The family

Pilliga Pottery & Farmstay is an owned business. Maria Rickert, the founder, is managing now the business with her family partners Johannes, Regina and Bernhard. They are assisted by Julie the former in-house governess and most gifted artist as well as several loyal team members who assist in making the shop and the café.

We’ve come a long way with this farm and our pottery. But we still see so much potential in it. Our dream is to see this place as an enduring inspiration to others for many generations to come. People have lost something in this modern world and we see our place as a monument to the fact that life doesn’t have to be all about money, material things or wearing the right clothes. This place is about caring, working for the love of it, expressing yourself through creativity and working with natura rather than against it.


“I was born in Germany on a dairy farm. When I was 26 I travelled for the first time to Australia. I was amazed to see the red coulour of the earth, the blue sky and the uncompromised lifesytle. At the foot of Warrumbungle Mountains I found my home. So I bought this property to live my dream in the outback and raise my three children”.


“I am the oldest son. Ever since I was a little kid I learned many skills to satisfy my inquisitive nature. Skills like leatherwork, metalwork, mechanical work, working with animals and surviving in the bush became second nature to me. After few years travelling and experience new things I never found better place to be myself”. 


“I am the second son and the Jack of all trades. I’m an expert in building with natural material: straw bale, mud brick or timber work. My first project was renovate the Eagle Valley Cottage and in 2014 I bought the historical Royal Hotel in Coonabarabran, the most exciting building project to work on so far”.


“I arrived in the 1990’s as a gouverness to assit in teaching the children. I was lucky to be raised in a family with a great appreciation for nature. Family bushwalking, camping and canoeing trips taught me to look more closely at things. With National Geographic I developped a real passion for the designs and symbolism of the acient world. I’am the artistic face of Pilliga Pottery and I am constantly faced with fresh creative challenges”.


“I was born in a small village in Bavaria (Germany) on a dairy farm, just like Maria. When I was 21, after my studies, I wanted to travel for three month in Australia to see something else before finding my future husband settling down and start my own family. But there I was, here at “Barkala” when Johannes found his future wife and that was me. Now we have two beautiful children, Johann and Leohnard”.