From the Gold Coast to golden paddocks

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In her element: Nala couldn’t be happier to have free run of the farm.

Three-year-old kelpie Nala is revelling in life since moving from the Gold Coast to the wide open paddocks of Tongala.

Ellana Haw, partner Matt Daniel and their 11-month-old daughter Ava brought Nala with them when they made the shift to Ellana’s parents’ farm in May.

Nala now spends her days roaming the 89ha former dairy farm, which is cropped by Ellana’s parents Geoff and Tanya Haw.

One of the bunch: Nala loves farm life but likes to stick pretty close to family.

Well, first up, given the ups and downs of COVID-19, that’s quite a feat to make an interstate move.

Ellana: Matt’s a carpenter and we were living right in the Gold Coast, which was great but we were keen to come home and be around family and friends.

Moving was very stressful (because of COVID-19 and the rules) but we were fortunate to have that tiny window of opportunity when things had opened up a bit again and it was safe and okay to move around.

Tell us a bit about Nala.

Ellana: Matt got her from a friend’s partner at the time — I think from Finley. She comes from good working dog lines and we’re hoping to breed from her down the track. Matt already had her when I met him — we joke she was his first love!

Nala was my best friend through my pregnancy — she was always by my side keeping an eye on me. She’s now always by Ava’s side, watching her grow up.

Family time: Nala with Matt, Ellana and their daughter Ava on the Gold Coast. Photo: Greta Wood Creative

Has she got any quirks?

Ellana: Matt’s her boss. She’s very obedient and always there. Friends joke she’s in all our photos — even if it’s just a glimpse of her ear or a paw. She loves a cuddle, too.

How does she get on with other animals and people?

Ellana: On the Gold Coast she used to love going to the dog beach and playing with other dogs. There are no other animals on the farm at the moment so she rules the roost.

She’s pretty good with other animals — she does like to assert herself with other female dogs initially, but she’s good once that’s done. And she’s great with people, very friendly.

Eye on the fields: Nala checks out the canola from the vantage point of a bale.

So the move’s been a good one for you all?

Living in town on the Gold Coast, Nala was going stir crazy — here there is so much space for her to run and to jump up on hay bales, it’s great.

We are planning on building a home on a bit of land here on the farm. It’s the best decision we’ve made, particularly for Nala.

Words: Fiona Lloyd

Photos: Ellana Haw