Environmental sustainability is the overriding principle of the entire property of Cloudlake.
It is the thing that gets us up each morning and flows through our veins.
We utilize organic and biodynamic principles in all aspects of management of the property with an holistic approach similar to permaculture.
To minimize the impact on the site and to provide the most comfortable living environments, eco-design and sustainability are main design principles used for each house.
Optimal orientation, solar access, water collection, insulation, waste disposal and sustainable, low toxic materials and finishes were used in their design and construction.
Natural fibres for all furnishings, bed linen and towels was also selected. Mosquito nets are provided for the beds in place of insect repellant although there are no mosquitos owing to the fact that we have stocked the lake with
Pacific Blue eye fish which eat mosquito larvae but not frogs eggs.
The most energy efficient appliances and water heating options installed are economically and environmentally more sustainable choices. We have installed solar rooftop power generating panels which are currently connected
to the grid however future battery storage is also planned.
Organic, natural plant based products, are used as cleaning products for the houses. Personal cleansing products, which are Australian made, vegan and cruelty free - either Sukin or Thank You, are provided in larger. refillable dispensers.
Both of these companies donate part of their profits to charities or environmental efforts such as saving The Great Barrier Reef.
All of our linen is provided by Vanguard Laundry in Toowoomba, a not-for profit organization supporting people who have a lived experience of disadvantage who struggle to secure employment. Vanguard’s friendly staff not only provide an excellent linen service but also helps provide jobs and training for local people who need a hand up.
No chemicals are used in the houses and in the event of insect infestation, natural solutions are utilized where possible.
Separate recycling bins are provided with waste food scraps being fed to our hens, worms or compost bins
Whilst staying at Cloudlake, guests are aware of our sustainable living solutions, often discussing these with us and taking away ideas to make their lives back home more environmental friendly. This learning process – toteach and inspire is a most rewarding outcome of our business.
Water is very precious stuff indeed! We never take it for granted! Oakey Creek which snakes its way through the rainforest in the bottom of our valley forms part of Toowoomba’s water supply and is indeed part of the
eastern catchment for all of south-east Queensland.
We protect this liquid asset as best we can:
- we have fenced all of stock areas with integrated watering points so no stock has access to the creek.
- We have limited pedestrian crossings to four specific areas, two of which are vehicular on Irish bridges ensuring no erosion of banks or damage to watercourse occurs.
- Waste water and sewerage is managed to ensure no pollution of the creek or water table occurs including the use of reed beds for filtration of grey water.
- The gardens and orchards are managed using minimal water – the orchard trees are watered initially until established and then only irrigated deeply at critical seasonal periods. The planting used in the gardens has been refined using tough water-wise species. Lawns are never irrigated but rely on rainfall and dew.
- Fountain recycles to the lake.
In 2003, we received accreditation as a Land for Wildlife property, having complied with the Natural Resource Management strategies as identified by Crows Nest Shire Council. Since then we have received accreditation to be
part of the Humane Society International Australia and have become a part of a growing network of sanctuaries promoting conservation and protecting wildlife and habitats across Australia.
Groups of trainees under the Green Corp Scheme have come to Cloudlake to undertake weed control and rehabilitation work to enhance the existing environment.
We are continually planting additional native plant species to increase the diversity of habitat for native birds and animals.
The lake and pond with revegetation of endemic native species has created a wonderful additional habitat and breeding area for many varieties of water birds, an ever increasing frog population as well as native fish and freshwater
Twenty five percent of the property along Oakey Creek is gallery rainforest providing significant habitat. Some forest giants of Eucalypts, Figs, Black Bean and Red Cedar precede white settlement. A rich and diverse bird population include Satin and Regent Bower birds, Noisy Pittas, fruit eating and ground pigeons and a variety of parrots and small bush birds. As well echidna are seen in the forest and a platypus is resident in one of our constructed water habitats.
See our list of 139 birds guests have found at Cloudlake current to Feb 2024.
Two magnificent trees, a Sydney Blue Gum and a Tallowwood, perhaps 500 years old and listed on the Australian Register of Big Trees never fail to fill one with awe.
We always maintain and request control of dogs, ours and visitor’s dogs, especially at night to ensure the safe movement of nocturnal creatures.
For interested Environmental, Bird Watching or Garden groups when we open the garden, Richard takes visitors around the property, describing and illustrating the sustainable management programmes we use here.
Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Land Uses:
The diverse agricultural land uses of orcharding of olives, persimmons, avocados, citrus, wine grapes and vegetables in managed both organically and biodynamically using sustainable principles including native bee husbandry for pollination and guinea fowl and ducks for insect control, providing healthy, chemical free produce as well as an enhanced soil flora and beneficial insect population.
SUSTAINABLE PARTNERS :
LAND FOR WILDLIFE
HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA
VANGUARD LAUNDRY TOOWOOMBA
AUSTRALIAN REGISTER OF BIG TREES
Little quote from a guest from 2006 which we love -
‘It is slightly ironic that the Boathouse, the lake, the immediate surrounds are
completely manmade but yet authentically wild, a testament to Richard &
Rosemary’s creative skills ….. Cloudlake where nature comes to you.”
D.S. June 2006.