A mere 26 kilometers North of Young; in Greenethorpe, New South Wales, is Iandra Castle. Yes, you read it right; a castle. Surrounded by golden canola fields during spring and grazing sheep throughout the year, Iandra Castle is a unique part of Australia’s heritage (listed in the New South Wales Heritage register in 2005).
Although known as a castle, Iandra is actually a homestead. It resembles a castle though, with turrets, detailed glass windows and beautiful gardens. It was built between 1908 and 1910 in the Federation Romanesque style which is known for embracing Australiana themes and for the use of its verandas.
The first time I visited the estate, I didn’t estimate enough time. The picturesque drive from Young (in particular during Spring) has you making a number of stops along the way to capture the landscape and appreciate the view. This, combined with a multitude of interesting and period rooms within Iandra, and the flowering gardens, turn this place into a photographer’s delight.
The estate has reduced in size to approximately 3000 acres (12 km2), from the original 32000 acres and the main areas to explore are the castle, gardens, and original workers’ cottages.
The castle has some stunning glass stained windows in almost every room, with intricate flower patterns typical of the era. As you roam in and out of rooms you can’t help but imagine yourself in the period, your back seems to straighten and you walk with presence and your head held high.
Since that first time, I have been fortunate to be able to return, this time armed with the knowledge that I would need a whole lot more time to properly explore the building and surroundings.
I am enchanted by the gardens. There are butterflies everywhere, sampling the large varieties of flowers that paint the garden with colour and provide an overload to your olfactory sense. You can take a picnic and sit among the roses, lavender, orange trees, the lawn, under the large trees, or just on the veranda, and take in the view – the choice is yours.
Iandra castle holds open days throughout the year (at other times you must make an appointment). There are four published dates at this point for 2016 – 27 March, 24 April, 12 June and 2 October. The entrance fee assists with restoration, ensuring that this heritage listed estate remains open for all to appreciate.
What you need to know
- Iandra castle is located at Cnr Tyagong Creek Road & Gerry Bang Road, Greenethorpe NSW 2810
- To contact Iandra Castle or check opening dates visit www.Iandracastle.com.au. The next open day is Sunday 27 March 2016.
- If you can’t make it on an open day, contact the estate keepers on 02 6383 9241, 0429 455 409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- The entrance fee is payable in cash – take correct change to avoid being turned away as there are no eftpos facilities. $10 for adults and $5 for children.
- Take a picnic, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the grounds
- Parking is onsite – drive in through the main gate, and you will be shown where to park.