Our 3 months farm sit was with Aussie House Sitters
At the beginning of February 2023 we started a 3 month farm sit in the South Burnett region of Queensland. We were still finishing off our wonderful farm sit in the Mackay region of Qld, when we got a message on Aussie House Sitters. The messaged was asking if we would be interested in a 3 month farm sit.
Not having done such a long house sit before we messaged back and forth with the owners, making sure we were clear what they wanted, as well as clarifying a few points from our side. For instance, we could use their internet but we wanted to know if we had to pay for it. Just a few details that are always good to get out of the way before each party confirms they are happy with the other. After we covered all we wanted to know and they were happy with us, we decided to go for it, our 3 month farm sit was locked in.
What Did The 3 Month Farm Sit Consist Of?
As with almost all of our house and farm sits, we chose to live in our van rather than the house we are taking care of. That’s our personal choice! With this particular farm sit, the owners were happy for us to use their washing machine, toilet and shower. I did use the shower once but as I often say, I prefer my own on-suite. Having a larger washing machine to use is always a bonus.
Animals – The add said there was a dog and a cat that would need feeding as well as horses and a bullock that would only need their water checking. Fences would also need to be checked after bad weather (they didn’t expect us to deal with broken fences though) as well as keeping an eye out to make sure they were ok.
Swimming Pool – There was also a heated swimming pool which basically looked after itself. We just needed to do regular water tests, cover it at night when the weather cooled down and remove leaves etc.
Use our Coupon Code “AHS15%off” This will give you 15% off your regular membership
Gardening – Some light gardening was required, which consisted of a ride on mower and a push mower. A tractor was available to remove any trees or branches that might fall.
Arriving At The Farm Sit
With the farm sit being close to Kingaroy we headed to Kingaroy Showground for a few days to get our bearings. Having asked the farm owners for their address we did a dry run one day and were very happy with the road to and moreover in to the farm. We have had the occasion where the access in to the property we are minding is not accessible to our size van and set up. On those occasions we have worked something out but this is why we ask lots of questions before accepting a sit.
On the day we arrived at the farm sit we were greeted warmly by the owners and their 3 legged dog Angus. They would be leaving the next day with there own caravan which they were almost finished packing. They showed us where we could park and connect to power and water, which we did, before setting up the basics. We were told we could move if we wanted to after they left.
Getting Shown Around The Farm
If possible, we like to arrive as least the day before the owners leave to get the run down on the place and their animal family. While I chatted to the lady of the house, Larry was shown around the farm and sheds as well as being taken to the local tip where we would be taking our rubbish during our stay.
Although there was a postal service there was no garbage collection. We would be given use of their ute to use for our rubbish runs, which we would do three of over three months.
Getting To Know The Owners
Not long after we set up we were invited in to have some afternoon tea. One of their relatives had popped over to say hello. I do suspect they came to give the owners some moral support and to check us out. We were more than happy to meet them as it was nice to put a face to one of the contacts we would be given in case of an emergency.
As on other house sits, they had printed out instructions on everything they thought we might need to know. Contact details for vets, neighbours, pool maintenance, family members, even a doggy retreat in case we wanted to have a night away ourselves.
This was however, the first time we had been given a formal document to sign. This is something the owners can print of the Aussie House Sitters website for the sitter and home owner to sign. It covers everything you should have already gone over with the owner and so should not be a problem to sign. Unless it covers things you have not discussed, in which case this is a good time to do so.
In the evening we were invited back to the house for a BBQ and drinks. They were good enough to have bought Larry some beers and me some sparkling wine as well as a big tub of local nuts. I think sitting around chatting and getting to know each other put them at ease a little. It must be hard leaving your home and beloved animals in the hands of strangers. Hopefully having our Facebook page and website gave them even more of an insight into what kind of people we are.
The next morning we said our goodbyes and then had a look where we would like to park over our 3 months farm sit.
