Homestead closeup

The Friends Group


Friends of Currango (FoC) is a non-profit organisation, whose primary objective is to assist the National Parks and Wildlife Service NSW (NPWS) to conserve and maintain the Station and its surroundings, all of which fall under the collective name, “Currango”.


At Currango

FoC has a strong and co-operative relationship with the NPWS, and participates in the long-term development of the site.  When necessary, it also provides assistance to the caretakers.  One of the organisation’s main goals is to ensure that the form and character of Currango remain intact, whilst taking care that any modernisation, such as solar-electric lighting, is incorporated in a heritage-sensitive manner.


Activities with its Members

The other function of FoC is to provide an ongoing social and activity framework for members, some of whom began to visit the area in the 1960s.

FoC promotes many outdoor activities that have minimal environmental impact.



FoC is a voluntary group, which in the past, was funded by small annual subscriptions.  Membership fees were dispensed with.  Anyone who wishes to join is warmly welcomed.  Accumulated funds cover administration costs, with contributions from time to time towards maintenance and development work at Currango.

Membership of FoC is made up largely of people from NSW, ACT and Victoria, although some members do reside in other States.

The organisation is administered by a Committee drawn from members resident in NSW and Victoria.

FoC makes regular bookings for accommodation for its members twice each year (in early November and early March), and any member can apply to take advantage of these reservations.  A purpose of these bookings is to facilitate a twice-annual management meeting between representatives of the FoC Committee and the NPWS.

FoC has published a 70-page book, ‘Currango Bushwalks’, which gives detailed descriptions of more than twelve walks which can be undertaken using Currango as a convenient base.  This can be purchased by contacting the Tumut Region Visitor Centre.




Origins of the 'Friends of Currango'

Stockmen first brought cattle to graze on the Currango plain in 1834, and in 1851 Thomas O’Rourke established a homestead on the Currango site.  The property changed hands several times, and the present homestead was started in 1895. The development of the complex continued in various forms for the next forty years.

When the Kosciusko State Park was formed in 1944, nearly all the land on the high plains was taken over, but grazing continued under leasehold arrangements until 1969.  Tom and Mollie Taylor moved into the Homestead in 1946.  Tom worked as a Ranger for the Lands Department, and together they reared their family there, remaining at the homestead until 1988.

By the mid-1960s, following the closure of the Rules Point Hotel, the Taylors had begun to take in trout fishermen as guests; this was the beginning of the loose network of friends, which would eventually become Friends of Currango.

In 1975, Andrew Mossman and Ian Dunn, long-time visitors to Currango, had several discussions with Tom and Mollie about their wishes, and subsequently, they wrote to the other regular visitors, proposing the formation of the Currango Club.  The Currango Club, as this group was first known, was formed in 1976 in response to two factors.  Firstly, the Taylors (who were then in their 70s), felt that their days at Currango were coming to an end, and second, the NPWS had grave concerns about the future of Currango after the Taylors had left.

For the next twelve years, the Currango Club acted mainly as a background support group to Tom and Mollie.  But following their retirement to Tumut in 1988, the Club assumed a significant role in directing Currango’s future, in co-operation with the NPWS.

The value of preserving Currango is no longer a matter of debate, but in 1988, there were serious doubts about whether Currango would continue to offer accommodation, or even public access.  It was also a time of speculation and rumour, the most disturbing being that the whole site might be “returned to wilderness”, with possible demolition of all the buildings in the complex.

This backdrop marked a turning-point, because it had become clear that the Club needed to develop a more active association with the NPWS, and to assist and encourage it in making positive representations to Government about the value of the homestead complex.




Also, the Club needed to confirm its relevance to the NPWS, by taking direct action to restore and maintain the buildings which were becoming seriously dilapidated.

The club was incorporated in 1988, under the new name ‘Friends of Currango Inc.’.  This name reflects the aims of the club, which are to –

  Conserve, restore and maintain Currango Station and its surroundings, ensuring that its form and character remain intact, and that any modernisation (eg, solar-electric lighting), is introduced in a sensitive manner

  Participate in administration of, and planning for Currango, and to contribute to its long-term development

  Promote, enhance, and enjoy the ‘Currango experience’ – fishing, walking, riding, painting, reading, photography, observing the flora and fauna, or just relaxing with like-minded humans

  Support the Caretakers, as and if required

  Provide a continuing social and activity framework for members

Since incorporation, the membership funds, plus the considerable skills and labour of the members have been applied directly to maintenance and restoration work.  Annual Working-Bees commenced in March 1990, and ceased in 2007.

Early Working-Bees concentrated on the basics, so that today, the Homestead and the cottages, Daffodil, The Pines and Snow Gum, are all well painted, solidly stumped, and have secure roofs and gutters.  Even the beds are now comfortable.

Later Working-Bees were an opportunity for a bit of refining and, even, aesthetic work.  There has been considerable improvement to the Homestead, plus addition of solar-lighting to Daffodil and Pine Lodge.

These complemented the work by the NPWS, which included a major restoration of the dairy complex and neighbouring structures near the Homestead.  Due to insurance and OH&S considerations, working bees ended in March 2007

Today Currango is safe in a physical sense, but there are, and will continue to be, many challenges to meet in keeping its form and character intact.  These days, FoC continues to take a strong role by advising on matters such as maintenance and accessibility of the site.