Author Diana Young, at the FernGully property with grandsons Oliver (left), 3, and Jesses, 15 months.
Author Diana Young, at the FernGully property with grandsons Oliver (left), 3, and Jesses, 15 months. Kate O'Neill

FernGully for sale

THE Federal property that inspired the hit children’s film FernGully The Last Rainforest, is being sold.

Its owners Diana and Wayne Young have put the 54.63 hectare property on the market to finance their latest creative project.

Mrs Young wrote the animated feature FernGully while living on the farm in the 1980s.

She moved from Sydney with then-husband Wayne and their two sons, and was inspired by her new surroundings.

“After the boys left for school I would wander down to the creek with my writing pad and spend all day there,” she said.

FernGully told the story of a sprite named Crysta who becomes infatuated with a human named Zak. Zak turns out to be a workman on the logging machine that threatens to destroy the magical rainforest that is her home. Crysta decides to shrink young Zak down to her size so that he can see the world he is about to demolish from a different point of view.

A romance develops between the two, and the couple eventually join forces with some of Crysta’s wacky rainforest friends to battle the humans.

The 1992 feature film was produced by Mr Young and voiced by Tim Curry, Robin Williams, Samantha Mathis and Christian Slater.

It was critically acclaimed, won a One Earth Award from the UN for Mrs Young and went on to gross about $US125 million.

Mrs Young said she had mixed feelings about selling the property, as it held so many memories.

In addition to being the birthplace of the FernGully movie, the farm was also the nerve centre of the 1990s campaign to stop the Federal Dam.

The Young family used their entertainment industry contacts, including Jack Thompson, Mandawuy Yunupingu and Olivia Newton-John to help stop the dam from going ahead.

And in 2003, FernGully Farm was the site of the infamous No War photograph, which featured 750 naked women protesting the invasion of Iraq.

The decision to put FernGully on the market was hard, but Mrs Young said the family were committed to getting their latest collaboration, DreamBeaming, off the ground.

The online web-portal project is based on 14 hours of scripted content and many books by Mrs Young, and music by sons Nik and Stu.

It is targeted at children aged four to seven and combines entertainment with language learning and music.

Mrs Young likens it to the highly successful web portal, Club Penguin, but with quality content.

It will also see the establishment of the DreamBeaming Foundation, which will help disadvantaged children.

“We’re putting everything we have into this,” she said.

FernGully Farm is being marketed locally by the Byron Bay Professionals for $1.85 million.

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