Far from the Madding Crowd

A rich history abounds in the Karuah Valley, north of Newcastle, which once represented a portion of the original grant of 500,000 acres made to the Australian Agricultural Company (AAC) in 1826, extending between the northern shore of Port Stephens and Taree.

Today, the countryside is just as beautiful and picturesque as when early explorers discovered the district, which consists of low, undulating green hills and pasture lands, peaceful river banks and the blue hues of mountain ranges in the far distance.

Known as timber country, cedar logs were brought from the surrounding forests by bullock wagon and steam train then sawn and transported by train south to The Branch, from whence they were shipped down river to Port Stephens. Situated in The Great Lakes council area, The Branch is located nine kilometres off the Pacific Highway.

Since the early 80s, a massive land holding has been in one family’s ownership. The original parcel of 2500 acres once held by the AA Company, CSR and AMP was primarily used for grazing cattle. Over time, portions have been sold off, with two sizeable lots remaining…

Story Marilyn Collins.