Nathan and Jodie Overall have been to many amazing spots around the world and are now determined to introduce visitors to their own pocket of paradise in south-east Queensland

The old saying that you should never overlook what’s in your backyard has proven prophetic for Nathan Overell and his wife, Jodie, who are raising their young family in the rich pastoral and dairying country known as the Lost World Valley of south-east Queensland.

Nathan grew up in the spectacular hinterland region, which is bounded by mountains of the Scenic Rim, the wilderness of the Lamington National Park and has the upper reaches of the Albert River and Christmas Creek threading through the landscape. His schoolteacher parents, Sue and Rob, moved to jobs in Beaudesert in the 1970s and during the ensuing decades bought land in the Valley on which they established an olive grove and holiday accommodation with a cooking school. They called their home farm Worendo, for the traditional owners’ name for the wild lime that grows abundantly in the rolling green paddocks, and made their base in the homestead that had been moved to the site from the Brisbane bayside suburb of Manly in the 1920s. Sue and Rob gradually turned the homestead into self-catering accommodation for up to 12 guests, added another wing which can accommodate five more guests and a cottage for two, which has a purpose-built demonstration kitchen, and allowed Sue to further celebrate her passion for the region’s abundant local produce by opening the Wild Lime Cooking School.

Meanwhile Nathan travelled the world, first as a cameraman for QTV, which took him all over remote country Australia and then to Europe and the Middle East as a cameraman and editor for CNN. He returned to Brisbane where he established a tour company introducing visitors to the natural and scenic delights hidden behind the bright lights of the Gold Coast. Naturopath Jodie grew up in the NSW Hunter Valley and spent most of her 20s also travelling the world, living and working in Canada, the  UK and Asia. They met when they were seated together at a mutual friend’s wedding. Jodie was about to head off to Borneo and Nathan had spent time there, so they had an instant connection. The rest, as they say, is history and Nathan and Jodie were soon happily living and running their business from Brisbane, while adding sons Aidan, now aged six, Patrick, four years, and two-year-old Ted to the family. Nathan’s sister, Sally, and her husband, Michael Undery also live in the Valley, where they run Crebra Farmhouse, which can accommodate 14 guests on their dairy farm.

This story was originally published in the March/ April 2016 issue of Australian Country. Subscribe to the magazine here.

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Words Kirsty McKenzie

Photography Ken Brass

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