This cache is placed to bring you to explore the historic Orroral homestead and surrounds. A quick dash by a FTF seeker in the middle of the night would miss the point!
White settlers came to the clear valleys of this high country in the 1830s. The structures they built were insubstantial and none remain. In later years some landholders established year round grazing in the high valleys, and brought their families. One of these was Archibald McKeahnie who is thought to have built Orroral Homestead in the 1860s. Orroral is a substantial structure of several rooms, masonry ends with chimneys, and slab walls along the eastern and western length of the building. Shingles of the original roof can be clearly seen under the current roof, now covered with corrugated iron. These are best seen under the verandah that graces the full length of the building along the eastern side. A separate kitchen stood to the west of the homestead. The outline of this building is still visible, and part of the chimney has been rebuilt. A schoolhouse and outbuildings completed the picture.
Before building Orroral , Archibald lived at Gudgenby and later at Booroomba. The Orroral Run was sold in 1911, and again in the 1920s when it passed to Andy Cunningham of the Tuggeranong and Lanyon Cunninghams. He was responsible for building the impressive old woolshed nearby. There have been some discussions in heritage circles about repairs to the woolshed but as yet nothing has eventuated.
By the 1980s this dignified old homestead was in ruins. Fortunately the National Parks Association came forward with a proposal to restore the homestead, and in 1982 the first workparty was held. Through a combination of volunteer and contractor efforts, the building was saved.
The same fate was not enjoyed by the 1950s weatherboard house built by the Gregorys for the accommodation of workers at Orroral. On my first visit here the building was all broken windows and smashed fibro. It has since been removed, and now all that remains are the chimneys, stove and remnants of the footings. The orchard is interesting, and still survives the current drought.
The cache is not hidden in the old homestead. Please do visit the main homestead and look around, but do not interfere with the building in any way. The woolshed is also fascinating, as is the tracking station further up the valley. Please place the cache back as you found it.