The rolling red gum country of Nareen Station holds a special place in the history of Victoria’s Western District. 

Story + Photos Nathan Dyer

Located on the Dundas Plateau in Victoria’s Western District, about 70 kilometres north-west of Hamilton, the clay-loam soils of Nareen’s rolling red-gum country support improved pastures of phalaris and perennial rye-grass and are carved into deep valleys by multiple creeks forming part of the Glenelg River catchment. Station owner Gordon Dickinson says Nareen’s elevation of 350 metres above sea level means the seasons are reliable, but winters particularly cold and wet. Annual rainfall averages 675 millimetres.

First settled in the 1840s as part of the larger squatting run Koolomurt by Charles Lambert Swanston and Edward Willis on the traditional lands of the Jardwadjali people, Nareen was carved off as a separate parcel in 1886 by early Victorian grazier and parliamentarian James Graham. The property changed hands multiple times until purchased by the Fraser family in 1946, which sold its New South Wales Riverina property Balpool-Nyang to move to Nareen.

Already well known in the wool industry for its fine-wool Merino flock, Nareen became a household name as home to the nation’s 22nd prime minister, the late Malcolm Fraser (and his wife Tamie), who led the country from 1975 to 1983. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #124

Outback Magazine: April/May 2019