Lake Heron has been in the Todhunter family for 100 years - 2017 is our 100th!
The original Lake Heron run was first taken up in 1857 by Messrs Leach and Dudley. Until 1917 there were various changes in name, ownership and in boundaries. The Lake Heron Station boundaries of today are made up of an amalgamation of earlier runs, one of which was owned briefly by the well-known author Samuel Butler. In 1917 the station was purchased by RC Todhunter (Philip’s great grandfather) and since then has been in the Todhunter family for four generations. In 2005 a further 1100ha was purchased out of neighbouring Clent Hills Station.
Five original station huts still remain on the property. These shelters were originally built to facilitate mustering (gathering up) of sheep. The names of musterers from the past can be seen etched on the hut walls. Today the huts remain as an important reminder of the station’s history. The New Hut was built in 1923 and is still the base for the 4 day autumn muster.
This muster involves a team of 6 men and 18 dogs, to bring 2,500 sheep down to lower country before the winter snows arrive. The New Hut and The Downs Hut have both been recently restored for guests to enjoy.
Originally the prime farming focus was on merino wool production. A flock of 2500 wethers was established to graze on the steeper hill country. This flock was only brought down to the homestead area twice a year – for crutching in the autumn and the main shearing in spring. A flock of breeding ewes was kept closer to home. Lambs were bred to maintain the wether and ewe flocks. Today growing wool is still a major focus of the farming operation, with a large portion of the wool clip processed into active outdoor and leisure wear. Angus cattle and lamb production are now also important aspects of the business.