A Trip Back in Time – Father’s Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

A Trip Back in Time - Father's Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

If you know anything about Australian history you will know that John and Elizabeth Macarthur are considered the pioneers of agriculture. Australia is the largest wool producing country in the world thanks to the foundation the Macarthur family created with their herd of Merino sheep. By 1803, through sheer hard work, Elizabeth and John grew their herd to over 4000 almost pure merinos. In 1807, the Macarthurs sent their first bale of wool to England. Today the Merino sheep numbers over 100 million here in Australia with descendants of the Macarthurs continuing to farm merinos.

The animal farm was a hit

The animal farm was a hit

A Trip Back in Time - Father's Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

Even Master R had a turn

Every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Belgenny Farm – www.belgennyfarm.com.au opens its gates to the public. This site is a major educational centre with direct links to Australia’s agricultural history. Granted to the Macarthur’s in 1805 by Lord Camden, the convict built Belgenny originally sat on 5000 acres which were used for Merino wool production, wheat growing, dairying, horticulture and grape growing. Today it is a fusion of historical and modern-day agricultural practices  and an excellent opportunity to provide our children with an insight into Australian history.

A Trip Back in Time - Father's Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

Touring the grounds via tractor

Touring the grounds via horse cart

Belgenny is fascinating. Many of the buildings are on the State Heritage Register as it comprises the oldest authentic group of operating farm buildings in the country. The buildings include stables, a blacksmith’s shop, creamery, smokehouse, slaughter house and the farm cottage where John Macarthur spent the last few years of his life. They are well worth a look. The site even overlooks Camden Park Estate where a  token crop of 500 grapevines have been planted to commemorate the first commercial vineyard and winery in Australia, which was established at Belgenny Farm in the early 19th century.

A Trip Back in Time - Father's Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

Exploring the farm sheds

We visited Belgenny Farm last Father’s Day. During this celebration the farm showcased a variety of activities including stock horse demonstrations, cart rides, dog trails, light horseman demonstrations, whip cracking, sheep steering and lots of handmade storefronts. The kids also enjoyed the baby animal nursery and exploring the buildings. The Cobb and Co. cart was a highlight.

A Trip Back in Time - Father's Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

The functional buildings on the property are predominantly constructed of ironbark and represent Australia’s most complete and authentic Georgian farm complex.

A Trip Back in Time - Father's Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

Look at me!

Belgenny Farm is located only one hour south of Sydney. Entry is $5.00 per adult, FREE for children. This year the farm will be open on September 7 to celebrate Father’s Day. Full details can be found here.

A Trip Back in Time - Father's Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

There are lots of opportunities to get up and close with the animals

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3 thoughts on “A Trip Back in Time – Father’s Day at Belgenny Farm (The Birthplace of the Australian Merino)

  1. We are absolutely going to have to go there. I was just saying the other day that my kids have never been to a farm, yet so many books and songs for little kids are all about farm animals!

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