The Feral Farm | An ode to the Snowboarders Shanty

A tale of Australian Snowboarding ingenuity

At this time of year, seasonal rentals in our mountain towns hit a real choke point. And with Australia’s rental crisis being amplified tenfold in destination towns like Jindabyne, I can’t help but notice the volume of pleas for seasonal accommodation over the past few months. I’d imagine a cohort of these end up car camping or couch dwelling for the season, with most already committed to a job on the mountain. 

Some years ago, I was taken to the still-standing remains of what I’d later learn of as ‘The Feral Farm’. A DIY settlement built in the early 90s, by some of Australian snowboarding most instrumental individuals, a motley crew mostly hailing from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

In rust we trust, this humble DIY shelter housed many legends of Australian Snowboarding, all season long.  Photo:: Luke McVeigh

Tucked away in the corner of a then-friends-fathers-place up behind the now Wild Brumby Distillery, the main building was constructed from salvaged materials and included multiple internal areas – there were rooms with bunk beds, a kitchen area and a definitive ‘den’ that was adorned with 90s snowboard paraphilia now fit for a museum. A water tank outback, complete with shower and BBQ area. A place fit for purpose.

The crown jewel of the Feral Farm, the VB-clad ‘outhouse’. Photo:: Luke McVeigh

Its most notable structure however was an upright fibreglass bathtub, clad in empty VB tins, with a shitter plomed inside of it… and an ample drain out into the scrub. It was ingenious, and a testament to the roots of Australian Snowboarding. 

Balmoral Board’s own Nathan Ho and company plain basking. Photo:: Jon Jensen

There were other dwellings scattered around the acre-sized clearing, including a permanent caravan set-up and Mark Cowley’s Hi-ace van partially being reclaimed by the bush. Wave Rave stickers on the rear bumper still intact.

Across the way was a quarry, in which still had some scaring from post-ride rips on dirtbikes. This was a place that embodied the spirit of snowboarding and was undoubtedly a destination for the wildest parties. A time when the coke classic brought out riders like Terje and corporations coughed up good prize money that would warrant a suitable party to follow. It’s no wonder the shack was half burned down when I came to witness it. 

The NFT team post Kozi-cornice session, and no-doubt regulars on the Feral Farm.

With its fait now landfill. I revisited the site  3 years ago, to see suitable signage on a locked gate that more or less told you to fuck right off. I’ve since learned that the land had sold, and the prospects of the Feral Farm 2.0 are no longer. I walked the grounds once more, to find a few artefacts – a VIP pass to Red Bulls Rails 2003, A pair of K2 Public Enemy skis (delaminated) and a few bits of ruble still adorning various defunct snowboarding brands. None of which were worth salvaging for my own archive. 

Having stood for over a decade, a fire that broke out in the main lounge room area left the shack in a state of disrepair, then with the property sold the Feral Farm was reduced to scrap.

This somewhat undocumented gem is perhaps a solution fit for a bygone era. A tragedy that it no longer stands to be admired, even more so, used as a place to live for the Winter like Jon Jensen did (multiple times). And this article serves as no help for those attempting last-minute rental miracles but serves as an ode to a place now probably liked to that in fairytales.

Farwell to the Feral Farm, if only it still stood. 


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