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Bungaree Station, Clare

Home > South Australia > Accommodation | Escape the City
by David Francis (subscribe)
David Francis is a freelance writer based in Adelaide.
Published October 19th 2013
Bungaree Station is a great stopover in the Clare Valley
We first stayed at Bungaree Station many years ago, when our two sons were still on the small side – small enough to still be at primary school, but old enough to be active and boisterous. It was mid-winter, wet and cold. It remains one of the best holidays we had with the boys and there was a great deal to keep active children occupied.

Bungaree Station Clare, image by David Francis
Bungaree is still a working farm

We stayed in one of the smaller places there, the Lodge, which has 2 bedrooms. When it rained heavily, we could enjoy the wood fire and the roast dinner that was delivered from the main house. In better weather we explored the place on foot. As Bungaree is a working farm, we were able to go around and help feed the animals – a great thing for kids to do.

Bungaree Station Clare, image by David Francis
The kitchen and dining area in the Council Chambers

As adults, we still go back to Bungaree with groups of friends, but now we use it mainly as a fantastic place to stay when we go to Clare for the wineries. And there are plenty of wineries to choose, from the iconic Sevenhill to the small and quirky Cardinham Estate.

There is still plenty of the property to explore on foot, including displays of old farming equipment, and walking maps are available.

Bungaree Station Clare, image by David Francis
The office has an interesting assortment of things on display

Otherwise, it is a short drive into the town of Clare or to the many attractions in the area, such as the Riesling Trail or Martindale Hall. If you are wine tasting, a designated driver is a good idea. There are local mini-bus services for hire, so you can all fully partake of the local produce.

Bungaree is situated on Main North Road about 12 kilometres north of Clare. It has been there for over 170 years and, ran over 100,000 head of sheep and was a complete community unto itself with council chambers and a church.

Bungaree Station Clare, image by David Francis
The Lodge

The church is still a working establishment where they have occasional services. It is fascinating to wander around the adjacent cemetery and read the inscriptions on the tombstones, to try and imagine the harsh life in those days.

The council chambers building is now converted to accommodation, along with the former station manager's house, the men's kitchen, stables, and many other places.

Bungaree Station Clare, image by David Francis
The lounge in the Manager's House

They range from the single bedroom Stallion Box to the Shearers' Quarters which sleeps up to 25. While the Shearers' Quarters has bathrooms and BBQ facilities, you bring your own bedding for inside or set up tents outside and have a bonfire. This is the cheapest option (from $22 per person per night) and the exception, as most buildings have fully-furnished bedrooms, bathrooms (many en suite), kitchen, wood fire, TV, DVD, and comfy seats in the lounge, with prices ranging from $66 to $99 per person per night. Children 12 years and under are half price.

Bungaree Station Clare, image by David Francis
One of the bedrooms in the Manager's House

As the buildings are old (but with modernised plumbing etc.) they are well insulated from the heat in summer and well-serviced by the wood fires in winter. The friendly owners – the Hawker family who own and run the station – top up your supply of logs and kindling as it's needed and full country breakfast is supplied (bacon, eggs, milk etc.). They will prepare a roast dinner and deliver it to your accommodation if you want it. If there's anything else you need, just ask them. Victoria Hawker and husband Mark Stewart are the current generation in charge of things at Bungaree.

The station is also available for functions, weddings, conferences, or school camps.

Bungaree is a great place to stay. You can have the feeling of country life, without the work, and can choose the level of luxury that suits you.
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Why? A great place to stay when visiting Clare Valley wineries
When: All year round
Phone: 61 (0)8 88422677
Where: Main North Road, 12km north of Clare
Cost: Accommodation from $22 to $99 per person per night
Your Comment
Always wanted to go but never quite made it, so enjoyed reading your article!
by Hayley (score: 3|1016) 3537 days ago
Enjoyed your articleAn original descendant of mine was housekeeper at Bungaree Station so enjoyed seeing the photos
by KB (score: 1|11) 2285 days ago
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