Friday, June 28, 2013

Wonnaminta Station

Yet another property  in the outback of NSW that  features in our family  history  is Wonnaminta.  Wonnaminta is situated approximatley 210km NNE of Broken Hill, 50km east of Packsaddlers. The terrain here is quite different to that  of Thurloo, Boorara, Waroo which  of course lie to the east etc.

The Homestead Circa 1900.

The land itself is more like that  of Mutawinji national park, some quite harsh sections, jump ups, and open land. However the 6 bedroom homestead itself is positioned along the Wonnaminta Creek, and provides shelter, shade and comfort.  The homestead is of similar construction to those others I  have visited. Rammed earth/limestone construction. 14 foot ceilings, cool room and verandah on all sides.

The homestead is surrounded by beautiful  gardens.
It  is a grand structure with  formal reading room, formal and informal flow.

Further improvements include a managers cottage, Shearers quarters, various machinery  sheds, and of course the iconic shearing shed itself. The structures are superbly  maintained and are a credit to the owners.

The managers cottage.

In the location of the Homestead magnificent red Gums shade and protect this secluded spot. The Wonnaminta creek itself reminds me of the creek system through Mutawinji. The bottom is sandy and dry most of the time, tall banks and tree lined.  The temperature drops dramatically  from  the heat  of the day  in this location.

The shearing shed.

To the north and in stark contrast is the Koonenberry Mountain range with its rocky rises and outcrops. I  recall climbing Mt Wood (Sturt Stoney desert National Park), and just  being in awe of the landscape, contrasting so sharply with the MT Wood Homestead.  I  continue to  be in awe of the men and women who came through this place and made it home.

In sharp contrast to the creek systems and homestead location.

The property  runs approximately 15,000 merino sheep and harvests about 5000 goats p.a.  Wonnaminta is a classical property  that was formerly  owned by the Kidman empire. Again the structures of the homestead provide a welcome oasis from  the hard work conducted in maintaining fences, dams, bores, mustering , shearing etc. The isolation is simply  fabulous and I  can  see why 

The Wonnaminta creek.  

The property  is being offered for sale via Landmark Harcourt at Cobar for 2.9 million.  I  certainly  hope the property  is placed in the hands of someone who  will  maintain it to the standards of the current owners, and not end up  like Urisino or Caiwarro. Another loss to our pastoral history.