Veteran’s Retreat is a registered charity care farm run by 20 year Army veteran Kylie and her young family. The retreat is open to all serving members, veterans, first responders and their families/carers, and it is free.
Located in Mothar Mountain, only 10 minutes southeast of Gympie, Queensland, we have just listed the Farm Stay in the Camps Australia Wide App.
It is open to all types of camping from swags to Big Rigs, dogs are allowed with conditions and other pets on application. There is limited power and bathroom and laundry amenities. There’s mobile coverage, camp kitchen, firepits, TV/common room, BBQ, gym, brand new swimming pool as well as a creek and dam for swimming. For kids there’s giant games like jenga, a tyre swing and toy library. There is rainwater in the kitchen, but please BYO water when camping.
An old military container has been converted into two-room accommodation for those unable to camp due to their injuries, or for respite and emergency.
However, there are two ways that everyone can access and even stay in this special camp…
Party at Beat the Retreat
Kylie organises one fundraiser a year – Beat the Retreat is a one-day music event on Saturday June 26.
A limited number of ticket holders can camp onsite for the event as an add-on – however only swags, tents, roof top tents and camper trailers are an option.
It is only the second time they have hosted the event. Lead act, singer-songwriter Col Finley, is rated as one of Australia’s most entertaining country touring artists performing extensively in Australia and throughout the USA. Col has shared the stage with Tim McGraw, Dixie Chicks, Luke Bryan, Luke Coombs and Zac Brown and has wowed fans at all major Australian festivals including CMC Rocks, Big Red Bash, Tamworth CMF for 27 years, Gympie Muster and Groundwater. Col is definitely a crowd favourite is also a veteran.
Kylie told us, “Col saw what we did last year – within three minutes for posting the call for artists his team had nominated him. I spoke to them and said we want artists to donate, we can’t pay them.”
Col knew that, and Kylie found out he was a veteran himself, who has worked hard to fundraise for mental health and his local community around Maleny.
He joins a fantastic line up – Jade Holland, Beyond Sippy Creek, Benny M, boi & eSKae, Just Ask Me, Hound Dog Swagger, One Foot West, Mayan Fox and Blinders Band of Rock. The majority of artists perform country music, with easy listening pub classics and rock covers, too.
Beat the Retreat will also host activities for the big and little kids including a jumping castle, rock climbing wall, gel blasters, face painting and more.
There will be a range of food and beverage options. All held onsite at the charity and campground, Veteran’s Retreat.
There is caravan and motorhome camping just 8 minutes away at Noosa Equestrian and Camping Centre, also on the Camps Australia WIde App, with a free bus to Beat the Retreat.
Become a volunteer
“We are still recruiting volunteers for the event,” said Kylie. “Six hours working on the gate or bar gives you free entry. We have ten volunteers so far, but we can always have more.”
More importantly, they are looking for volunteers anytime of the year.
Kylie says, “I am very grateful for our volunteers and am always welcoming more, from cooking sausages on the BBQ to cleaning out the animal yards, doing some gardening, fencing repairs, small projects and everything in between.”
Other volunteers wanted include:
- Administration/bookkeeping assistance
- Shed or metal roofing specialists
- Live in farm hand (free rent / electricity in exchange for 10 hours work per week)
- Mental health professionals
- Fencing specialists ALWAYS welcome
- Event organiser
Sponsors are needed
“Everything we do here is free for veterans – we are always looking for sponsors. Grant money can’t cover operational costs.”
The charity provides relief and assistance to current and former service men and women of the Defence Force and emergency services, veterans, first responders and their families and carers. The retreat facility provides a place of treatment, solace and recreation to assist in recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities arising from their service to Australia.
Says Kylie, “I feel that it is important to note that the term Veteran does not solely relate to someone who has deployed while serving in the Defence Force. Indeed, many serving and ex-serving members provided selfless and distinguished service to the country between wars and in times of peace. Here at Veteran’s Retreat we acknowledge and embrace all Veterans from one day of service and beyond.”
They offer day visits, overnight accommodation, animal therapy – you can also host events at the property. It costs $20 000 a year to operate, that is just 40 businesses pledging $500 each.
They have a wishlist:
- Donga / container suitable for running courses for up to 12-15 persons (minimum size 9×3 but preference for bigger as we have a projector and screen for training)
- SAL block (minimum 2 x showers and 2 x toilets)
- Pizza oven
- 2 x portable stables
- Shade sail (cover approx. 10m x 5m space)
- New shed for storage of hay, sheep lambing / night pens, shearing area, tac room, feed room. To replace a shed that is falling down.
So if you would like to stay, or help contact Kylie via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more: www.veteransretreat.org.au
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