Work with us

Long stay

We are considering offering two interships in 2018.  These will be 12 month positions; one focussing on food growing, foraging & processing, and another on building & infrastructure.  We’re still in the processing of assessing this option; if it is of interest and you think you might be the right person, please email us at

Short stay

Many travellers to Australia participate in WWOOFing, Workaway or HelpX schemes where they exchange labour for room & board.  It is a great way for them to connect to local communities and see the ‘real’ Australia. (NB: Due to a law change in 2016, unpaid work no longer counts toward your second year of a working holiday visa.)

WWOOFers make a great contribution on the farm and we are very grateful to them for their practical help, cultural exchange and the many friendships that have resulted from stays.  Because of the permaculture focus of the farm, many Chestnut Farm WWOOFers are specifically interested in learning more about permaculture, however all WWOOFers are welcome to apply.

Full details are available on request, but here are some common questions answered:

  • Regular WWOOFers work 8 hours, 4 days a week (8 – 5 less lunch and breaks).  Specific hours vary, depending on season and projects undertaken
  • Initial stay 1 week, then as agreed with longer stays of several weeks preferred (a number of WWOOFers have stayed several months)
  • There are limited opportunities for WWOOFing during Winter, as both garden and construction tasks are weather-dependent & the Ballarat area can experience cold, wet weather for days on end during mid-Winter.
  • Steve usually works with you for the first two days, to get a sense of your skills, knowledge, work ethic and standard of finish.  There are jobs for all levels of ability, so no need to be a tradesperson  – although tradies are very welcome!  🙂
  • We all eat together; omnivore diet, often vegetarian.  Alcohol is BYO.  If you have a special diet, you may need to partially self-cater.  This needn’t be a barrier – email or call and let’s chat about how to make it workable for everyone.
  • Cooking & washing dishes are shared between all household members, because we are functioning as a shared house. As per Australian WWOOFing guidelines, workers do not undertake general household duties as their main WWOOFing role, but you are responsible for keeping your room clean, putting laundry in the basket, etc.  [I’m not your mum! 🙂 ]
  • Workers are responsible for looking after tools, wearing safety equipment, asking questions when not sure (there’s no such thing as a dumb question!) and showing initiative
  • Due to Steve’s teaching and family commitments, workers must be able to work some days without supervision or direction, so strong English language skills are essential
  • Where possible, you will be given projects that you can complete during your stay, so you gain a sense of satisfaction & achievement from your time at the farm… at times, though, there will also be mundane but essential work that needs to be completed!
  • Pick up from Ballarat railway station is easy for those using public transport.  Train,  bus or shuttle (direct from Melbourne airport) all go to the station, which is 15 minutes from the farm
  • Single bed accommodation for up to three WWOOFers at a time, so hosting couples can be tricky. If you have a camper van or tent, you are welcome
  • No smoking on the property.  No use of illegal drugs.  No exceptions.  Please don’t ask.  🙂

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