Historic Dunlop Station
Whilst on our Adventure down the Darling River Run- we were recommended by the owner of the station we’re we were staying at in Louth to visit the property next door, Dunlop Station, for their historical homestead, general store and mechanical sheering shed tour (including a light morning tea and refreshments). The unique features that drew us to Dunlop were very impressive and like all things we love- authentic and very old. Playing home to so many historical feats, the tour was full of captivating design features in both the homestead and large 45 stand mechanical sheering shed. The New owners have been busily restoring the station for the past 7 years, in an admirable attempt to ensure the salvation of the incredible history held within the Dunlop boarder fences.
As most will know by now- we will often only visit a paid attraction by recommendation. So without hesitation and great intrigue, we Trekkers headed off the following day, 10km down the road to the neighbour’s place and were greeted by a very enthusiastic and friendly Kim, co-owner of this incredible site. After a delicious morning tea of sandwiches, biscuits, slices and a hot cuppa tea- we were shown through the main homestead, which is in actual fact, the Chandler family’s permanent residence. The high ceilings- and I mean high ceilings plus the room entrances are something of pure art- and a distinguished feature of this incredible 1886 quarried red stonetone homestead. The short walk back to the car park brought us to the incredible General Store with an impressive back story, and despite the looting a decade or so ago- remains to house some of the most incredible items and cabinetry that you’d expect from the early 1900’s.
Then a 2-3 minute drive down the property and you reach it.... a most spectacular display of history making mastery. The 45 stand sheering shed. Where restorations are continually being undertaken in a incredible effort to return shearing to Dunlop Station- which sheared its last sheep on site back in 1993.
The day trek was topped of by a supplied mud map cruise of the 881 hectare property where you can enjoy gorgeous Darling River views, river camping (for a small fee) and drives around the property checking out the southern boundary Darling Weir, clay pans, old rustic machinery left by previous owners and incredible views from the top of Stoney Hill (a short stroll from your car).
What makes Dunlop a historical master piece is that back in 1888 it entered the history books as the site for the first full station mechanical sheering shed using the new (for back then) and controversial Wolseley sheep sheering machines.... WOW.
Established in 1880 the once 1 million acre Dunlop Station was owned Sir Samuel McCaughey, who erected the Famous Dunlop shearing shed and sturdy Homestead. Pushing beyond 1912- the 400,000 hectare farm was then divided and eventually sold to an English company- Australian Sheep Farms. But don’t despair, after some financial troubles and a few years of changing hands a number of times, Dunlops’ current 881 hectares or 2177 acres eventually became the dream holiday fishing spot on the Darling River, turned full time love and restoration job for the incredible Chandler family.... and boy are we glad it did.
At $40 for the entire family, you wouldn’t blink twice when you know all the monies collected are used to continue the enormous and impressive restoration work on all 3 heritage buildings. After visiting Dunlop Station, we have been permanently inspired to continue to track the incredible and ever continuing progress. So please, if your in Louth NSW don’t skip this incredible historical attration and when you get there tell Kim- Trekking Downunder send their best wishes.
An enormous thank you to Kim who took time to show us through her home and surrounds, giving so much detail and bearing her hearts work. P.s the boys love their Dunlop sheep tags and although they are still on baseball caps- one day it’ll be front and centre of that illusive Akubra haha.