TROPICAL punch
Belle Magazine Australia|April 2021
That this former dairy farm’s vast expanses of lush, rambling rainforest and idyllic waterscapes seem to have sprung from the earth eons ago is a testament to the artistry of the landscape architect who lives here.
CHRIS PEARSON
With rainbow lorikeets flitting through a lush canopy of palms and eucalypts casting dappled light on ferns below, this sprawling Byron Bay garden is a tropical paradise for its owner and creator, Lisa Hochhauser of LANDstudio.

Cooling and all-enveloping, her bushland garden, which covers a massive 49 hectares, appears to have been here forever – but that seeming natural randomness has resulted from inspired planning with a generous seeding of spontaneity.

A landscape architect, Lisa has had the luxury of time in this passion project. It has evolved over the last 20 years when, yearning for a tree change, literally, she shifted here from Sydney.

When she first saw the site in the mid-1990s, it had been stripped of native rainforest, with dairy cattle grazing among lantana and camphor laurel, both invasive pests, and a peppering of tea trees. Strewn across the paddocks were basalt boulders and a series of craters, tailings of intensive sand-mining from the 1930s. Above it all, a tired Queenslander on a ridge overlooked the ravaged slopes.

However, Lisa was smitten with the site’s virtues. The two most obvious were the jaw-dropping 180-degree views to Cape Byron enjoyed from the house and an Australian garden’s biggest asset, a free-flowing spring – several, in fact. “Even in drought, you get pristine, flowing water, as much as you could ever need,” she says. “There are a lot of springs just seeping water. This area is not called the Northern Rivers for nothing.”

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