John Button

Host Profile

My Property

Property Name


Business Type

Hobby Farm

Farming methods


Short Property Description

I’ve been working. with permaculture professionally all over the world, and have just returned this year after 31 years living overseas (mostly India and various parts of Europe). Having designed for so many others, finally it’s time again to design our own place (my wife Francesca is an Italian agronomist), and build another house (the old one is in the rainforest we planted and in need of restoration as a guest house. We’re planting an extensive food forest of hugely diverse species, to add to what remains of the original forest garden, as well as extensive vegetable gardens for our own kitchen, for friends and guests. This whole land, shared with two others, is a remarkable arboretum of mainly Australian rainforest species, and there are kilometres of footpaths all over the land, giving access to most of the most beautiful parts of it. One boundary is over a kilometre of stunning rainforest creek, there is a large pond on the land, and the views of the world heritage national parks and caldera of the ancient volcano are spectacular. We eat very well, having an international cooking capacity; we are not extreme, but cook only vegetarian food generally.

Full Property Description

Sundari is a 3-share, 33 hectare rainforest sanctuary, which is now over 40 years in existence. Two of the shares are permanent residents, and the third is a couple from Victoria who come as often as possible. We decided from the beginning to have no domestic pets (ie; cats or dogs), simply because we wanted it to be a sanctuary, and native animals are not able to defend themselves against such animals. The result is an incredibly rich diversity of creatures –  birds, animals, insects – which treat us as we treat them; respectfully. They have never experienced danger from humans, a rare situation in this world. We are about three quarters of an hour from beautiful beaches, far enough away to avoid the highly developed coastal centres, but close enough for access. The world heritage national parks are all around us

Organic/Biological methods we use

Having been a Permaculture professional for so many years, that’s essentially the basis for what we do. This property has always been free of synthetic chemicals; there’s no need or reason to do otherwise!

Skills WWOOFers can learn here

Organic practices & techniques, Permaculture design practices & techniques, Gardening, Composting, Soil conservation, Mulching, Worm farming, Using & caring for tools, Building, Natural Building techniques, Fencing, Handyman

My Details


John Button

Partners Name

Francesca Simonetti



The Stay

Can Accommodate

2 WWOOFers

Preferred length of Stay

3-7 days, 1-2 weeks, Longer stays by negotiation


Separate Building, Tent, BYO Accommodation

Other options

Non-Smoking, No Smoking Inside

Meal Procedures

Share most meals

Languages spoken

English, Italian, German, French, some Hindi (though rusty)

Diets we cater for

Vegetarian meals, Vegan meals

Why I became a WWOOF Host

With so much experience and applied Permaculture, AND so much work to do here, I feel it is an ideal situation to be able to share the experience and inspire others, and at the same time have the benefit of extra hands to help with all the work. It seems to be a wonderful exchange, fitting perfectly with the aims of WWOOFing.



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