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Gardens & Historic Homestead

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Narmbool was first settled by Europeans in 1839 when a Mr Hugh Niven leased it from the Government for a cattle run. A dozen other pastoralists followed in the subsequent years.

The first building in the homestead precinct was a two-roomed bluestone cottage built around 1850. Today’s hometead dates from 1889 and has been given a D-Classification by the National Trust.

The Garden Room Restaurant was built by Sovereign Hill as an elegant venue for special occasions and is also available for conferences.

Visitors enter Narmbool through a gateway over  2km south-east of the homestead. On the south-west of the long driveway are trees planted in 1884. The gracious house (with a bluestone front and an adjacent billiard room) has English-style gardens surrounding the side lawns. A Claret Ash (planted in 1950) still dominates the front lawn superbly.

Down the bluestone steps, at the front of the house, there was a 1900s tennis court. It was still in use up to 2000, after which it was removed to make way for the Narmbool gardens to be re-developed and extended. A water feature centres the recent garden plantings and leads to the Wayaperri Garden, which was planted in 2004. In the language of the Wathaurong - the Indigenous people of the area - Wayaperri means to ‘gather’ or ‘meet’ and so this garden is symbolic of a meeting place.

The east plantings are being developed following the addition of a large pond, complete with a footbridge, water lilies and frogs. More recently, roses and other ornamentals have been planted in front of the garden’s base. Further on, this section of the garden includes native grasses and plants.

A rotunda at the bottom of the garden provides another picturesque setting for recitals, concerts and weddings.