Passport Travel Farm Weekend
|On the June 2012 long
weekend Passport Travel (those that were able) went for a farm
stay weekend at Brent's sister in laws sheep and crop station.
Savernake Station is just across the Victorian New South Wales border past Mulwala, a 4.5 hour drive from Melbourne. The station is a working farm and in addition has a 1912 era cottage available for farm stays. There are also historic and eco tours available on the property. Birdwatchers will be well rewarded, the property having been well known to bird watching groups for many years.
Passport Travel was privileged to use the historical 1912 ear shearers dining hall and kitchen as the central hub for our gathering. This building oozes charm and draws one back a 100 years in an instant. The open fire adds necessary heat and a bonus of conviviality. In the kitchen the old wood burner stove still works and was utilised for the weekends catering. Some of the evenings entertainment involved a real movie night with the 16mm projector from my brother in laws youth. This was the video player of the past. Alex's (Brent brother in law) father was an early adoptee of photography and in 1930 had the first private 16mm movie camera in the area. Some of his home movies were so unique that copies are retained by the national film archive and Savernake has produced a DVD featuring some that show the transition of farming from animal to mechanical power. Our viewing pleasure included some original 1930's cartoons imported by Alex' father for his family viewing. Remarkable stuff and they still hold the attention of youngsters as was evidenced by 6 year old Sasha and 8 year old Tosca!
Moving away from European history there is a significant Aboriginal site known as Boat Rock. Here is a unique example of Aboriginal engineering. Over many years groups of people, who camped at this area, lit fires and chipped away at the rock to build a large water storage catchment with smaller 'header tank' pools that acted as filters for the main lower pool. This area was a 60km from the Murray River and the only source of water in the area so was a well patronised camping and hunting area, especially after local heavy rainfall. Estimates put the age at possibly up to 1000 years old.
So, we have European and Aboriginal history, now there is the natural history. As mentioned Savernake is a magnet for bird watchers. Also of significance is the fact that the Sloane family, when settling the area in the 1860's, never cleared the bush to the same degree that other European settlers did. In fact the central 2000 acres were never cleared and you are able to see what this area was really like pre European settlements. This practice can be seen in the paddocks currently used for farming, noting more trees than say the farm across the road.
A very 'modern' past-time was introduced to us all By Nadine. She is a passionate 'Geo Cacher' and at Boat Rock there was reputed to be a 'Treasure'. With her trusty hand held GPS and trusty helpers, she soon found the treasure which was added this to her worldwide list of 'finds'. More of Geo Caching can be found here.
More can be read about Savernake Station via their own website. You can also book accommodation at the cottage and/or eco/history tours.
|Horse power reversal. Old type of transport||Historical homestead collection|
|Old style 'movie' night||Old style kitchen making 'pop corn'.|
|Chef Brent in the Shearers kitchen||Lunch picnic outside 1912 shearers hall and kitchen|
|Of course there was sheep feeding||'Woody' the worlds only known cab surfing sheep dog|
|Ancient Aboriginal engineering. Man made Boat Rock water catchment||Corroboree dance area and hollow rock chamber drum|
|Treasure hunt. A secret Geo-cache find!||Original forest including this 400 year old Murray Cypress Pine|
The Passport Travel Crew