Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Step back into time and lose yourself to the tranquil beauty of Churchill Island Heritage Farm. The expansive farm grounds and the well-maintained gardens can offer you just the respite you need from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Churchill Island Heritage Farm was the first farm established in Victoria. Its magnificent history is still evident in every nook and cranny of the farm. You can wander around the old homestead to explore how things were done in the good old days without modern amenities. Also, you can participate in some fun and exciting farming activities, including whip cracking, working dogs, shearing sheep and milking cows.
Churchill Island Location
Churchill Island Heritage Farm is located just off the coast of Phillip Island and can be accessed by an all-vehicle bridge, which connects the Island to Phillip Island. Reaching Phillip Island from the centre of Melbourne is easy. It is merely a 90-minute drive. Take the Monash Freeway and then the South Gippsland Highway.
The Farm is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. On Christmas Day, the farm opens its doors to visitors at 2pm.
Churchill Island Heritage Farm has been farmed since the 1850s. The Island covers an area of 57 hectares, and has been converted into a historic working farm that is open for public viewing.
The cottages, farmhouse and the outbuildings have been beautifully restored and are reminiscent of the pioneering times. You can get an insight into how the early settlers lived on the Island.
The Churchill Island Homestead
The path to the Homestead begins from the Visitor Centre. It will take you through a beautiful garden, where you will be able to see a historic canon standing majestically. The house has a front verandah, from where you can enter the interiors using the steps. People with accessibility issues can use the levelled rear verandah.
The interiors of the house have period furnishing and you can see them on full display from the central hallway. However, you cannot enter the rooms.
John Rogers came to Sydney in 1838 from Cornwall, England. After hitting pay dirt panning for gold in the Western Port region, Rogers was able to purchase Churchill Island in 1866. Here, he constructed a cottage and lived there with his wife and three children.
The cottage is simple and rustic, and offers an insight into the hardship the Rogers’ family must have faced in those old days. You can enter the cottage and explore its treasures.
The Outbuildings, Workshops and Farm Animals of Churchill Island
It goes without saying that the early settlers here had to be self-sufficient or they would have perished. The outbuildings and workshops are where you can see the equipment that the pioneers used for farming activities. You will also be able to see the horse working yards which have Clydesdale horses and the special area for sheep, where they are sheared. From 2pm onwards, the displays in these areas rotate, but you will be able to catch them all. Between 1pm and 1.45pm, the farm hosts wagon rides, which can be fun for kids and adults alike.