Whole day guided tour at Melliodora

IMG_9227There is no better way to learn how the household economy works than to take part in the whole day guided tour at Melliodora. Situated in the Victorian central highlands, Melliodora is one of the best examples of working cool-temperate climate permaculture in the country.  At Melliodora you can see how permaculture can produce an abundance of food and other yields from a beautiful living environment.

The one hectare property has been transformed from the blackberry covered wasteland in 1985 into a model of small scale intensive permaculture. David Holmgren and his partner Su Dennett will show you how their passive solar house, mixed food gardens, orchards, dams and livestock, as well as creek revegetation, have been developed and maintained. The Melliodora garden farming model is most relevant to large town blocks and small rural allotments, but you don’t have to have a large block to gain a huge amount from the tour. All people will discover ways that they can apply the underlying principles and strategies to their own situation.

The whole day tour fee includes the Melliodora eBook CD. Melliodora is the detailed record of how the house and garden you see on the tour, was designed and established, explaining the logic behind design decisions, detailed plans, plant species selection and how it all works together. It is a refresher of the tour, a valuable reference for your own project, and an ideal way to introduce family and friends to permaculture.

The remaining 2021 and first half of 2022 Melliodora tours take place on 19 September, 3 October,  7 November, 5 December, 16 January, 6 February, 27 March, 3 April and 1 May. The tour begins at 10am. In the morning we will show you around the house. We will break for lunch between 12.30 and 2pm. In the afternoon the tour will take you to the garden farm, and the day concludes at 4.30pm. The tour includes morning and afternoon teas, but you will need to provide your own lunch.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience first hand how permaculture design can help restore and improve land, and provide for residents’ needs and enjoyment.

The tour fee includes the Melliodora eBook, which has documented the development of the site for the first 20 years.

Please note:

  1. Go to the Events page for booking and direction.
  2. Melliodora is a private home so please respect our privacy. Group or private visits can be arranged by appointment.
  3. Children are welcome. Parents must take responsibility for them and their actions.
  4. Visitors are on the property at their own risk.
  5. Please park in our driveway to avoid inconvenience to neighbours.
  6. Books and other publications are available for sale on tour days at discount prices. You might like to look at the Publications page of our website to see more information about some of the publications that will be available for sale on the day.

This tour is very popular and we advise you to book as soon as tickets are made available – 10am one calendar month before each tour eg: 30 May tour tickets go on sale on 30 April. You can book the tour from the events page.

In the morning, the heart of the system, the House

Passive solar house Melliodora August 2004Passive solar house including attached solar greenhouse

  • Bushfire resistant design
  • Adobe (mudbrick) walls and floor
  • Bushfire salvaged timbers and recycled materials
  • Wood stove and hot water system
  • Cool cupboard and bulk food storage
  • Grid connect solar power
  • Bulk foods and community food share
  • Greywater treatment

Melliodora house tour

In the afternoon, into the Garden Farm


Two and a half hours of information and exploration of:

  • soil fertility improvement
  • food gardens and orchards
  • livestock and self reliance
  • bushfire resistant design
  • storm water harvesting and flood resilient design

feb 2013 View north over greenhouse and vegetable gardens from house roof

Free ranging chicken help manage pests

Free ranging chicken help manage pests

See how animals are integrated into the system

See how animals are integrated into the system

Two acres of established established permaculture gardens to explore

Two acres of established permaculture gardens to explore


Here are some of the afternotes and impressions from our past visitors we found on the web. If you know any more reviews of our tours we can list, please let us know.

Del Hansen’s “Melliodora-a permaculture tour with David Holmgren” in Urban abundance project.

Thomas Häny’s Reise’s Blog zur Reise in die Welt, “Melliodora: auf David Holmgrens Farm” (in Swiss German, with a plenty of photos).

Alister Tuffnell’s “Lessons from Melliodora”, a reflection of his three week stay at Melliodora.

Jane Neville Quince, Apple, Pear and Potato

Tatyana Temirbulatova’s Permacultured website

Erfahrungen aus erster Hand“ (in German)
(Hermann Paulenz’s account of WWOOFing at Melliodora for three weeks published in Oya magazine. Hermann translated the Essence of Permaculture into German, Das Wesen der Permakultur as well.)

Permaculture Parr

Erin Marteal’s Permaculture in Public Gardens

Jessie’s the Rabid Little Hippy