About us

Michael-and-Louise

Louise anD michael

What began as a hobby quickly turned into an obsession…

our escape from the city

Instead of being sensible, we used our house deposit savings to buy a 20 acre bush block in Clunes, Victoria (where the photo above was taken). Camping there on the weekends was a much needed break from Melbourne and we noticed loads of small birds flitting around but didn’t have a clue what they were. After purchasing a pair of binoculars we quickly discovered a whole new world of birds that we’d never realised existed!

This lead Michael to take up photography and Louise to study Conservation and Land Management. Our curiosity was piqued and we share our findings through our website Outside Four Walls.

It was birdwatching that lead us to explore the Mallee and discover a huge part of Victoria that we’d never realised existed. Being a semi-arid environment it is full of fascinating birds, animals and plants - we were hooked!

We feel incredibly lucky to have bought a property that literally backs on to Wyperfeld National Park, teeming with birdlife and full of remnant native vegetation. The previous owner put a lot of hard work into revegetation, and the success of these habitat corridors attracts even more birds to our little patch.

We’re passionate about promoting the Mallee and get a thrill from sharing this special spot with others, which is why we’ve set up accommodation, tours and workshops. The Mallee is a vast landscape and having local knowledge to point you in the right direction can help you make the most of your time here.

There is something strangely and uniquely entrancing about the Mallee. We’re sure you’ll be planning your next trip on the drive home…

- Louise Nicholas and Michael Gooch.

Michael’s photos of a Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and Malleefowl inspired me to draw them. Using my iPad and Apple Pencil is an easy way to get creative with zero clean-up required! These are available as postcards at the Patchewollock Community Store, with a third of all proceeds returned to the store.

- Louise.