Tag Archives: Hawker

Bungaree Stations 175th Anniversary

Bungaree Station, one of South Australia’s oldest family businesses celebrated it’s 175th year from 3-6th October.

We visited on the Friday to see the demonstrations  from blacksmiths, stone masonry, wool spinning & knitting. Vintage equipment, tools & vehicles were also on show. A guided tour of the station by Sally Hawker in the morning or self guided in the afternoon was on offer.

Two vintage cars ferried visitors from the Station Store to the Shearing Shed during the week. Friends of ours had a display of what they had found on the property (detecting) which was very interesting, with some items being unknown.

We enjoyed watching the 175th annual shearing (in the shed built in 1842) making it one of the oldest working woolsheds. The station was established by George Hawker in 1841, and remains the home of the 4th, 5th & 6th generations of the Hawker family.

On the Sunday we were invited to attend the Blessing of the Fleece held in the shearing shed. The 50th occasion, it was a semi formal service followed by BBQ lunch at the shearers quarters. Many family, friends & people associated in any way with Bungaree attended. It topped off a busy week of celebrations for the Hawker Family.

If you are visiting the Clare Valley it is definitely worth visiting Bungaree Station to find out some of the history of this area and how important they were to the wool industry. We are able to attest that the Hawkers are an interesting & hard working family with amazing history that contributes to ‘Australia’s Story’.


Bungaree Station ‘Of Sheep and Vines Barrow Relay’

We had time off last weekend to witness the festivities of Bungaree Station and the Hawker Family. One of the events to help commemorate Bungaree’s 175th Anniversary  later this year was the Barrow Relay of the Vines from Sevenhill Cellars to Bungaree Station, a 25 km walk. Families whose histories are entwined with Bungaree re-enact the Jesuit Brother’s journey (in reverse).

They started at 7:30am at Sevenhill Cellars then had morning tea along the Riesling Trail Sheep Sculptures in Clare, a Billy Tea & Damper. A local produce tasting at Barinia Siding and on to “Calcannia” for a light lunch of Saltbush Lamb sausage baguettes & local wine tasting (Jim Barry Wines) in front of a roaring paddock bonfire.

George & Sally Hawker

The last leg of the walk was to Bungaree Station where the planting & blessing of the vines took place. In the late afternoon celebratory canapes and drinks with speeches took place in the shearers quarters with fires pits for warmth. Bungaree owners George & Sally Hawker were the hosts with assistance from family members.

It was a lovely day and the weather held out (no rain) to make the walk more enjoyable. B & I didn’t do the walk as we were busy in the morning but enjoyed the lunch & evening with the Hawkers and we thank them very much for including us.

We joined our friends again the next day for another bonfire in the paddock with home-grown baa baa snags to finish off a lovely weekend.

Quoted from Bungaree website: Early October Bungaree Station will be open to the public with daily guided tours, demonstrations of artisan trades and special displays along with it’s woolshed being central to further celebrations with the 175th annual shearing of the property’s famed sheep flock.

Rounded the bottom and in the middle!

Long time no blog! Last time I posted we were about to start the Great Ocean Road along Victoria’s south coast. Well we made it despite the cold, wind and rain. Unfortunately we didn’t have the best weather but we loved the views that we’d seen on TV over the years. One piece of advice I will pass on to Big Rig owners – it might be best to leave your rig at a van park and drive the short distances each way to see the sights. We left our van at Port Campbell and as we found out some of the car parks would have just fitted us and no one else! But we know of others that have had no problem, so it’s up to you.

We were a bit partial to the Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs and Loch Ard Gorge in preference to the 12 Apostles & London Bridge. Even in mid-winter it was inundated with bus loads of tourists all day long. We mostly had cold wet weather, so had to wait around for longer than needed to get photos with a glimpse of sunlight. Hubby hates the cold so he was suitably unimpressed!

Once complete we went as far as Warrnambool and Port Fairy and decided we’d had enough of the coast and headed inland to Ballarat. We both wanted to uncover the history of the area and we were not disappointed. Just loved the city with the architecture and history – and the Info Centre was very helpful with what to see and how to get around. I loved Sovereign Hill – I was a bit hesitant to go to a ‘theme park’ but after speaking with some of the locals in period costume who volunteer or work there my mind changed – it started off as a living museum visibly displaying the history of the region and we learnt a lot in a day and a half.

Then we were contemplating heading to Bendigo for some more history when I found a job that sounded like ‘us’ on the Grey Nomads website. We applied and got it so we did a detour straight to South Australia and the beautiful Flinders Ranges! So for the past couple of months B and I have been working on a 70,000 acre sheep and cattle property in the central Flinders called Willow Springs Station, owned & run by Brendan and Carmel Reynolds and their daughter Michelle.

This has been a fantastic experience for us doing different type of work (B even had a day lamb tailing) and getting to see what life’s like in this area. We have been welcomed by the Reynolds family and have loved doing sight seeing jaunts on days off to nearby Wilpena Pound, Brachina Gorge, Bunyeroo Gorge, Parachilna, Blinman, Hawker & Quorn. The fact that 3G and the Internet is 6klms away on the nearest lookout is great! Newsflash: we really don’t need all this technology ALL the time! The best 4WD experience has been Willow Springs’ Skytrek offroad track. It’s 79klms of ‘moderate’ rated 4WD tracks over the property and takes approx. 6 hrs to complete. The views are breathtaking and there’s abundant wildlife throughout the property. If you’re lucky there might be some shearing or mustering going on as it’s a working station. They also have secluded bush camp sites and accommodations in the Old Homestead, Jackaroos Hut, Overseers Hut and Shearers Quarters. If you’d like to check them out go to: www.skytrekwillowsprings.com.au

We are nearly finished here as the tourist season has ended so will probably head south to explore the rest of South Australia. Till next time hope you enjoy the new photos I’ve uploaded plus some of the pics in this post.

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