Sean Collier is the owner of Cabins in the Clouds, a property located approximately 40km north of Maitland. The property is a wildlife-friendly sanctuary offering short-term eco-accommodation in the form of boutique bushland cabins. It is Sean’s intent for the property to continue in these purposes.
Cabins in the Clouds covers approximately 5 hectares at the top of Mount George, on the edge of an escarpment with views across to Barrington Tops. There are four cabins on the property, plus a common building and two sheds.
The natural vegetation of the site is a typical dry sclerophyll forest with an adjacent small segment of a dry rainforest. The forest classification is a Spotted Gum – Iron Bark Forest and this classification applies to the general forest of the area. Due to clearing (possibly for fire control) there is very little understorey. From a recent survey, flora on the property of note includes broad leafed grass trees (Xanthorrhoea arborea) (which are common, but these are enormous, possibly more than 2000 years old), flax lilies (Dianella longifolia), three-leafed water vine (Tetrastigma nitens) – a very large specimen, stiff jasmine (Jasminum volubile), slender grape (Cayratia clematidea), hairy cleros (Clerodendron tomentosum), rough-fruited pittosporums (Pittosporum undulatum), kurrajongs (Brachychiton populneus), red ashes (Alphitonia excels), hairy birds eyes (Alectryon tomentosa), native quinces (Alectryon subcinereus) and prickly moses’ (Acacia ulicifolia).
Wildlife known to inhabit the property includes eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), red-necked wallabies (M. rufogriseus), common wallaroos (M. robustus), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus); bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus); eastern long-necked turtles (Chelodina longicollis), green tree snakes (Dendrelaphis punctulata), red-bellied black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus), eastern brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis), diamond pythons (Morelia spilota), wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), yellow-tailed black-cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus), crimson rosellas (Platycercus elegans), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), king parrots (Alisterus scapularis), wonga pigeons (Leucosarcia melanoleuca), laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae), lace monitors (Varanus varius), grey-headed flying foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus), microbats and various other frogs, birds and small marsupials.
This sanctuary is featured in Wildlife Lands 20!
Cabins in the Clouds is located on the crest of Mount George in the Moonabung Ranges. Once part of a huge, ancient volcano, it is made up of two properties totaling 15 hectares of bushland overlooking the Paterson Valley and Barrington Tops National Park.
We purchased the property less than three years ago and have spent that entire time making improvements, both for our guests and to foster the best environment for native flora and fauna. Our property is home to echidnas, wombats, bandicoots, lace monitors and green tree snakes. There is plenty of birdlife as well – king parrots, regent bowerbirds and a variety of wrens happily bathing in the water sources created especially for them!
Cabins in the Clouds houses four cabins perched on the edge of the escarpment, and a fifth one with a cascading water garden with natural bush rock that is home to frogs, fish, snakes and lizards. Guests are treated to our beautiful wedge-tailed eagles coasting just off the mountain top as well as regular visits from our little swamp wallabies. There are some amazing 2, 000 year old grass trees scattered all over the property, one of which blew over in a storm 18 months ago – we have been hydrating the exposed root system to keep this tree alive and continue to monitor it regularly.
We currently have a 14 year old eastern grey kangaroo called Katie in our care, arriving from our friends at Sydney Wildlife. Hand raised and never having lived in a traditional mob, Katie is living her twilight years on our property, with enough space to enjoy a comfy life. Be sure to say hello when you visit. We plan to become a sanctuary for injured wildlife in the future, converting an old deer enclosure which would be a perfect spot to house rescued animals.
Becoming a member of the Wildlife Land Trust seemed a natural fusion for us and we look forward to becoming more involved in preserving and improving our environment for the animals. Visit www.cabinsintheclouds.com.au for more information.