Woodlands Homestead, located at Woodlands Historic Park, is a unique and treasured part of Victoria’s heritage. Established in 1843, it is a rare example of a large pre-constructed timber kit house brought to Australia from Britain.Today, the Woodlands Homestead houses an extensive art collection, various collections of historic artifacts, including The McCracken Collection, plus horse racing memorabilia associated with our Living Legends. Or perhaps you would prefer to explore features of Woodlands Homestead itself. Because of its significance, Woodlands Homestead is listed with Heritage Victoria. Woodlands Historic Park also contains ruins of two other 19th century homesteads, Cumberland and Dundonald. Living Legends is committed to maximizing the benefits of all that Woodlands Homestead and the Woodlands Historic Park has to offer for all Victorians and visitors from across Australia and around the world.
Heritage GardensAt Woodlands Homestead, surrounded by Australian native trees, you’ll find magnificent heritage gardens which have been extensively restored. The house’s courtyard is graced by two 160-year-old magnolias, the oldest living European trees in Victoria.
The gardens include large plantings of Alister Clark Heritage Roses. Alister Clark, an important Australian rose breeder, was also the foundation chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club and master of Oaklands Hunt Club from 1901 to 1908. He named many of his beautiful roses after racehorses.
The many exotic trees and plants in the Woodlands Homestead gardens provide the setting for a unique Australian heritage experience. More about the heritage gardens…
Devonshire Tea, Coffee or SnacksLiving Legends at Woodlands Homestead is a place where people of all ages can relax and enjoy our legends in beautiful surrounds. Bring a picnic basket, or order a Picnic Gift Package from Living Legends. Perhaps you’d prefer to have some Refreshments at Living Legends, like a delightful traditional Devonshire Tea, get something from the Coffe Cart, or just have some Snacks. You can enjoy it in a dining room that once hosted Burke and Wills.
History of Woodlands HomesteadEmigrating from Ireland with his family to seek a healthier climate, William Pomeroy Greene, a former Royal Navy officer, moved into the newly erected Woodlands Homestead on 9 June 1843. The homestead was designed in Britain, probably for export to India. Its association with early pioneering families make it significant to the early settlement of the Port Phillip District.
Expeditioners Burke and Wills stopped here on the second night of their ill-fated journey. The tiny bakery served as watering hole for Cobb and Co coaches. More about the history of Woodlands Homestead…
Horse Racing Connections
Woodlands Homestead is one of the southern hemisphere’s most historic thoroughbred properties. Champion horses have been owned, bred and spelled on this property since the 1840’s. These champions include:
The various owners and occupiers of Woodlands since 1842 had close connections or interests in a number of overseas countries, thus providing and “international” heritage for the Home for Horses. Overseas connections were within:
- Channel Islands
- New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
- The Bahamas
- United Kingdom
- United States
This link continues today with Living Legends providing the opportunity for visitors to mingle with retired champion racehorses, the winners of some of the greatest races in national and international racing.
Where is Woodlands Homestead?
Living Legends is based at Woodlands Homestead in Woodlands Historic Park, only 6 minutes north of Melbourne Airport and about 20 km north-west of the Melbourne city centre (Melway Map: 177 Ref: H9). To reach Woodlands Homestead, either drive in at the main entrance on Oaklands Road, or walk from the Somerton Road picnic area.
Visitors may walk around the homestead at any time when the Woodlands Historic Park is open. The house itself is open 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily year round with the exception of Christmas Day. Access to Woodlands Homestead can be provided at other times by arrangement on a fee for service basis for private viewings, weddings, functions and events.