Celeste Coucke and Stephen Fearnley are the owners of Cloudfarm, a property located in Robertson approximately 40km south west of Wollongong, NSW. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary used for tourism, education and wildlife rehabilitation. It is also a residence for Celeste and Stephen who are both artists and who supplement their income by renting out a portion of the house as a bed and breakfast. It is Celeste and Stephen’s intent for the property to continue in these purposes and to, in future, grow waratahs commercially on the bottom part of the property.
Cloudfarm covers 13.35 hectares and is situated on the highest point of the Illawarra escarpment; basaltic soils and high rainfall support a diversity of flora and fauna. Vegetation consists predominantly of tableland basalt forest (EEC), native grassland and temperate rainforest. Most of the property was once cleared as farmland however the protected rocky slopes are in more or less original condition, supporting a rare fragment of endangered temperate rainforest. The rainforest is now regenerating and covers approximately one third of the property with two thirds mostly native grassland. A magnificent stand of Eucalyptus fastigata crowns the top of the mountain, a remnant of endangered tableland basalt forest. Cloudfarm also forms part of an important wildlife corridor between the Macquarie Pass National Park and Sydney water catchment.
Wildlife known to inhabit the property include bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor), brushtail (Trichosurus vulpecula) and ringtail (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) possums, gliders (Petaurus spp.), eastern quolls (Dasyurus viverrinus), long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta), koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), antechinus (Antechinus spp.), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), red-bellied black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus), highland copperheads (Austrelaps ramsayi), tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus), blue-tongued lizards (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides), frogs and fresh water turtles.
Cloudfarm is also home to diverse bird life which includes wonga pigeons (Leucosarcia melanoleuca), superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus), golden whistlers (Pachycephala pectoralis), eastern whipbirds (Psophodes olivaceus), superb lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae), regent (Sericulus chrysocephalus) and satin (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) bowerbirds, wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), grey shrike-thrushes (Colluricincla harmonica), eastern rosellas (Platycercus eximius), yellow-tailed black-cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus), king parrots (Alisterus scapularis), magpies (Cracticus tibicen), whistling kites (Haliastur sphenurus), brown goshawks (Accipiter fasciatus), tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides), southern boobooks (Ninox boobook), welcome swallows (Hirundo neoxena), barn owls (Tyto alba), laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae), common bronzewings (Phaps chalcoptera), honeyeaters and finches.