Surrounded by gum trees, paddocks and a cow named Sophie, Tobruk will steal your heart and have you wishing you could work on a farm, too.
Tobruk Sheep Station is located in the Hawkesbury Valley area, only one hour out of Sydney’s CBD, but once you step onto the property you’ll feel miles away from anything. That is just the beginning of the beauty of Tobruk. Tobruk functions as a working sheep station as well as an event facility, farm stay and day experience. The sheep station still runs to this day while providing an experience to those who want to know what farm life is like, without having to go to all the way to rural Australia.
The day tours include a greeting on horseback by your tour guide, a morning tea of damper and billy tea (which is delicious) and a whip cracking and boomerang performance. For those who have not witnessed a whip cracking, it’s an immensely interesting and loud experience. The skill it takes to be able to wield one (or two at a time) is impressive, and of course they make it look easy.
Next is the demonstration dedicated to revealing how the dogs are trained to round up sheep. It turns out, puppies cannot be trained with sheep, but must first be taught to round up ducks. This is due to their lack of maturity, and sees the young dogs train in a small pen with ducks for a year. Once they have completed their training the dogs graduate to sheep training. Watching dogs round up sheep really is one of the most amazing things, as they are so disciplined and focused. The dogs will run fields over to get the sheep and round them with ease, and the best part is that they have fun doing it.
After the dogs have rounded the sheep, there is an explanation on the types of sheep and the different wool they produce, and how they get sorted for the shearing. This includes use of the sorting gate, and the help of one special dog. Ted the dog will jump up onto the backs of the sheep, who are all as close together as possible, and start barking at them, which prompts them to move. The dogs are so well trained that they only bark when they are told, and this was definitely one of those times.
After the sheep are sorted, there is a shearing demonstration as well as some interesting information about the shearing process and how to get the quality wool. After this final and exceptional demonstration, there is a gourmet farm lunch with a chance to pat the horses, dogs, sheep and cow or play around with the boomerang.
The most amazing part of this experience, as a whole, is the access to part of Australia’s history, that these days, is widely unknown. The location helps, too. The property has a glorious view of the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury Valley as far as the eye can see. The function centre is a huge shed with rustic chic interiors including authentic Australian furniture and utensils, which adds to charm of the place immensely, however the piece de resistance is the wall of ceiling to floor windows that showcases the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury Valley.
This attraction along with the beauty and serenity of the property is what draws in many couples for their special day. Tobruk can easily host work functions, group events and school tours, however, there is a special magic present at the weddings held here. There is also the option of staying on the property and making your day trip into a weekend getaway in which you can explore the property, enjoy the silence and discover the Hawkesbury Valley area. The farm stay is a cottage that can house up to eleven people and has the charm of a country cabin, with the luxury of complete peace for your restful slumber.
Hunter and Bligh got the privilege of staying at Tobruk Sheep Station, and immensely enjoyed their experience, if it is not obvious. The people were welcoming, the animals were delightful and the place itself is amazing. A working farm and sheep station that is so interesting, beautiful and easy to get to is a diamond in the rough, and we sure feel lucky to have gotten the chance to see it shine.