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Our Story

As one of Australia’s first pastoral holdings in Victoria, Mount William Station has a history as grand as the Grampian mountain ranges that surround the property.

Natural Australian Beauty

In 1836, the explorer and Surveyor General of New South Wales, Major Thomas Mitchell, discovered the Grampians and named them after a mountain range from his native Scotland. The highest peak, Mount William, was named after King William IV, and at 1,167m it provides the perfect backdrop to the volcanic plains that grow the most magnificent river red gums in Australia.

Kyra Boyer

Nestled in the foothills lied Mount William Station. Established in 1842 by the illustrious Chirnside family, it was one of Australia’s first pastoral holdings in Victoria and originally occupied over 100,000 acres. Built during the wool boom of the mid-1800s, the colonial vernacular-styled bluestone woolshed was one of just seven in Australia and is now recognised by the National Trust as holding particular significance.

The start of a family legacy

In 1919, Robert Barr Smith purchased the 20,000-acre Mount William Station but unfortunately, a year later, a fire destroyed the Homestead. Though some of the original bluestone remains, most of the present house and gardens, including the iconic arches, are the work of Eda Barr Smith who dedicated her time to restoring the property throughout the 1920s.

Once retired, Barr Smith passed the property down to his son, Robert Mitchell (RM) Barr Smith, who was a pioneer for the Charolais breed in Australia. After being impressed with the breed on a trip to Mexico, he was one of the first cattle breeders to import Charolais semen into Australia. Within eight years, he had a pure Charolais herd and Mount William is now one of the leading Charolais studs in the country.

In 1985, Barr Smith divided the property amongst his four daughters, of which Anne (the second oldest) received the Homestead. Anne and her husband, Charles Abbot, ran the station from 1987 – 1995, and Anne ran it successfully for 15 more years after.

Now, the farm is split between Anne’s four children. Two of the four, Robert and Sybil, farm the property which includes both sheep and Charolais cattle. Her youngest, Will, has restored the Homestead into an unforgettable luxury farmstay, that has welcomed guests since 2022.

Mount William Station Today

From the Homestead to the Shearers’ Quarters to the Bluestone Stables, Mount William Station has been renovated to meet the comforts of luxury accommodation while maintaining its countryside charm. The history of the Homestead is pristinely preserved within its walls for guests to explore while the amenities have been upgraded to include a pool, sauna, and tennis court. Not to be outdone by man-made improvements, the property has a private lake where guests can take the boat out or go fishing, and boasts an unobstructed view of the state Grampians.

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Mount William revives the spirit, energises the soul through the surrounding nature, and nourishes the body with local, natural produce. Since 1842, it has welcomed family and friends to escape the city to reset, and in this next chapter, is now open for all to enjoy.

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