Homestead - broad

Currango's History


In terms of European settlement of the Currango area, stockmen probably first brought their cattle to graze on the Gurrangorambla Plain in the summer of 1834.  At first they stayed for the warmer months only, in simple slab huts. Then, as graziers brought their families up into the high country, some of these structures expanded into homesteads, with assorted outbuildings.

Thomas O’Rourke first established a summer camp on the Currango site in 1839, on a 15,000 acre holding. Each spring, the cattle were brought up from O’Rourke’s station near Adaminaby, and in 1851, he built a homestead there. It was a small vertical slab building to which was added a dairy, a chicken shed, a pig-sty and an out-house.

O’Rourke’s subsequent murder led to the property changing hands several times between 1873 and 1893, when it was finally bought by Arthur Triggs, a successful grazier from Yass. The previous owner, William Barber, stayed on as Manager for Triggs, and he supervised the construction of the present homestead and nearby sheds, together with fences around Currango and Long Plains. A telephone line was also put in.

Originally, the Station was called Currangorambla (similar to the name of the plain), but over time, the abbreviated name, ‘Currango’, became more commonly used.

Triggs’ ownership came to an end in 1913, when he was forced to sell Currango to pay off large debts, and ownership passed to Australian Estate Company.

The next eighteen-year period was the hey-day of Currango. Australian Estates built Currango Station into a significant beef cattle property, and the outbuildings that remain today were all built during this time.  Some, like the original homestead, were removed. An electric generator and batteries were installed at the Station’s office to provide lighting to the Homestead and the Overseer’s Cottage (Daffodil). In addition there was an adjoining shop, a tennis court, and duck ponds.


‘Estates’ also constructed a shearing shed, with pens and a sheep dip. They also built a slab hayshed and chaff cutter, with a steel shed attached for the steam engine which drove it.

At the height of Currango’s development in the mid 1920s, the property had grown to 90,000 acres. It's pastures were used primarily for drought relief, and stock were brought from Australian Estates’ properties near Queanbeyan, and from the Riverina in dry summers. Over 70,000 sheep and 5,000 cattle were brought up to Currango during one very bad drought.

The Great Depression caused a collapse of beef prices, and the emphasis moved from cattle to sheep. Snow-Gum was added to the back of the Pine Lodge for shearers’ quarters, and various other sheds were built at this time.

Up to twenty men worked at the station and additional contract staff were employed over summer. The pine trees, which dominate the site’s vegetation, also date back to this period.

From the 1930s onwards, pressure on Government from local land-holders resulted in the larger landholdings being progressively broken up, with leasehold areas reduced to 5,000 acres. Whilst Currango had 30,000 acres of freehold, the value of the station was significantly reduced by these changes, and the scale of operations continued to diminish.

The Great Depression also saw a number of itinerants move into the area. They tried to survive off the land, and did whatever work came to hand.  Fishing parties also began to stay in the area, both at Currango and at the Rules Point Hotel. The latter was burnt down in the 1950s.

In 1944, the Kosciusko State Park was created, and the high plains and their properties were annexed by the NSW Department of Lands. Permanent occupation of the homesteads ceased, and only summer grazing continued under a leasehold system.



Soon, most of the homesteads of the area began to decay, as the stockmen reverted to simpler iron huts for the summer grazing that was still permitted.

The ‘third phase’ of Currango really began in 1946 when Tom and Mollie Taylor moved there, Tom as a Ranger for the NSW Department of Lands. Currango was the central location for his work, and Tom monitored the stock numbers on the high plains, overseeing the gradual reduction of grazing, until it ceased altogether in 1969.

Over this period, the Taylors witnessed the construction of Tantangara Reservoir, and the flooding of much of the Currango Plain.  This is the highest part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, which, in this region, diverts water from the Murrumbidgee into Lake Eucumbene.

Tom and Mollie were granted life-time occupancy rights by the National Parks and Wildlife Service after its formation in 1967, and the lease arrangement also allowed them to rent out the cottages to visitors. Some of these people would later form the club that became Friends of Currango Inc.

After the end of grazing in 1969, Tom retired from his position as Ranger, and the Taylor’s occupation of Currango became seasonal. They then spent their winters in Adaminaby or Tumut.

Even though summer visitors continued to visit in steady numbers during the early seventies, the income they provided was not sufficient to make it financially worthwhile for Tom and Mollie to continue staying at Currango homestead. In 1975 the Taylors announced that they might have to leave Currango altogether.

Eventually, they retired in 1988, and since then, there has been a number of resident caretakers, notably, from 1995 to 2003, Tom's and Mollie's son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Helen Taylor.  In 2003, a local (Tumut) couple, Stuart and Chan Garner, commenced as caretakers.