History and tours

A walk through living history                                     [ Print This Page ]

Poltalloch HomesteadBack in 1839, an adventurous 13 year old boy called John Bowman and his younger brother brought a flock of 2,000 sheep to South Australia by boat, and the Bowman brothers became some of the earliest pastoral pioneers of the new colony. 1839 also saw the birth of Poltalloch Station, established by Neill Malcolm of Poltalloch Estate in Scotland. The station ran beef cattle by the lake in its early days. John Bowman purchased Poltalloch in the 1870's, and developed it into a thriving sheep station of up to 30,000 acres. In 1880, he married his brother's widow, Jane, and their descendents have lived at and farmed Poltalloch ever since. Today we farm Angus beef cattle and sheep, and have been welcoming guests to Poltalloch since 1974.

Poltalloch shearing shedFor many years, transport to and from Poltalloch Station was by paddlesteamer or other boat across Lake Alexandrina, Australia's largest freshwater lake. Being so isolated, Poltalloch needed to be almost completely self-sufficient, and a farm village to house the station workers was constructed. Today, it is classified by the National Trust and is on the Register of the National Heritage Estate. A walk through the village today is a walk through our family history, and the historical displays bring to life the days of early Australian farming pioneers.

inside the shearing shedA tour of Poltalloch Station is guided by a family member and takes about 1 hours. Highlights include:
  • The Shearing Shed, built in 1876 and still in use today
  • Old General Store
  • Carpenter's and Blacksmith's Workshops
  • Displays of old farm machinery
  • Barn and Stables
  • Grooms' room
  • Buggy room
  • Homestead front gardens, with wonderful views over the lake

the old store
We do not have set times for tours, but prefer to arrange a suitable time with you.

elegant victorian mansionBookings are essential and we suggest you wear shoes suitable for walking between the station buildings. An urn, barbecue and seating can be provided for groups on request.