Valley Farm is in the food and wine hotspot of Victoria's oldest wine region, the world famous Yarra Valley. With over 3,600 hectares under vine surrounded by mountains rich in natural beauty it is also Victoria's most visited wine area, just over one hour’s drive from Melbourne's CBD and airport.
The 1850’s was a very different story, it was the Gold Rush Era and a shanty town called New Chum occupied the lower paddocks of Valley Farm along the abutting Chum Creek. This was a strategic resting point where prospectors en-route from Melbourne changed from stagecoach to pack horse before continuing the mountainous journey over the Black Spur to the Woods Point goldfields. Later on a more suitable site some three kilometres downstream, Healesville township was established.
In the early 1900's the original farmhouse was built and later extended when the extensive gardens were established in consultation with renowned garden designer, Edna Walling. The main homestead was burnt down in the horrendous fires of 1939 and rebuilt in an affluent, art-deco style in 1946. The late 1970's saw the federal government acquiring the property and curiously constructing a satellite tracking station.
A giant 20 metre diameter dish (yes, just like the movie!) was soon receiving signals from outer-space as the 1984 Olympics telecast was beamed in from Los Angeles then transmitted by wire to Australian TV stations. By the end of the 80's rapid technological advances rendered the Melbourne Earth Station obsolete. Valley Farm was then purchased by Louise and Greg Dunnett who developed a wine and tourism business after planting the vineyard and transforming the former "Earth Satellite Station" complex into 3 stylish accommodation suites.