From the 1850s to the 1950s the western districts of Victoria were home to some of the greatest and most profitable sheep stations in Australia. As the country rode on the sheep's back and wool was a pound for pound, graziers built themselves massive homesteads on thousands of acres of prime land.
Many had taken up the land as squatters long before the goldrush, given vast tracts of First Nation country for nothing. The properties extended from Sunbury and Werribee in the east to the border of the colony of South Australia, south to the coast and north to the River Murray.
While most of the sheep stations have long since shrunk of disappeared entirely, many of the homesteads remain and their names are famous: Rupertswood, Buln Gherin, Yarram Park, Terrinallum, Barunah Plains, Norwood, Werribee Park.
Another is Mooramong at Skipton, home of the McKinnons. Famous for being renovated into a glamorous Melbourne architect Marcus W Martin-designed art deco pile in 1938 by its owners Donald 'Scobie' Mackinnon and his wife, Hollywood film star Claire Adams in 1938, it was left to the National Trust by them after their deaths.
Now it will opened to the public and provide tourist accomodation with the aid of a $2m state government grant. The National Trust says the grant will allow the Trust to deliver accommodation through glamping, historical cottages, tiny houses and premium apartments on the historic 3800ha property.
National Trust of Australia (Victoria) CEO Simon Ambrose says the government's support will allow the Trust to develop visitor experiences including the adaptive reuse of the property.
"We will offer a range of accommodation options including tiny houses, eco glamping and historic cottages," Mr Ambrose said.
"The National Trust is proud of this collaborative and contemporary project that we believe will be significant in the regional tourism landscape."
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