History of Yarrabin

The idea of Australia’s first guest property, or ‘dude ranch’, came from Annie’s father, Gavin Christie. The original property was purchased by Gavin’s father, William, in 1956 with the intention of grazing sheep for wool. Many city friends would travel out to the property to assist with the work and to escape the city life. With this, an idea was born. In 1961, Gavin then travelled to America to work on ‘dude ranches’ for a year, enabling him to gain considerable knowledge and experience to run his own guest property back in Australia. Many of the ideas he formed whilst abroad were later incorporated into Yarrabin. This, when combined with a uniquely Australian character and atmosphere, led to the establishment of Yarrabin as a farm stay getaway.

In April 1963, Yarrabin Guest Property officially opened its doors to the public. It was named after the aboriginal word for ‘ghost gums’ which are still very abundant throughout the property. Gavin, with the help of his parents, renovated the 3-bedroom homestead and began to market farm holidays. He married Sue in February 1964 after meeting her on the ship home from America, and together they made Yarrabin in to a country oasis where people from all walks of life could relax and enjoy the Australian country life and hospitality.

As Australia’s first guest property and still with the original family, Yarrabin has a sound history of providing quality and enjoyable country holidays at good value. A personal touch for all guests is assured in this family run business. We have found that people come as strangers and leave as friends.

Sue and Gavin had 4 daughters that grew up at Yarrabin, relishing in the lifestyle that allowed them to meet many of their now close friends over the years. Their eldest daughter, Annie, bought the business back with her late husband, Graeme, in 2000. They maintained the essence of what Yarrabin was all about whilst also incorporating some new elements that they brought with them from both the military/leadership and occupational therapy backgrounds. Together they introduced the infamous kids holidays camps, active horsemanship workshops and leadership with horses program. Annie then went on to run the property with her own daughter, Jessica. That again led to further improvements and integration of their growing desire to provide not only a haven for humans but also for horses. Yarrabin went on to also offer Children’s therapy programs and horse agistment/breeding/training. 

And now we see a new path for the homestead to embark on. The iconic Yarrabin Homestead now offers comfortable small group accommodation for a range of events including venue hire, weddings, conferences, school groups, team building, clinics, workshops, wellness retreats, therapy programs and so much more! Although the horses are no longer our biggest drawcard, we still offer facilities for horse agistment, equine clinics and holiday with your horse packages, along with equine therapy.

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