East Kunderang Homestead is located by the Macleay River in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Now open to the public, it truly is one of our area’s Best Kept Secrets.
Tell us about the history of East Kunderang and how it became part of NSW National Parks and Wildlife? East Kunderang (EK) was purchased by the Fitzgerald and McDonnell families in 1889, at which time construction of the present cedar homestead began. The property was managed as a pastoral run. Between 1890 and 1900, extensions were carried out on the homestead, although further repairs continued to the existing structure until 1989. Local timbers such as Red Gum, Red Box and Red Cedar were sourced due to the remote location.
The isolation of East Kunderang meant the Fitzgeralds had be self-sufficient. They had an orchard, vegetable gardens, grew crops such as corn and lucerne and produce their own meat.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service acquired the former pastoral station of 32,000 hectares in 1989, which was an addition to Oxley Wild Rivers National Park (OWRNP).
East Kunderang is open to the public; what can visitors expect to experience?
Visitors experience firsthand what it was like to live in a late 1800s homestead with all the mod cons”. The homestead sleeps up to 14 people, with three toilets, two showers and a bath. The large modern country style kitchen accommodates large groups, which opens to a new outdoor BBQ deck area. The deck area was completed in June this year and really adds another dimension to the homestead.
We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the new deck from returning visitors; they just love it.
East Kunderang is very popular for family gatherings; once people go for the first time, they generally come back. There’s plenty of activities for everyone at EK and even more space to do it in. There’s no TV, mobile phone service or devices, so it’s an ideal location for friends or family to get together without the interruption of today’s technology. Set on the banks of the Macleay River, anglers can try their hand at fishing. The Macleay is full of Australian Bass, Herring, Catfish or for a more challenging fish, anglers can chase Mullet. If fishing’s not your thing, there are short walks, beautiful swimming holes, canoeing, bird watching, take your mountain bike or maybe a game of cricket with the family in the large yard.
At the end of the day you can relax and enjoy the picturesque views of the Macleay Gorges, while you enjoy a cool drink and cook a BBQ.
What is the best time to visit?
Any time is great at East Kunderang. Winter, although cooler, is nice. The open fire place in the living room is cozy and warm. The light reflection from the fireplace really enhances the beauty of the old Red Cedar timber of the homestead. It’s a wonderful place to relax and catch up with friends and family. Autumn is a great time to bush walk and when the days are not too hot and the nights not too cold. Spring time, the heathlands are a riot of colour and during summer, the waterfalls are likely to be at their most impressive and it’s the best time for swimming.
Plans for the future?
NPWS would love to see more visitors at East Kunderang. NPWS will continue to manage both the cultural and heritage values East Kunderang has to offer. Maintaining the homestead, numerous out buildings and other work associated with being a land manager keeps staff busy. We will aim to maintain the homestead as it is into the future, and work with our neighbours to manage a range of landscape issues. Mostly, NPWS just want the public to take advantage of a unique piece of history that’s on their door step, and enjoy everything East Kunderang has to offer.
For bookings and more information on East Kunderang Homestead, visit https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/ and search for East Kunderang Homestead, or phone the Walcha Area NPWS office on 677 74 00. East Kunderang Homestead is great value for money and can be rented for weekend or week-long visits. Booking periods are from Fridays to Mondays, mid-week or for seven nights. The road in is gravel and steep, so a 4WD is essential.