Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / NSW / Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven is a 90 acre, heavily forested property which is protected by a New South Wales State Voluntary Conservation Agreement achieved by the owners in 1999. It also has State Heritage Listing on a few Italian Archaeological Relics (including a holding well, hand-dug dam, trenches, and old Italian house mound since 2010). The owners purchased this property in 1971 and build a modest 2 bedroom home there upon retirement in 1993. The property is divided into three categories: Heritage listed with funding for improvements; protected area with no clearing or building allowed; and a 17-acre block with no protections or restrictions.

The property was originally a small vineyard from 1883 to the mid 1920’ s and then was vacated until purchased by the present owners in 1971. Some of the original forest was cleared, however some remnant old growth remains.

The house is about 2000 square feet and the construction material is largely sandstone and some Hardiplank. There is a 25-by-40 foot Colourbond shed with three doors and three windows; a 39-by-39 foot open Spacio situated on a concrete slab; a 20-by-20 foot Colourbond Bookhouse/Studio Demountable; a 9-by-19 foot Overnight Demountable with no facilities; and three small caravans used for storage only.

The property features a small dam, a very old and hand-dug dam, old shallow holding well and 5x 5,000 Gallon water tanks. These tanks are all connected by 1.25 inch underground water pipes which are powered by a 12,000V powerline which traverses the western boundary. The property has a 15kVa generator service with underground powerlines connecting to the Bookhouse and sheds. There are more than 20 water taps on the property connected to the pipes.

Recently, a contractor constructed more than 300 metres of gravel/ blue metal roads from the property entrance to the house and buildings and out by another way. The property’s boundaries exceed 3 Km and are totally fenced by blue-coated plain wire and tough wooden posts. Much of the wire is fairly new and the Western & Northern boundaries are along local roads.

The property has been left alone for 90 years, especially the last 65, and much regrowth has occurred. Flora & fauna are thriving and the property is enhanced with much re-emerging littoral rainforest during the last decade. It is located near beaches and activity areas and has a most quiet, relaxing and tranquil atmosphere.

The Sanctuary

Arnold Vayo is the owner of Vineyard Haven, a property located in New Italy, approximately 12km south of Woodburn, New South Wales. The property is currently used for recreation, wildlife rehabilitation and as a wildlife sanctuary, and is covered in full by a Voluntary Conservation Agreement with the NSW Environment Minister while also being a member of Land for Wildlife.  Furthermore, Vineyard Haven boasts walking trails and camping facilities in a designated area, featuring 100 tree identification signs, interpretive signage, a vintage weather station and Italian archaeological relics, which are State Heritage Listed.

The sanctuary covers 36.21 hectares and features regenerating littoral rainforest and dense dry/moist sclerophyll forest, some of which is old growth.  Weeds have been virtually eradicated on the property, with various ecosystems in a healthy state after at least 50 years without disturbance. The VCA states that “…the conservation area has outstanding integrity of the forest ecosystem. These long-term unburnt stands of trees contain a healthy age structure ranging from large old senescing habitat emergent eucalypts to recently emerged seedlings with ‘pioneer’ rainforest seedlings increasingly present…” as well as noting that “…there are swarming populations of ground orchids.”

Known wildlife species which inhabit Vineyard Haven include dingos (Canis dingo), spotted-tailed quolls (Dasyurus maculatus), long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta), koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), brush-tailed phascogales (Phascogale tapoatafa), red-necked pademelons (Thylogale thetis), lace monitors (Varanus varius) and a wide variety of other macropods, parrots, possums, gliders, snakes and spiders.

Contact the owner

This sanctuary has been listed by Arnold and Mary Vayo who can be contacted by phone on (02) 9973 1728 or wlt@hsi.org.au