There are so many layers to the macadamia story. From cooking, health and wellbeing to people, gift ideas and macadamia country, there’s a lot to discover about this extraordinary Australian nut. Spend a little time exploring our latest stories. You’ll be amazed at what you find!

Home » Stories » Macadamia makers » A love story from Macadamia Country

A love story from Macadamia Country

This Valentine’s Day enjoy this inspiring story of two macadamia growers, Wendy and Rob, whose stunning farm represents the beautiful way their romance blossomed.

When Wendy met Rob

Wendy McClusky describes the moment she met Rob Keen in 2013 as a ‘sliding doors’ moment. They were both on seperate nights out. Wendy was on a girls night out in her hometown and Rob had come to Melbourne for the weekend with friends. 

Neither one of them was looking for a relationship. But both their groups serendipitously ended up next to each other as they milled around the entrance of the restaurant. 

“I turned around and I just remember seeing Rob and looking at him,” describes Wendy. “And he just looked at me. I don’t even remember who started talking to who. We just clicked from the very beginning. I never in my life thought I would meet someone that way!”

Wendy and Rob enjoying their newly renovated deck on their macadamia farm

Love at first sight

Almost from that moment they began a long distance relationship. The couple talked on the phone every day and commuted between the Northern Rivers, where Rob worked managing a macadamia farm, and Melbourne, where Wendy worked in marketing, to see each other when they could. After a couple of years, they were ready to take the next step.

“We lived the long distance relationship life for a while and then Rob was looking to buy a farm and I thought ‘Why don’t we do it together?’ We happened upon this place and we just fell in love with it.”

Wendy left grown-up sons in her house in Melbourne (‘one of the hardest things I’ve ever done’, she says) and moved to Nashua near Banglaow where together they bought a property with a rundown farmhouse and a young, 4500-tree macadamia orchard in need of some TLC.

“One of the nicest things about coming up here and buying the farm together was that we’d only been in our relationship for two years – so it really was a young relationship still. Doing this together was just such an amazing experience for both of us. It wasn’t Rob’s and it wasn’t mine. It was ours. It was such a foundation to our relationship embarking on something like that together.” 

Wendy busy sorting macadamia nuts

Labour of love

Wendy recalls that the first twelve months were spent ‘heads down and bums up’ working hard . They absorbed all the information that they could on growing macadamias and contended with the challenges of an old and rundown farmhouse.

“We didn’t have toilets inside, so for me, coming from a lovely home in Melbourne, having to run out in the rain to go to the loo in the middle of the night with green frogs on the toilet seat was quite a challenge.”

The dehusking building was also in disrepair. Their first harvest involved Wendy and Rob sorting through nuts while holding an umbrella over her head. “So it was challenging but it was also so enjoyable because everything was so new and exciting. Looking back at those days it was so good we were doing it together.” 

Enjoying harvest time on the macadamia farm in Northern NSW

After five years, their farm is thriving and so are they. It’s now a place where both their families can come for holidays. Wendy and Rob are able to sit on their newly renovated deck and enjoy the results of the hard work they’ve put into their farm and into each other. 

“He’s just a beautiful man,” says Wendy, clearly in love. “A beautiful, kind, hardworking man and I know that we will always be together. We are just so lucky that we met at the right time.” 

Related Stories

A macadamia moment with Mindy Woods Bundjalung woman of the Widjabul Wia-bul clan, owner of Karkalla Byron Bay and MasterChef Australia 2022 top ten finalist, we… Read More
Meet the man saving wild macadamias, one tree at a time Australian macadamia pioneer Ian McConachie has been an integral part of the macadamia industry for 60 years. He has been… Read More
Meet some macadamia farmers – and their dogs! All along Australia’s east coast, from the mid north coast of New South Wales up to Mackay and Rockhampton in… Read More
Magdalena Roze enjoying macadamia nuts in Australia A macadamia moment with Magdalena Roze A television presenter, meteorologist, journalist, food writer and cook book author, Magdalena Roze is passionate about wholefoods and cooking. She… Read More

Get monthly emails about all things macadamias. Yum!

Just pop your details

down here

Contact us

Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your user experience. Continuing to use our site means we’ll assume you’re ok with this. Read more