Finding The Best Parking Spot
We moved a little closer to the house so we could get nearer to the pool and deck area. As with our last farm sit, we much prefer to sit out on the deck of the house, than putting out and sit under our awning. In this case the owners said we could park on there lawn by the pool and It turned out to be the most fabulous parking spot.
We were parked a couple of steps from the swimming pool, had power, water and the deck. To top it off, sunsets were in abundance.
Getting To Know The Animals
Angus – The Dog
From the start we knew the 3 legged dog Angus, also affectionately known as tripod by some and sometimes “number 7” by Larry (due to his No.7 looking marking) was going to be a sweetheart. We took him for a daily walk as requested by the owners, along the quiet country road. Mixing it up a little by walking around the large field on the property.
As we have never taken care of a 3 legged dog before we walked rather slowly as we didn’t know how fast he could go. Was he stopping because he was exhausted, did he want to turn around and go back? Eventually it was clear, as long as we were walking he wanted to be with us. I stress us! As if one of us wanted to go for a walk with him, he would refuse, it had to be both of us.
Angus was the first to spot a Koala on one of our walks, a dogs nose knows you know. He would rest his head on our laps when he wanted attention or he thought it was dinner time. And when we headed back to the van for the night he would follow and sleep under the van for the night rather than his bed. He was happy as long as he was with us and we felt the same, he really was a sweetheart!
Nala – The Cat
Nala is the most talkative cat you could ever meet. Coming to tell us when it was time for food, whether it was or it wasn’t. When we walked by, another conversation would be started with a different kind of meeaww before rolling over on it’s back so you would stroke its belly. What cat does that? I think it has a little bit of dog in it.
Nala loves Angus so much, licking his head and ears most days and then buffing his head on to Angus so he would do the same back. Which he did.
The horses live in a large field which provides them with heaps to eat and has a few water troughs are around the place for drinking. We really didn’t have to do anything with them. On previous farm sits we have moved horses from one paddock to another for better grazing while the owner’s are away.
After a few weeks of walking Angus in the field and saying hello to the horses, we started to save our vegetable left overs to feed them. Carrot peelings, lettuce leaves, watermelon skin etc. When we had a bag full of food, Larry would whistle and they would walk or run over on occasion.
I was beginning to wonder if there was actually a bullock as I didn’t see it for weeks. It wasn’t until it was right at the fence line near the house I actually sore it. And it was huge! How did I not see it before? The bull was also easy to look after as it ate the same as the horses and drank from the same water troughs. Like the horses, we just had to spot him now and again and check the fence line after bad weather.
As mentioned, one of the things we were asked to do, was some gardening. From being little and watching my granddad in his allotment with his roses and rhubarb, I have enjoyed gardening. Working on Hayman Island as a gardener myself as an adult. I do like gardening although these days my body does not. The gardens around the house were small and well kept, so easy to maintain.
We had a ride on mower for the grass around the property and a push mower with a bag for around the pool. That way it reduced the grass getting into the pool. I love a battery operated whipper-snipper and blower, I find they’re so much lighter and easier to use. As the farm was on water tanks we were asked not to water the garden. We had enough rain to see the garden grow though.
Use our Coupon Code “AHS15%off” This will give you 15% off your regular membership
While on this 3 month farm sit we knew we might get some bad weather. In fact the owners told us in advance that if there was bad weather we could park our ute and van in there large shed. We had a few storms come through as well as a few windy days. Although we didn’t have to move the van Larry did have to get out the tractor a couple of times to move some large fallen branches. He also used the tractor to mow a walking track around the field. This was easier to walk around and check the fence line.
I have never heard of a magnesium pool before? It was fabulous!! It really did look after itself. All we had to do was put the creepy crawly in every now and again, empty the basket and test the water with strips. Being a heated pool we were in it more often than not.
With the power going off a few times, due to weather and the power company, Larry did have to reset the pool timer. Further more on one occasion he had to remove the cover of the controller to test why it had unexpectedly turned off. It turned out a tinny skink had got in and fried itself, blowing a fuse. We popped in to town to buy another and it was up and running again.
