Whole day guided tour at Melliodora

There is no better way to learn how the household economy works than to take part in the whole day guided tour at Melliodora.

September 2022
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May 2023
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This tour is very popular and we advise you to book early.

Tickets are made available at 10am, one calendar month before each tour eg: 30 May tour tickets go on sale on 30 April.

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.

The day concludes at 4.30pm. 

Morning and afternoon teas are provided, but please bring your own lunch.

Please note:

  1. Melliodora is a private home so please respect our privacy. Group or private visits can be arranged by appointment.
  2. Children are welcome. Parents must take responsibility for them and their actions.
  3. Visitors are on the property at their own risk.
  4. Please park in our driveway to avoid inconvenience to neighbours.
  5. 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.

We’d like to include more reviews, so if you know of any, please let us know. Or you might even like to write one that we can use.

Lessons from Melliodora  – Alister Tuffnell’s reflection of his three week stay at Melliodora.

Quince, Apple, Pear and Potato  – Jane Neville. A Melliodora story.

Permacultured  – Tatyana Temirbulatova

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 – Parr’s Permaculture Blog

Permaculture in Public Gardens – Erin Marteal

Rabid Little Hippy blog  – Jessie

At Melliodora you can see how permaculture can produce an abundance of food and other yields from a beautiful living environment.

Situated in the Victorian central highlands, Melliodora is one of the best examples of working cool-temperate climate permaculture in the country. 

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.

David explained that his family eats entirely in season. They modify their patterns of eating to be in line with patterns of production. “You can change your yields ever so slightly by adjusting growing techniques to push the limits of your season, but you can change your human consumption behaviors much more.”

Erin Marteal
Blog Writer - Permaculture in Public Gardens

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


Spend the morning learning how David and Su have set up their beautiful home.

  • Passive 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

Everywhere you looked there was an abundance of food, even though it is mid May. Asian mint that I kept rubbing between my fingers to inhale the sharp sweetness; long red chillies just starting to crinkle; sleek little onions and leeks; late lettuce sprinkled between the friendly weeds.

Jane Neville
Primary school teacher and junk stall proprietor

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

This is your opportunity to experience first hand how permaculture design can help restore and improve land, and provide for residents’ needs and enjoyment.

The whole day tour fee includes the Melliodora eBook CD

The Melliodora eBook 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.

Melliodora in the morning sun

The magnificent information and sheer quantity of it was too much for mummy-brained me but of what I have heard and actually absorbed there is enough there to keep me going for an age! I am still trying to process everything I heard and saw. It’s an awesome place to be!

Jessie - Rabid Little Hippy
Blog Post: David Holmgren and Melliodora and a day off from the kid
David Holmgren - Melliodora Tours

Upcoming Tours

10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Melliodora - Hepburn Permaculture Gardens
16 Fourteenth St

Explore Spring Creek Community Forest with David Holmgren, permaculture co-originator

You are warmly invited to join David Holmgren on a tour beyond the boundaries down the gully to Spring Creek, exploring the territory where he, Su Dennett and others in the community have for decades been stewarding the common land on a larger scale, making tracks, planting and pruning trees, grazing goats, building leaky weirs and engaging in other positive action that enhances ecological diversity, makes the land more fire safe and amenable to locals and visitors alike. ...

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