much about it. We were excited to be getting on with our own plans.

Over the next two weeks we prepared our van for departure. We were heading back to Western Australia and starting our journey on the 16th February. We had two housesits lined up in WA, one for three weeks in the Porongorups and one for six months in Busselton. It was over two years since we had been in our home state and it would be great to catch up with family and friends.

SA/WA Border

Our journey saw us stopping at Kimba, Ceduna, Nullarbor Roadhouse, Cocklebiddy, Balladonia and finally into Esperance and out to Cape Le Grand National Park where we set up home for a week at one of the campsites. Over the six days we spent travelling we had little to no internet and even at the campsite we didn’t really have any internet and therefore we were oblivious to what was happening in regard to Covid and Australia and the world. Our main concern was the possibility of having to evacuate due to bushfires in the area. Fortunately that didn’t happen.

Our three week housesit in the Porongorups started on the 6th March. The homeowners had gone on holiday to Tasmania.

10th March – Italy goes into national lockdown, shortly followed by other European countries
11th March – WHO (World Health Organisation) declares a global pandemic.
13th March – Australia forms a “National Cabinet” – Federal, State and Territory leaders – to enable a united approach to the crisis.
15th March – Australian government bans gatherings of more than 500 people.
16th March – People arriving in Australia from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days and people are told to start implementing stricter social distancing rules.

By now we were beginning to notice some impacts locally. When we went into Mt Barker to do our weekly shop at the IGA, there were arrows/crosses on the floor and hand sanitizer stations at the entrance and exit. The checkout staff were wearing gloves and you had to pack your own bags. There was also a preference that you pay by card rather than cash. And there was NO TOILET PAPER!!!!

Our housesit was actually a farmsit on 100 acres in the middle of the countryside. We felt very safe there tending to the dog, cats, chickens and cattle. We stopped going out unnecessarily, only doing the shopping and following all safety guidelines. We were in touch with the owners who were heading back to the mainland from Tasmania. We also spoke to the owners of the next housesit who confirmed they were still on track to be away for the six months, starting at Easter.

CHECK BACK SOON FOR THE NEXT STAGE OF OUR COVID TRAVELS.

June/July 2019 Egg Collectors Extraordinare!

In June 2019 we set up our home-on-wheels on a farm in the heart of the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia. Winbirra is a 200-acre farm nestled in the Willunga Ranges. They are running beef cattle and 3000 hens (chooks) in 5 mobile trailers, producing pastured free-range eggs under the brand ‘feather&PECK‘. The weather was a mixture of blue skies and sunshine, and heavy fog and mist. Some days it was almost impossible to see our van or the chook pens. (Update May 2022 – they now run 4200 hens in 7 mobile trailers.)

We volunteered for 2-3 hours per day (except Wednesdays) collecting eggs, entering egg collection data, checking the feed/water for the hens, feeding the Maremma guardian dogs and loading the egg crates into a refrigerated trailer ready for the farmer to take to the processing plant. By the end of our eight weeks, we reckon we collected approximately 10,000 eggs!

We fell in love with the Maremma dogs and their puppies. Beautiful, loyal, playful, aloof at times and fiercely protective of their flock. 6 adults and 3 puppies, all with different personalities.