Wondaree has been owned and run by Greg & Wendy O’Neill since 1983. The farm is located on a beautiful spot on the Atherton Tablelands, where the right amounts of rain and sunshine produces a carpet of green that spans the countryside and blankets the encircling mountains, a panorama visible from their back patio. Wondaree macadamia nuts are farmed on this beautiful spot by Greg under the watchful eye of Roy the kelpie.
DESTRUCTION AND REBUILDING
In 1984, a year after establishing the farm, Greg & Wendy planted the first 4000 trees. It takes four or five years for a macadamia tree to flower, and this crop provided all of Wondaree’s produce until a second planting of 2800 trees in the year 2000. Many of these were not to last.
For all the beauty of Far North Queensland, it sits perilously in the path of cyclones whose effect on the environment can be brutal. In the space of just six years between 2006 and 2011, Wondaree was twice hit by cyclones that devastated the orchard, wiping out 5500 trees and years of labour. In the end, though, the Queensland sun came out again and today the farm is back to full production with an orchard of 2700 trees and a run of cattle to keep Greg, Wendy and Roy busy.