Interview with Australian barramundi farmer – Barramundi Gardens

Take a trip up Far North Queensland and stop by Tim and Gail’s barramundi farm, Barramundi Gardens, hidden in the idyllic hinterlands of Port Douglas.  

There is no denying that Barramundi Gardens is pure paradise. Picture large crystal blue ponds with a never-ending lush backdrop of the Mount Lewis National Park. 

We had a chat with owner Gail Thiele, who manages the farm with her husband, Tim, about life on the farm, where they also raise their young family. 

AB: What’s your favourite thing about Barra Farming?  

GT: My favourite thing about barramundi farming is the lifestyle we get to live. The feeling of growing Australia’s iconic fish that we know is superior in quality and taste to any other fish. I also love the ability to grow a fish that is an integral part of Australian culture and diet, and a key ingredient that chefs dearly respect. Also, the fact that we are part of a certified sustainable industry that has a minimal effect on the planet.  

Click here to learn more about the sustainability behind Australian barramundi farms.  

AB: What has been your biggest success? 

GT: Growing our market share with our Barramundi Gold Brand and adding value by producing a range of gourmet spring rolls that are distributed throughout Australia to stores and restaurants. But also having a business and lifestyle that allowed us to share with our extended family and sonsWe’re lucky to live on such beautiful land and grow delicious barramundi! 

AB: What is special about your fish?  

GT: Our barramundi is raised in pristine water that is sourced from World Heritage Rainforest, through the creek on our property. We are also proud of our 100% recycled water system, which is sustainably certified as a ‘nil discharge’ environment. This means all our water is treated naturally in the wetland’s bio filter, then recycled and gravity fed back into the ponds! On top of that, the farm runs on a 100kw solar system!  

AB: What’s it like living and working with your spouse? 

GT: Tim and I have worked together in horticulture and aquaculture for the last 24 years! It is a good feeling to work with your partner 24/7 and know that you are on the same page. We have the same values and are working towards the same goals.  There has been many trying times, but the big picture is that we love what we do, and we love where we do it! We also really enjoy the farming lifestyle. 

 AB: What’s it like being a female within the barramundi farming industry?  

GT: There isn’t many of us, but I haven’t noticed any difference about being a woman in the barramundi industry. Our CEO of the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association is a woman and does an outstanding job. I haven’t experienced a difference between the genders of the people in this industry and I think it is a very level playing field. 

AB: Barramundi Gardens is in an incredible spot within the hinterlands of Port Douglas, could you tell me more about the farm’s location?   

GT: There is no place like Julatten, and you cannot forget there is great climate all year round! Usually there is great rainfall which allows us to stay green all year being right next to the World Heritage Rainforest.  To be able to work and grow Australian Barramundi in this pristine environment is something I value very highly, and it shows in the care and quality of the fish that we raise.  Australia has many great places, but North Queensland is up there with the best in the world and we are so lucky to live here. 

    To find out more about our Australian barramundi farms that you can trust for premium quality sustainable barramundi, click here.

    Author: dom