New income source for Australian landholders…

The idea of opening the front gate to visitors may seem crazy to many landholders but not to Samantha Chaffey and Eric Lemoussu of East Gippsland in Victoria who are earning another farm income from offering authentic camping sites and low-key accommodation. Their motivation is to have a diversified farm income so the health of their land isn’t compromised and can be managed sustainably. They are proud of their property and the good condition it is in.

Public camping grounds are restrictive and often full and not all travellers want to stay in van park camping suburbia or highway rest areas. Also, travellers want authentic experiences away from the well-trodden tourist track. Farmers and landholders are looking for new income streams that contribute to a property being managed sustainably. meets both these needs.

Almost every property has a spot that travellers would like to visit – a river or creek frontage, a private fishing spot, a beautiful dam or even just a big shady tree or lawn area that would be perfect to park a fully self-contained campervan under. It’s entirely up the landholder what is provided and the fee they set. has recently listed a number of properties where the owners have been stunned at the interest from the public.

Shortly before Christmas Samantha and Eric decided they would open their front gate and share their land with carefully chosen, responsible members of the public who wanted a more authentic camping experience.

They did not want to set up a commercial van park or a mass camping ground; just a low-key place for people to retreat, for families to bond and truly experience nature. They offer a number of camping sites in different locations so each group has privacy.

To their surprise the response was immediate and much of the Christmas/New Year period was quickly booked. They contacted the local council to check the rules for allowing visitors onto private land and asked each group who arrived to sign a waiver.

“It has been beautiful, so beautiful to have kids come here and enjoy the property.”

“Private property is normally thought of as totally closed and private and having strangers arrive causes many landholders some apprehension,” Samantha said. “But we have found that sharing the sunsets, the sounds and the sights, sharing this beautiful place and allowing people to have this experience here on our land has been wonderful”.

North East Downs Landcare Public Fund

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