Life in the Upper Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

Suzi and Neil’s house in the Upper Hunter Valley

This is where I am staying at the moment. We are in the upper reaches of a valley, in the Upper Hunter, NSW, Australia. We are 80km away from our nearest supermarket, but enjoying our splendid isolation.

Although, strictly speaking, we are not alone. In the immediate vicinity we have chickens, horses, dogs and cats – as well as a variety of wildlife, some welcome, and some not so much – especially the wild pigs, dingoes and snakes.

There are also lots of cattle and sheep roaming around the paddocks.

It’s not often that human visitor treks all the way up the 7 km drive from the road, but we are often blessed by other types of visitors…

…like this echidna, who the children named Fred.

Fred can be seen most days, ferreting for ants, his staple diet. He uses his long snout to burrow into their nests, and fends off any predators with his prickly spines.

This blue tongued skink also visits…

…he really does have a blue tongue

Of course, we also have the indigenous beasts like kangaroos, and goannas, plus an amazing variety of birds.

Ready to run! (Me, not the kangaroo)

These goannas can grow quite large.

Unfortunately, in country Australia, it is not uncommon to see dead animals on the roadside. They tend to just appear, and  hop, or run, straight in front of cars.

Although we live in splendid isolation, life is never boring, as there is so much to do. Chickens, dogs and horses need to be fed, then there is grooming, riding, and training dogs, and horses. Life in the country is full on.

Katelyn has her horse, Finale, to look after, and ride..

 …and she is also training her puppy, Jingle,
Who will eventually become a working dog herding cattle

Brandyn likes to help his Mummy with the chores…

…and he also chases the chickens out of the garden

Yes, country life is never boring, and everyone has their jobs to do. What a wonderful life!

Elizabeth Coughlan

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