One of the many pleasure of running A Guide to Cardinia is finding – or being found by – something (or one) of which I was previously unaware. Discovering Warrook Farm and Fauna Park was particularly pleasing – it is much more than the name implies – it’s also a piece of history – so read on and get a taste for another of Cardinia’s treasures.
Located on the South Gippsland Highway in Monomeith, Warrok features a gracious Edwardian homestead built from bricks made on the property. A hand-built brick silo, brick wells, rustic fences old hitching posts and the 1887 shearing shed that’s redolent of lanolin from sheep’s wool tell many stories of times gone by.
credit: Warrook Farm and Fauna Park
You can tour the homestead, with its imposing 16 foot high ceilings, antique furniture and stained glass doors – watch for the historically significant trees in the garden surrounding the homestead. There are numerous tour options: take a self-guided tour of the farm and fauna park; or the “hop-on hop-off” scenic wagon tour of the farm and park with your Aussie farmer guide. The homestead and lunch are optional extras, as is the billy tea and damper experience, as well as (for pre-booked groups of 25 or more) an Aussie BBQ lunch with lamb on the spit. Personalised private tours are also available.
There’s more to Warrook than just the tour, as well. You can see the sheep being rounded up by a Kelpie worth far more than its $7,000 price tag, crack a stockwhip, milk a cow – bottle feed the calves! – and meet the other animals in the fauna park. Then, (literally) swing the billy for tea and tuck into damper, just like farmhands of old.
Wombat. Credit Warrook Farm and Fauna Park
The fauna includes kangaroos, wombats, rabbits, guinea pigs, emus, alpacas, deer, goats and a miniature donkey! The aviaries are ablaze with the colours of indigenous and exotic birds, including the Macaw parrot, the brilliantly coloured peacock, Alexandrine parakeet, green rosella and New Zealand’s kakariki parakeet, along with noisy galahs, cockatoos and kookaburras.