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Tocal Homestead

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by Kristy Horn (subscribe)
A freelance writer who lives at beautiful Lake Macquarie - owned by two adorable, very cheeky, spoooilt Labradors.
Published August 18th 2016
Downton Abbey - Aussie Style
Rolls-Royce, riches, rebellion and theft - floggings and convicts, a bushranger fled (Captain Thunderbolt) - a murder recorded, so too the good 'will' - if walls could talk...

in this splendour of still... (please see for detailed information regarding Tocal's fascinating history).

Tocal Homestead

Gravel drive next to the lagoon. 'The lagoon is a naturally-occurring water hole. It was important to both Aboriginal people and European settlers as it provides a permanent source of fresh water for humans and animals' as stated on the plaque displayed next to the lagoon

Freshly made pumpkin and lentil soup (for the 'commoners') bubbled away busily, and by the bucket load, and hollered out "how do you do" through the tea rooms. 'Twas Tocal Homestead's 'Peek into the Past' open day, and, didn't the 'maids' know it.

Warm and welcoming 'maids'

Crisp white cups and saucers clutching hearty rations of tea and coffee, nostalgically chinked to the sound of good ol' fashioned country hospitality.

The bell, which used to be used to notify the convicts, is easily seen from the charming tea rooms

The sprucely, sprawling and stately front lawn - bequeathed to its guests the pompous platform of which to play the day's befitting games of lofty croquet on - romantically shaded by the phenomenal figs.

Majestic figs. Mountain views

Those with the knack (colonial musicians) plucked jovially away at their sweet sounding instruments, propelling pleasure in the way of bush dancing melodies, way out onto the crisp, at times cow dung scented, placid breeze.

Fresh farm air

Inside the homestead

Splendidly co-ordinated bits and bob activities (too many to list all) dreamily charmed and cheered alike: sheep were shorn, Clydesdales ridden, history talks fascinated as did the vintage machinery display. Straw broom makers demonstrated and the blacksmith did too (the blacksmith hard at work in what could quite possibly be 'one of the oldest blacksmith shops in Australia' as stated on Not one single gimmicky plastic show bag in single sight. Not required. The tiny tots instead - saturated with wonder and intrigue and fresh farm air - their tums filled with golden syrupy 'demonstration damper' (or scones or sandwiches or a little plate of cake).

Blacksmith's workshop

Stunning grounds

This is just one of several events that this historic homestead hosts throughout the year (check out for more information). Should you choose, however, to visit this 'vintage wonderland' on a normal weekend (open every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday from March to November) - Tocal Homestead encourages you to: 'enjoy the tranquillity of this heritage site at your leisure with our innovative audio guide'.

Historical Tocal Homestead

Having weathered the harsh Aussie 'climate' and housing well over a century's worth of sophisticated saga - I can only imagine what this Georgian style 'early settler' - might well confide in you.

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Why? A rich piece of history not to be 'past' up
When: Open Sundays only March to November between 10am and 3pm
Phone: 02 49398901
Where: 957 Tocal Road, Paterson, NSW 2421
Cost: Adults $8, Concession $5, Chidren under 12 FREE (Prices not valid Tocal Field Days and special events)
Your Comment
Thanks Kristy, I am not stuck until the weekend ends now, before having great ideas at my fingertips, up and away, you make my days fuller with these prompting ideas and great photos, not to mention the thought of food when I get there. M M geoff.
by geoff (score: 1|10) 1879 days ago
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