Skip to main content

Who we are

About Marnong

Rich in history

Situated only 15 minutes from Melbourne Airport and 35 minutes from Melbourne CBD, the property offers a contrasting and tranquil experience whilst being ideally located to welcome local, interstate and international guests. Dating back to the 1840’s, the substantial rural holding is set on 1,200 acres of working farmland, vineyard and undulating open pastures.

Opening in June 2018, the Estate boasts panoramic views of the Macedon Ranges, manicured lawns, gardens and expansive green areas, a range of contemporary conference and event spaces, historic homestead, private dining, restaurant and bar.

Discover more about Marnong

Viticulture

Winemaking

Our vineyard is located within the boundaries of the Sunbury Wine Region – one of Victoria’s oldest wine regions and the closest to Melbourne. Our region is most famous for classic cool climate Shiraz, but it also grows superb Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In addition to the better-known varieties, we are also very excited about our new plantings of Fiano, Montepulciano and Sangiovese.

We began work on our vineyard back in 2016 after a very careful assessment of the site and thorough preparation. We take an uncompromising approach to our viticulture because this is where the wines are really ‘grown’, more than they are ‘made’.

Marnong

The Property

The property offers a contrasting and tranquil experience whilst being ideally located to welcome local, interstate and international guests. We will welcome visitors from near and far with on-site cabins. Ideally suited to corporate needs; allow your guests to escape their day-to-day routine and connect with nature’s changing seasons at Marnong Estate.

Historic

The History

Marnong’s significance to Australian history cannot be underestimated with its links to the area’s first inhabitants, the Woiworung people, to a ruthless land baron who helped build Victoria from its early Port Phillip settlement days to a thriving colony.

Before white settlement, the Woiworung lived off the surrounding area where kangaroos and emus roamed and the rolling hills were rich with murnong, or yam daisies, a grasslands plant with edible roots that were their staple diet.

Historic

Marnong Homestead

William Clarke installed John Edols, a young overseer, in the manager’s hut and by July 1841 he had installed his brother Lewis on the Plover Plains run, across Deep Creek to the west of Bank Vale, and took over Hill Head station to the north. The earliest part of the homestead, the rear bluestone section, dates to the late 1840s or early ‘50s, and more sections were added by later owners. In 1863, the Bank Vale property was acquired by grazier Thomas Colclough, who renamed it Green Grove.

The Marnong Estate Timeline

William John Turner ‘Big’ Clarke

(1805-1874)
MARNONG OWNER FROM 1841 TO 1863

William Clarke was a pastoralist and landowner who was widely feared for his ruthless land hunger but respected for his ability to generate a fortune.

The English-born businessman arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in 1829 and quickly set about obtaining land in the colony from a humble butcher’s shop to owning more than 80,000 acres and renting 50,000 acres on the isle by 1853.

He saw great value in livestock and never meddled with agriculture opting to raise sheep and cattle as a ‘better paying game’. To his great profit, he introduced the Leicester breed of sheep into Australia.

The gold rush further increased his prosperity; meat sales boomed; money received from his wool clips he lent at high interest to Australian import houses, and in time he acquired the reputation of being the wealthiest man in the country.

Such was his landholding around Marnong, north of Melbourne, his property extended from Sunbury to Sydney Road.

Clarke was a member of the Victorian Legislative Council in 1856 to 1861 and again from 1863 to 1870.

He was a director and substantial shareholder in the Colonial Bank and had large interests in other banks and insurance companies. His health declined and in 1870 he became partially paralysed but insisted on attending directors’ meetings although it took four men to carry him to his carriage.

He died in Melbourne on 13 January 1874 leaving an estate of £2,500,000 and more than a million acres of land across Australia and New Zealand.

Thomas Colclough

(1831-1895)
MARNONG OWNER FROM 1863 TO 1895

Thomas Colclough was grazier who bought WJT Clarke’s section of Bank Vale in 1863 and named it Green Grove.

Over the next 15 years he increased his holding in the area from some 846 acres to 1000 acres and was said to be ‘often in the (stock) yards as he handled both sheep and
cattle’.

In September 1877 a notice appeared in the Argus in which architect Robert Adamson invited tenders for extensive additions to the homestead which was the front section and the remodelling of
the original bluestone buildings.

Colclough died in 1897 and the property was sold.

Arthur Angliss

(1898-1995)
MARNONG OWNER FROM 1898 TO 1995

Arthur, the nephew of Australia’s greatest cattle baron Sir William Angliss, managed the family’s massive pastoral empire for almost 20 years after his uncle’s death in 1957.

Following the death of Sir William, Arthur was appointed chairman and managing director of 11 pastoral stations spread across 50,000 square kilometres and carried more than 300,000 cattle and several thousand horses.

In the 1930s, Sir William had the biggest personally controlled meat empire in the British Empire, and by 1950 he was reputed to be Australia’s richest man.

Arthur bought Marnong in 1935 and, with his wife Elma, transformed it into a family home and farm. Over the next 20 years, Arthur’s hard work resulted in reclaiming the property from the ravages of rabbits and soil erosion by introducing netting fencing and contour furrowing.

More than 10,000 rabbits were poisoned annually, until they were eliminated.

With pasture improvement and fertiliser, the carrying capacity was increased five-fold, and Arthur took great pride in topping the averages at Newmarket saleyards with his fat lambs and bullocks.

Marnong Estate is a destination unlike any other.

Situated only 15 minutes from Melbourne Airport and 35 minutes from Melbourne CBD, the property offers a contrasting and tranquil experience whilst being ideally located to welcome local, interstate and international guests.

Host an eventView Dining Options