BIG TASK AHEAD: John and Genevieve Martin check out the damage to their property at Ferns Hideaway in Byfield. Austin King ROK
BIG TASK AHEAD: John and Genevieve Martin check out the damage to their property at Ferns Hideaway in Byfield. Austin King ROK Austin King

It's an absolute "bomb scene" at Ferns Hideaway at Byfield

NEVER did John "Marto" Martin and his wife Genevieve imagine they'd be "rebuilding our life again from scratch".

In the 35 years the Byfield Ferns Hideaway owners have lived in their abode of sanctuary, they had never encountered anything as punishing as Cyclone Marcia.

But last week, just as they were preparing to get the clean-up under way, anything to do with cleaning their 40ha property came to a sudden halt.

The forest fire that tore through a large area of the Byfield rainforest, near their home, meant "everything cyclone- related" had to be put on hold so John could help the 26 fire crews fighting the blaze.

It's an absolute "bomb scene" at Ferns Hideaway.

So much is the devastation, Marto has to foot a $50,000 excess with his insurance company before any clean-up can get going.

That was the rule of his insurance company, which changed its policy two years ago; unbeknown to Marto and Genevieve.

"So, we have to wear that cost... we simply can't afford that excess so we have to trade our way out of this mess," he said. "We've already paid for a new roof and that has put us back a bit, but you move on with life and keep pushing ahead."

He wanted Capricorn Coast and Rockhampton residents to know Ferns Hideaway restaurant (plus five accommodation cabins with swimming) is open over the weekends.

Live music and entertainment is also available.

The couple bought the property after moving up from Victoria. They wanted a bush retreat to raise a family: their son who works in the mines and a daughter who works as a theatre assistant at Rockhampton Hospital.



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