The story begins with Queensland politician AW Compigne who built the original homestead in the 1850s. He was a member of Queensland's Upper House which of course no longer exists. In 1900 the property was leased by William Collins, a grazier. In fact, the Collins family was destined to become grazing aristocracy. The house in those days was a simple L-shape, but William Collins bought the property in 1906 and one of the first things he did was to engage Robin Dods to add extensions to the homestead, converting it to an E-shape. Here are a couple of pictures of Nindooinbah taken in 1908.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #135000)
And here is an undated photograph of William Collins with his wife Gwendoline and daughters Beryl and Dorothea at Nindooinbah. William was a grazier and a company director who died after a heart attack in 1909.
The property stayed within the Collins family and was passed down to William's granddaughter Margaret de Burgh Persse who was born at Nindooinbah and lived there all her life. The de Burgh Persse family was another prominent farming and political clan of the era and the union with the Collins dynasty must have made them a formidable presence indeed.
Margaret married the artist Patrick Hockey in 1983, and together they restored the house and beautified its surrounds. The house became famous for parties and it hosted many important guests over the remaining years of their lives. When Margaret died in 2004 the house was inherited by nephew Tim Stevens, a winemaker in Mudgee. He put the property on the market in 2005 and it was bought by Brisbane entrepreneur Euan Murdoch (of Herron Pharmaceuticals fame) and his wife.
The Murdochs, too, have wanted to further restore and beautify Nindooinbah. Here are some photographs from the web pages that recorded the five-year transition.
Nindooinbah today is a leading cattle breeding business. It is at the forefront of artificial breeding, in particular the Angus Brahman cross known as Ultra Black.
This fabulous place launched Open Gardens Australia last year. I missed it, but if it is on again this year I'm a definite starter!
Click here for a Google Map.