Kurrumbede Success!

After three-and-a-half years, the former Mackellar family homestead is now officially a heritage-listed property. The announcement was made by local member, Mr Kevin Anderson MP, who presented Society President Philippa Murray with the official listing notices on Monday 30 May.



The Society is thrilled with the decision and is looking forward to what the future holds for Kurrumbede, as well as what it means for Australia’s cultural, historical and artistic communities.

From Heritage NSW:

🥁 Heritage News 🥁
Kurrumbede Homestead, the former home of poet Dorothea Mackellar, has been added to the State Heritage Register.
Located near Gunnedah on Kamilaroi Country, this beautiful homestead was commissioned by NSW politician Charles Mackellar and completed in the early years of the 20th Century. It continued in the ownership of the Mackellar family into the 1930s.
Although Dorothea Mackellar’s most famous poem My Country was written before her visits to Kurrumbede, we know that several later poetic works have been written or refined during her visits to this beautiful homestead ✍️

A bit more about Kurrumbede…

The Kurrumbede homestead and its outbuildings formed the centre of a 6,600-acre (approx. 3000 h.a) station once owned by the Mackellar family for almost 40 years.

Located 25km north-west of Gunnedah on the Namoi River, the property ran both sheep and cattle together with wheat cropping.

The property was purchased by Sir Charles Mackellar in 1905 and was managed by his two sons Malcolm and Eric. His eldest son Keith died in the Boer War.

His only daughter Dorothea was a frequent visitor to Kurrumbede, reflected in her writings.

The homestead was built by the Mackellar family. The architect was John Reid, a family friend who lived in Sydney. It underwent substantial alterations in the 1950’s but the footprint remains the same. The outbuildings are mostly unchanged since they were constructed, providing a fine example of a working station that hosted horses and dogs in domestic life. Cottages, men’s quarters, stables, a stallion yard, hay silo, buggy shed, dog kennels and an underground meat locker are located to the rear of the homestead.

The gardens were extensive with a productive orchard and vegetable and flower gardens watered by the Namoi River.

The Mackellar family sold the property in 1939 and it remained in private ownership until it was bought by a coal company in 2010. The current owner Whitehaven Coal plans to establish an open cut mine 1.2 km from the homestead.

The company has stated its commitment to the preservation of the Kurrumbede homestead and garden. In 2019, Whitehaven announced the allocation of $500,000 over three years to restore the garden. The Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society has welcomed this initiative and will work with the company on this project.

Image: Heritage NSW