Goongerah house

Goongerah House with solar array
Goongerah House with solar array

The Goongerah house is built from natural materials and has a solar array and waterwheel for power operating off the grid.

OwnerJill Redwood
LocationEllery Creek, Goongerah, Victoria
TypeNew construction
House sizeSmall cottage

Summary of house features

  • Photovoltaic array of 8 solar panels ranging from 35w to 80w, yielding 0.5kW
  • Battery bank
  • 350W inverter
  • 12V lighting and music
  • 240V office, kitchen and laundry
  • Solar hot water with wood stove boosting
  • Rainwater tanks
  • Low power appliances, no airconditioner
  • Walls comprised of sleeper off cuts (round-backs) with cow manure and lime ‘daub’ in between
  • Extensive verandahs
  • Waterwheel for irrigation of orchard and vegetable garden


The water wheel delivers water into the concrete header tank on the hill that feeds the domestic supply as well as the orchard, garden and stock troughs.

The simple cast iron cooker/water heater/room heater uses much less wood than a large slow combustion heater would. It burns the wood cleaner and has a small firebox, meaning you don’t need much to get the heat onto the hot plate above (unlike those deep fire box models that require a half tonne of wood in there before things heat up).


  • Designer and builder: Jill Redwood
  • Waterwheel: John Hermans