The Wintry days here in Hobart are coming to an end and we're saying farewell to our rented rooftop pad of the last four years. Our possessions are disappearing into boxes in preparation for our new life at Hunting Ground in Tasmania's Southern Midlands, about an hour north from Hobart. We'll be living off grid and as self-sufficiently as we can, with limited internet and mobile reception: a far cry from our inner city apartment living of the past 15 years. As we write this, the build is still underway, our solar tracker is awaiting its panels, and we’re moving there in a few weeks, ready or not. This'll be interesting!
We've had Hunting Ground for six years now. We found it online and flew from Melbourne to see it the day of the Chilean ash cloud eruption. Flights to and from Hobart would be grounded for the next ten days, so we went there four times for a sticky beak and quickly fell in love with the landscape, the c. 1851 church remade as a farm shed, the four room house barely linked by rotted joists to another single room building, as well as a derelict stables, store and the remains of a cemetery. All this on an escarpment overlooking the Jordan River, dotted with giant white gums, willows and edged with sheer cliffs. We’re still struck by its compelling sense of place, the stories of its landscape, and the omnipresence of pyramidal Bradys Point overlooking it all.
Our vision was to restore the cottages and connect them with a contemporary steel-framed glass 'link’; a large indoor-outdoor room that is mostly transparent, framing lovely valley views to the north and south. We’ve worked with architect and good friend Christy Bryar, the skilled Prefab Lab building crew, Bee Newman from Next 50 Architects, Stonemason Aubrey Wood, electrician Dean Brady (Brady’s brother!) and many others. For a ‘small’ project, it has become bigger and more challenging than we ever expected. Just last month we were looking at the photos from that first inspection and thought we must have been a little bit crazy to take this on! We had no idea what was in store for us, but soon enough we’ll have Hunting Ground to live in and share with friends and family. We can’t wait!
Stay tuned for monthly updates on what’s happening out at the Hunting Ground - how we're living, what we're growing, what we're making and what we're dreaming up!