Yesterday we visited three places near Penola, South Australia: Yallum Park Heritage Homestead, the Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre and the legendary township of Kalangadu.
We were shown around Yallum Park by the owner, Andy Clifford. It is a working rural property, grazing beef cattle. But the highlight is a magnificent homestead, once owned by wealthy pastoralist and MP John Riddoch. Andy and his wife lovingly maintain the mansion, which is open to the public. He gave us a guided tour of the lounge room with magnificent wallpaper and a beautiful silk tapestry fire screen to keep ladies from flushing from the heat.
The bedroom featured a swinging baby cradle.
A magnificent stained glass window adorned the stair landing.
I also liked the manager’s office with it’s rotating chair and hand painted door panels.
After lunch at the Royal Oak Hotel in Penola, we visited the school started by Australia’s first saint, Mary MacKillop and her mentor, Father Julian Woods. We were shown around by a very helpful Sister Loreto. The site of the first school is now a park, owned by the Sisters of Saint Joseph and maintained by the council.
We took the long way back to the caravan park,detouring to visit the township of Kalangadu, which featured in an ABC serial. It had a Post Office that was closed, a store, school and sports ground. The surrounding farmland is dotted with gasfields.