Landholders: Denise and Dean Courtenay

Traditional owners: Dja Dja Wurrung and the Barapa Barapa people
Size: 500 acres
Covenanted: 2018

Sunday Morning Hills was ‘developed’ by Paul Dettmann, Cassinia. It is some 750 acres of Box Ironbark country adjoining the Brenanah section of Kooyoora State Park.

We purchased Lots 2 and 3 (approx. 500 acres) in July 2015. We had free access for just over 12 months prior to that while the Covenant was finalised.

At first sighting, Denise described the property as “clapped out grazing land”, but we loved it. It has a significant (possibly nationally significant) Buloke forest which is vibrant with understory with rare orchids – even Yam Daisies.

There is a similar-sized forest of Mallee which is alive with birds at times. There are remnant large trees – Grey Box, Yellow Gum and Buloke; some quite massive.

Greenfleet Australia has done two plantings, the first in 2014 before we purchased it and a follow up seeding about 2017. Growth has been fantastic in many areas, up to 6 -7 metres of growth with some eucalypts.

There has also been horehound, Cape Weed, a small amount of wheel cactus and some ‘melons’ I don’t know the name of!

We have a significant catchment from the hills behind us (State Park) which had been allowed to cause some quite severe drainage erosion across the property. We have partially built some check weirs and they are proving far more effective than other attempts at restoring the sites.

Restoration results

We have a significant kangaroo population that comes down from the Park and one that is resident in the Buloke area. Kookaburras are also returning.

It has been an exciting and very rewarding journey so far and we look forward to even more enjoyment in the future.

Denise is a Speech Pathologist. Dean works within his areas of Human Resources and Industrial Relations – the major focus for some time has been Recruiting.