Louise and David of Highfield Farm & Woodland had campers staying at their property on the 27th December 2019. After leaving to go into town to pick up supplies their campers checked the “fires near me” app and saw that a new fire had appeared close by, the Dunn’s Rd Fire.
Their campers evacuated and Louise and David spent the next two weeks on edge, watching the progress of the fire, until the 10th of January when the fire eventually came through, claiming two thirds of their property including the entire covenant of nature reserve and part of their farmland as well.
The fire burned for 50 days in total, until after much water bombing and rigorous fighting from the RFS and National Parks fire crews, it was officially declared “out”. The farm lost stockyards and kilometers of fencing but they were some of the lucky ones. The homestead, the stock and most importantly the people, were all safe.
Highfield Farm & Woodland is an 840-acre property that is home to over 137 varieties of birds, including some exceedingly rare and endangered species. The landscape was left scarred and blackened but it was not beaten.
The tall gums that were reduced to cinders, the grassy fields that were left scorched and charred are now regenerating and springing back to life. The scars of this catastrophic fire season will forever leave an imprint on the landscape as much as on the hearts and minds of the people whose properties were affected.
As time passes, these wounds are healing and the resilience of the bush and its people is truly aw-inspiring. Just like the bush, their regeneration is taking time but with the support of the community and the campers who visit this spectacular property Louise and David are still soldiering on.
Camping is back open at Highfield Farm & Woodland where you can sit in the tranquility of the Box Gum grassy woodland that covers much of the property. The birds are back and the creek is flowing, the grasses are green again and the scrub is shooting up all around, camping here it is a truly special experience.
Where the fire burnt most fiercely, the regeneration is slow but where the flames were less intense there is all kinds of new growth, wildflowers such as have never been seen before are shooting up and covering the singed earth.
Camping at the Wombat Sands campsite was a magical evening, the sound of the flowing creek after some heavy rainfall accompanied by the afternoon songs of galahs, cockatoos and kookaburras was a relaxing symphony to while away the hours in front of the campfire.
Louise and David are some of the most gracious hosts you will come across and their passion for the beautiful nature reserve that they are lucky to be the custodians of, shines through in all that they do. They are passionate about conserving the natural beauty that surrounds them and offer an absolutely magical experience for those who share their love of nature.
The camping is basic but beautiful, a wonderful place for any nature lover and those keen observers of birds especially. Highfield Farm & Woodland is a phoenix rising from the ashes and should be put on everyone’s list to visit.