THEY SAY AUSTRALIA WAS BUILT ON THE SHEEP’S BACK AND TODAY LOCAL FARMERS, DESIGNERS AND ARTISANS CONTINUE TO MAKE MAGIC WITH WOOL.
Inspired by the warmth, texture and versatility of wool, this month’s decorating feature was shot at one of Victoria’s oldest merino farms, Wurrook.
This month’s special decorating feature was shot at Wurrook merino farm, where the northern rim of Victoria’s western plains meets the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Settled in the late 1850s near Rokewood, Wurrook is one of Victoria’s oldest merino studs. Roy and Irene Walton bought the 2800-hectare property in 1954 and today their grandson, Paul, a third-generation woolgrower, lives in the original bluestone homestead with his wife Kylie and their three children, Sophie, 18, Lachlan, 16, and Jordy, 14. The Waltons currently run about 20,000 sheep — at shearing time cutting 550 bales of superfine wool in the handsome old 1860s bluestone shed. “You can make the best quality suits out of this wool,” says Paul who, according to Kylie, “lives and breathes woolgrowing”. As a boy Paul loved to help his father Bruce with the sheep. “I always helped and would have my own flock of later born lambs that I helped feed so they could catch up with the rest of the flock,” he says. Today, Wurrook holds its annual ram sales in October and ewes and general flock sheep are auctioned in January. The Waltons are also regular exhibitors at major sheep shows and Wurrook is a consistent award winner, having taken out the Supreme Merino Exhibit at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show two years running. If you ask Paul, though, showing is not about the awards. “I just enjoy taking the sheep out where people can see them and assess them for themselves,” he says. For more information, visit wurrooksuperfineprime.com.au