Communication With The Owners
Personally I like to send the owners photos of their animal family while they’re away. And in this case, as it was a 3 month farm sit, I included the garden, pool and house. Larry also text them now and again. For instance when the power company was delivering a new power pole to be fitted on the property and when we hadn’t seen the bull for quite a few days. Seriously, how the heck did we not see it!
All owners are different in the amount of communication they want or is possible due to their location. I do actually enjoy taking and sending them photos of their pets though.
As with almost all of our house and farm sits we live in our van (which we personally prefer) unless the owners request we stay in their home. This 3 month farm sit was no different. Although we used their toilet and kitchen to boil the kettle and use their oven a couple of times, we didn’t need to use the house. Actually, come to think of it, I did sit in the house with Angus a few times when it was thunder and lightning as he was so scared.
Before the owners returned I still went over the the floors with a vac and mop just to freshen the place up. We also gave the deck a tidy as this was where we spent the majority of our time.
Opportunity To Discover The Surrounding Areas
As with our other Aussie House Sits, we find we can explore the surrounding areas while saving money on park fees etc. Being in the area we visited Kingaroy and it’s surrounding areas quite a lot. Kingaroy is famous for it’s nuts so we visited a couple of local nut stalls.
Local markets are in abundance around Kingaroy. Nanango was a short drive away and had an enormous market. Wondai market was smaller but is next to some nice local shops. We also checked out so many free camps in the surrounding areas in the region. Kingsley grove estate is worth a mention. It has a 48hr free camp, so you can have lunch and do some wine tasting then head back to your van for the night.
Tips For Home Owners
There are a few house sitting sites out there but we are on Aussie House Sitters. As an owner your add on there is free! On the other hand, us, the house sitter, pay a fee to join ( Use our Coupon Code “AHS15%off” for %15 off your joining fee) 😀
You can go on the Aussie House Sitters Site website for free and have a look at potential house sitters. You can see there photos, what they have written about themselves and what house sits they may have done before. When house sitters have been on the site for a few years like us, you will see that they have membership status, such as, gold members, silver members etc.
One good tip for home owners is to read the reviews of your potential house sitter. If they have done previous house sits, the home owner gives the sitter a review once the house sit is over.
Photos: House Owners Can Read Reviews On House Sitters, Making It Easier To Choose The right One For Them
As I say, there are other house sit sites out there but I can only comment on the one we’re on. Please check out the link to Aussie House Sitters and have a look around at a few house sitters.
As I’m sure you have gathered, we love house and farm sitting with Aussie House Sitters. Being full time on the road it saved us sooo much money having somewhere to park with free power and water. Also, we have now learnt, how much we love having a swimming pool at our farm sit 😀
Having some lovely reviews from previous house sits is great, as other home owners now know we are trustworthy and clean. Two must haves that home owner want. You can see some of our other farm sits here, on our “House Sit Around Australia” post.
It was a little sad leaving Angus and Nala, 3 month farm sitting these two, we got quiet attached. If you’re contemplating doing house or farm sitting OR if you yourself need a house or farm sitter, we highly recommend Aussie House Sitters.
You Might Also Like
- How We House Sit Around Australia
- Installing Our Starlink RV Internet
- Installing Our Caravan Diesel Heater
- 15 Lessons Learned Full Time Caravanning
- Jayco Slide Out Re Syncing
- 10 Caravan Kitchen Must Haves
- Security Tips When Free Camping
- 22 Water Saving Tip For Caravanners
- 10 Toilet Tips & Tricks
- Travel Budget Tracking Spreadsheet
- Our Caravan & Camping Shop
- Off Grid & Self Sufficient Caravan
- Crossing The Nullarbor – Our 7 Camps
- Free Camps Around Australia
- Camps Under $20
Would you like FREE accommodation while you travel? The lovely people over at Aussie House Sitters have been good enough to give our members a discount. Use our Coupon Code “AHS15%off”. This will give you 15% off your regular membership