Imagine taking a leisurely drive in the country, letting go of the week and enjoying the gorgeous hinterland scenery of Australia, when you turn a corner and literally walk into the next big chapter of your life.
That’s exactly what happened to Keith Douglas and his wife as they motored around the hills of the majestic Natural Bridge hinterland, about 45 minutes away from the Gold Coast and smack bang on the Queensland and New South Wales border.
What Keith stumbled upon that day was a gorgeous, almost untouched piece of Australiana that has to be seen to be believed. Nestled in the valley of high reaching volcanic hills, the more than 135-acre property features a lush rainforest, a dramatic waterfall and stunning views in every direction you turn.
The property was for sale, and even though Keith and his wife weren’t in the market they knew that they had to buy it and start a new life in this beautiful valley! At least, Keith knew right away, he just had to check with his wife.
“I said to my wife, well I’m staying here, I don’t know what you’re doing,” laughs Keith, tongue firmly in cheek.
Luckily she quickly agreed, and so began their new life on the land. Back on the Gold Coast, Keith was lucky enough to have a couple of toys in the garage, but the Porsche 911 and the Harley were sold off (Keith says he doesn’t miss them one bit) and in their place came tractors, trailers, quad bikes and a limited edition Isuzu D-MAX X-RUNNER.
The property needed a lot of work when they first took it over, and that has kept them very busy for the past few years. These days they run a small herd of Red Angus cattle on the land, and they have just opened up the waterfall area to campers.
Keith says his trusty D-MAX has played an important role in the property’s transformation.
“When we got here, the weeds were over our head, so we’ve put in our fair share of hard yakka, that’s for sure,” said Keith.
“The D-MAX has been great. Whether I’m towing a trailer full of hay or grain around the steep mountain ranges or loading it up with tools, I really rely on that low down torque.”
For Keith, another big plus for the D-MAX is its versatility and how well it performs in the city and on the land.
“I still do a lot of business in the city; I’m always going into the Gold Coast for meetings on big development projects. It’s really good for commuting; it just cruises on the highway. What I find is that the D-MAX is equally comfortable weaving its way through the skyscrapers and traffic as it is chewing up dirt roads up a mountain ridge,” he said.
With the brunt of the hard yakka done for now, Keith’s finally getting the chance to share his pride and joy with the world. At the waterfall campers can take a dip in the cool mountain water only footsteps away from their tent or trek around the incredible hinterland all around them. There’s a range of camping sites available, but Keith’s kept the sites to a limited number in order to keep the experience intimate and the land beautiful.
Keith has plans for an eco-tourism development on the property in the future, but he’s not rushing into it just yet.
“The greatest joy for us now is that we get to share this piece of paradise with other people,” says Keith. “Whenever anyone stays here, you can see a change in them, it’s almost like a spiritual thing, and they pretty much all swear they will be back.”