History of Yarrabandai Creek Homestead
a little historical background to introduce you to the homestead
Yarrabandai Creek Homestead is situated on the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri people. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. Aboriginal people have occupied Australia for more than 65,000 years and have the oldest continuous culture in the world.
The first European explorers of the Central Western Plains region, in which the Homestead is located, were John Oxley and George Evans who explored the Lachlan River in 1817.
in 1873 Mr Thomas Edols, a well known pastoralist, purhased a 520,000 acre sheep station between Parkes and Condobolin. He engaged Chinese and local Wiradjuri people who cleared more than 50,000 acres of native vegetation, sunk wells, built fences and dug out dams. He named his station Burrawang Estate and constructed a homestead and a series of cottages around a lagoon. A 1905 description in The Australasian describes Burrawang Estate thus:
Most people who have been to Burrawang have heard of the lake. It is the first thing that catches the eye. It compels the admiration of the visitor to the homestead. The homestead, or rather homesteads, for there are several pretty cottages occupied by the married sons of the late Mr. Edols, are clustered round the edge of the lagoon. It runs about four or five miles through the property, the breadth varying from 50 to 200 or 300 yards, and is always kept well filled by the soakage and surface drainage off miles and miles of the surrounding country.
Native trees line the edges, and where the homesteads are located, the lagoon is spanned by a strongly built rustic bridge. Oh the one side is the home of Mr. Frank Edols, a manager's residence, the barracks, and other buildings and on the south bank are the old home stead, where Mrs. Edols' son, still resides. Mr. Hedley Edols' handsome modern cottage, the store, and numerous other build-ings. The men's quarters, the blacksmiths' shop, the carpenters shop, and other structures, which make part in the equipment of the large stations, are only a few hundred yards away, and in themselves form a fair sized village.
Not far from the back of the men's quarters are the stables and the (?) house, both very substantial buildings, the former being fitted with stalls and loosen boxes sufficient to provide stabling accom-modation for 40 horses. The house recently built for the men is made of pise - mud rammed hard in wooden frames, and cemented inside and outside to help to hold the material and for the sake of appearances. It must be delightfully cool during the summer months, and it seems strange that this style of building is not more frequently met with in the district where protection from the heat of the sun would seem almost the chief consideration.
The old homestead looks out on to the garden and lawns precisely planned and neatly kept, and beyond is a vegetable garden and orchard. A centrifugal pump supplies water for irrigation and with the rich soil and the heat the trees, shrubs, and flowers all grow most luxuriantly. Another great convenience is that acetylene gas, the size of the plants (?) being large enough to supply the require-meats of all the dwellings.
The 101 stand shearing shed constructed by Mr Edols at the property was named 'Big Burrawang' and was, at the time, one of the biggest in the state. In 1884, 270,000 sheep were shorn at Big Burrawang and a record 5,000 wool bales sent off the property.
Mr Edols was, as can be imagined living on the edge of the desert in the Australian outback, preoccupied by the availability of water at the property. In the 1890s he constructed a 3km long, 20m wide, 3m deep canal through the property connecting Bumbaggin Creek to Goobang Creek.
Following his death in 1898, Mr Edols' married sons continued to occupy the property and run the sheep station. Over the years the property was subdivided into a series of smaller sheep stations.
One of these subdivided sheep stations was the 11,000 acre Burrawang West Station which was purchased by the Kajima Corporation, one of Japan's biggest and oldest contruction companies in the early 1990s. Kajima Corporation owner, Dr Kajima, engaged highly acclaimed Australian architects Denton, Corker, Marshall to create a luxury executive bush retreat with a nod to Australia's colonial heritage and outback architecture. The Kajima Corporation spent $8 million constructing the magnificent homestead with formal dining room, lounge, bar and billard room, four luxury accommodation cabins sleeping 24 people, a 20m swimming pool and boat house. It was completed in 1992 and was called Burrawang West Station and Resort.
It was sold into private hands in 2000 and then sold to the Murray Darling Food Company. In 2017, the Murray Darling Food Company subdivided off 176 acres containing the luxury accommodation and resort from the sheep station.
In 2018, we were lucky enough to stumble across this incredible piece of history and, after a few weeks of mad scrambling, somehow, we became the new custodians of this place. The name was changed to Yarrabandai Creek Homestead and the rest is just the beginning of this crazy outback adventure.