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Published November 30th 2015
Farm animals, demonstrations, history & serenity abound
One of the highlights of our recent trip to Phillip Island was an enjoyable afternoon spent at Churchill Island Heritage Farm. Not only is this a spectacularly scenic and tranquil location, it also has great historical significance for Victoria.
As you would expect Churchill Island Heritage Farm features heritage buildings, equipment and displays, but that is not all. The demonstrations and activities on offer are informative and fun and well worth your time.
Daily demonstrations and activities include how to milk a cow and shear a sheep, how to crack a whip and a working dog demonstration. There are also wagon rides during school and public holidays.
You can learn how to crack a whip, shear sheep and watch a working dog demo on Churchill Island
We enjoyed watching the working dog and sheep shearing demonstrations. For the schedule of daily farming activities please click here.
For young children and animals lovers there are many farmyard animals to enjoy such as a farmyard nursery with guinea pigs, bunnies and lambs. Plus there are chooks and ducks wandering the grounds, as well as a handsome peacock and some Clydesdale horses. You will also find wallabies, cattle and sheep on the island.
The island is historically important as the location of Victoria's first garden. It was in 1801 that the Lady Nelson, the first known vessel to travel the southern coastline, made three visits to the Western Port area. It was during one of these visits, in March 1801, that the first garden was planted and the island named after the man who had given the seeds for the journey.
The island has been farmed continuously since the 1850s and used as holiday residences for some notable Melbourne families. The historical buildings are listed by the National Trust and are on the National Estate and Victorian Heritage Register.
Amess House was built by Samuel Amess in 1872 as a beach holiday residence. Samuel Amess was a stonemason and building contractor who built many Melbourne landmarks and was also mayor of Melbourne from 1869 - 1870. The Amess family enjoyed this house for 57 years and it has now been restored to display its original decorative scheme of the 1870s, including original wallpapers . There is period furniture on loan from the National Trust of Australia collection so you can see what it may have looked like during this time.