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Article  •  19 July 2016


My tropical home

Barbara Hannay takes a stroll around her Atherton Tablelands home.

My husband and I moved from Townsville, where we had raised our family, to the quiet and peace of the Atherton Tablelands. We think this is a pretty special corner of the world in the mountains behind Cairns in Far North Queensland. We have rainforest and beautiful freshwater lakes on our doorstep, and from our house, a wonderful view over rolling green farmlands.

Depending on the weather, this view can provide clear blue skies, loaded with sunshine, or it can turn delightfully cool and grey and misty. We love it in all seasons and weathers. As you can imagine, our front veranda, overlooking this view, is a great place for me to sit with my husband and brainstorm story ideas. I'm lucky that he's a willing contributor, used to my knocking his ideas on the head, while we both "throw spaghetti at the wall", testing ideas to see if they're "cooked".:)

Oh, and our sunsets are divine!!!

Needless to say, the office where I write is at the back of the house, well away from the distracting views. When I'm not writing, I enjoy pottering in my country garden, growing both tropical and temperate plants that survive quite well in the highlands.

We've taught ourselves how to make dry-laid steps and we've enjoyed hunting through second-hand shops and demolition yards to find old windows, doors and shutters which we've re-cycled while extending our country cottage.

I write in my novels about "proper" rural folk on vast outback cattle stations, while my husband and I only "play" at being farmers, growing vegetables and raising chooks, although I must add that Elliot has become quite a successful raiser of pigs and his home-smoked hams and bacon are sensational - a big hit with friends and family alike.

The lifestyle seems to blend very well with writing. I feel immensely lucky.


Find out more about Barbara’s life, books and writing at: barbarahannay.com


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