It’s been just over a year since self-professed ‘serial renovators’ Josh and Jenna Densten made the move to Rutherglen, located about three and a half hours’ drive from Melbourne.
The former The Block favourites made the treechange to be closer to family after Melbourne’s lockdowns, but they also knew that a move to the region would give them more land – and an opportunity to live off the grid!
‘We both grew up in the country, so it was important for us to go back to our roots and give our kids [Freddie and Story] a similar upbringing,’ Jenna says.
‘We really wanted to create a self-sustainable lifestyle for our family. We installed a 14.6KW solar system which is enough to run the house and charge an electric vehicle. We also have 45,000 bees, 14 (very happy) free range chickens that supply 12 eggs a day, one duck that provides entertainment, 80,000 litre rainwater tank, a thriving veggie garden, and over 50 fruit trees.’
Embracing sustainability has also led the couple to explore electric vehicles, and the Denstens recently put the EQV from Mercedes-EQ to the test with a road trip around Rutherglen! The all-electric van features 7-seats and an indicative driving range of up to 418km, making it perfect for family adventures.
‘We loved spending the day in the EQV!’ Jenna says. ‘It had loads of space! If we wanted to split the kids up, one could go in the back row, which was a game changer. We also loved the automated doors which made loading the kids into the car a breeze.’
She notes they’re able do most of their charging at home thanks to their EV charging station, but if you do need to charge the EQV on the road, it takes around 45 minutes at rapid DC charging stations.
‘Don’t be afraid to go electric, it’s a change to what we’re all accustomed to but it’s a good change and we could never go back’ Jenna says.
With school holidays coming up, here are Josh and Jenna’s favourite family-friendly spots to visit in their local region, from wineries to parks, and scenic spots to stop along the way!
Scion Winery is located in a beautiful bush setting with a relaxed vibe, just 2km south of the Rutherglen township. Established in 2002 from the ground up, Scion is all about offering a modern spin on the region’s traditional grape varietals, using solar power and rainwater to run the winery and cellar door.
Visit them for a wine tasting experience, or you can also pre-order a picnic hamper to enjoy among the gum trees. And Jenna says their wine is ‘amazing!’
‘We love going for a wine at cellar door while kids play with the winery dog or on the toy table in cellar door,’ she adds. ‘Try the Blonde and Daylight Red.’