A NEW website being hailed the ‘Airbnb’ of the country is giving Queensland landholders the opportunity to rent their spare paddocks to travellers.
Youcamp is a national website established by James and Prue Woodford of New South Wales which allows landholders to advertise their properties to visitors.
The landholder has the opportunity to set rules regarding prices, animals and activities and can also add their own additional services including cooking their own produce and tarot readings.
While the website was established in 2013 a redesign a few months ago has seen 270 properties jump on board with the large majority of them in Queensland.
Co-managing director James Woodford said the idea came about when they noticed rural people hadn’t yet tapped into the share economy.
“We were sitting around a campfire on our property one Christmas and the camp grounds over the summer are always absolutely chock a block with people and yet we were on our property and had the whole place to ourselves,” he said.
“On a smaller size block it’s pretty hard to make an income from running cattle and we also saw this as a way of helping to drought proof properties because it means through dry times you have still got this income coming in.
“It’s all very well to tell country people and farmers you have got to protect these places on your property for environmental value but the best way to do that is to give them a financial incentive.
“So if you fix up a river and suddenly people want to come camping on it well that’s going to make you want to improve the environment.”
Beef producer Alex Long listed part of his 2000 acre Kilcoy property, Court Le Roi, on Youcamp for six months before purchasing a new place at Toorbul on the Pumicestone Passage.
Up to 20 campers would visit Mr Long’s Kilcoy property on long weekends.
After settling in over the next few months, Mr Long is planning on listing his new water frontage property, too.
He said the property was battling drought when it was open to visitors and wasn’t at it’s best but the website offered an extra income.
“There are a lot of beautiful places in Queensland and they are not currently accessible to adventures and I think it gives an opportunity and both landholder and people to come and camp and enjoy those unique beautiful places that are locked up on rural holdings,” he said.
“We had three years of dry spells in that particular location and we were thankful for the bit of income.”
Mr Long was growing beef for his sons butcher shop and they incorporated a selection of meat into the visitor’s experience.
“As a bit of an extra we used to do campfire dinners and people found that to be really popular and it was a way of them tasting the beef we were growing as well,” he said.
“We used to do BBQ packs and fresh eggs. “It’s just a way where they could say they are not just here but are totally experiencing it.”
For more information visit youcamp.com
- This article was first published on Queensland Country Life