Bungaree celebrates 175th shearing

Sally Hawker shows the crowd a selection of photos of Bungaree Station's iconic homestead throughout the years during the last guided tour of the 175th sheep shearing celebrations.
Sally Hawker shows the crowd a selection of photos of Bungaree Station's iconic homestead throughout the years during the last guided tour of the 175th sheep shearing celebrations.

Bungaree Station last week completed the second stage of its 175th anniversary celebrations with the annual shearing of its sheep flock.

The shearing began on Tuesday and was open to the public for viewing for four days up until Friday.

As well as the annual shearing of the Station’s famous flock, there was also live knitting and wool spinning demonstrations on Tuesday and Wednesday by the Auburn Spinning and Fibre group and the Workshop at Saddleworth group.

The Artist Blacksmiths Association of South Australia were also stationed in the Blacksmith’s shop of the station throughout the four days, where they created a special commemorative gate which now leads out to the gardens from the Stable yard.

Both guided and self guided tours were available for the public to delve into the rich history of Bungaree, with Sally Hawker (who was responsible for transforming the Station into the tourist destination it is today) acting as a tour guide.

Around 1000 guests came to visit the famous Station for the annual sheep shearing, many of which were family members of the Hawker family, descendants of past Bungaree workers and those interested in learning more about the property.

This was the first time that the shearing had been held on a set date for the public to be able to watch the shearers in action, which tourism manager and Hawker descendant Vicky Stewart said was a special occasion which was well received by the community.

“It does not usually happen every year,” Vicky said, “sometimes there are visits that happen to coincide with when shearing happens.

“Sometimes the shearers do have an audience, last year we had a group of artists doing a retreat here so they spent a day in the woolshed sketching and photographing and painting the shearers, but that was just they happened to be there on the day.

“We cannot usually guarantee the date so it was really special for us to have a set date this year.”

The shearers were a local contracting team which is run by Neville and Veneta Clarke from Spalding.

Shearing of the flock continued on Monday as the shearers did not get through all the sheep over the weekend.