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  • The Barracks, Tocal is situated on one of Australia's oldest colonial working farms, and provides boutique accommodation on a unique heritage site. Read More
  • Weddings at Tocal - Tocal Homestead Function Centre is a premium venue for wedding receptions in the Hunter Valley. Read More
  • Tocal Homestead is now open to visitors on a Sunday between 10am and 3pm from March to November. All visitors welcome to enjoy this landmark site and learn more about our heritage and landscape. Read More
  • Tocal is situated in the lower-Hunter Valley near Newcastle and is home of the main campus of the national training provider Tocal College. Read More
  • Learn more about Tocal's vibrant, 192 year history! For more information... Read More
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Homestead events

28 February - 26 November 2017

Tocal Homestead open Sunday only

4 - 6 May 2018

Tocal Field Days

10 June 2018

International Back to Back Wool Challenge

29 July 2018

Peek into the Past (Open Day at Tocal Homestead)

For more information phone the Homestead Coordinator on 02 4939 8901 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Peek into the past

Next event Sunday 29 July, 2018

Peek-in-past-sconesPeek into the Past is when Tocal  Homestead comes alive with the sights and sounds (and smells) of yesteryear. It is a wonderful old fashioned day out for all the family. Grandparents will reminisce, there's nostalgia for the parents and the children will make some very interesting discoveries about our past.

red-coatThe sounds of working horses and heritage tractors and machinery mingle with the aromas of scones and apple pies baking in the old wood stove. Make sure you see the blacksmiths working at the forge and then enjoy a piece of damper from the camp fire, topped with 'cocky's joy'. Try your hand at the ancient art of water divining or a traditional bush game. Then watch the local straw broom maker at work - he'd be happy to sell you one.

Keep an eye out for the 'redcoats' of the soldiers of the 73rd Regiment of Foot, they will fire their muskets and march through the site - keeping law and order and the King's peace. And they don't mind if you wander around their encampment and chat to them about what they do.

Drop in to hear one of the history talks to learn how it all came about.

Shearing-sheepThere is a heritage clothing parade, machinery demonstrations, farm animals, cart rides with Harry the Clydesdale and tractors at work. There is sheep shearing and working vintage machinery. On top of all that, there's lots of delicious homemade refreshments, or you can bring your own picnic to have on the lawn.

Opening times:

10am to 3pm

Cost:

Adults $10, Concession $8 and school children FREE.

In keeping with our heritage theme, cash is preferred for transactions on site.

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Back to back wool challenge

Next event Sunday 10 June 2018

Join in the fun as the "Spinning Knitwits" race against the clock to shear the sheep, spin the wool and knit the jumper, all in under 8 hours.

The "Spinning Knitwits" are a team of members from the Newcastle Spinners and Weavers Guild and are made up of seven specialist spinners and knitters with shearer Trevor Pike from Scone as their key team member. They have competed in this competition at Tocal for 10 years and currently retain the title of Australian Champions.

In 2009, the 'Spinning Knitwits" completed the competition with a winning time of 6 hours and 3 minutes making them the World Champions, ahead of the "Toronto Spiders" in Canada.

Each year teams around the world compete in their local communities and then lodge their times with the international adjudicators who announce the winners on the June long weekend (as it occurs in Australia). They must strictly follow the jumper pattern and timing requirements laid out by the international committee.

With all the fun of a shearing, spinning and knitting race, the event is a fundraiser for cancer research in each of the communities it takes place. At Tocal, the funds raised on the day are presented to the Mater Cancer Research Unit in Newcastle.

Over the years, teams have been from Japan (3), Canada (6), Australia (5), South Africa, England (4), Scotland (2), Netherlands, USA, New Zealand, and Slovakia.

This year the "Spinning Knitwits" are back at Tocal Homestead aiming to retain their Australian Champions title and have a hit at the World Champions title again.

Competition commences at 9am and throughout the day there are activities for visitors to join in; learn to knit, knitting races, textile crafts for all ages, a fabulous array of handcrafts and textiles to buy, raffle, shearing demonstrations, delicious refreshments all day from the Friends of Tocal, Tocal Homestead is open for inspection, with blacksmithing all day in the blacksmith shop.

Doors open

8am – 4pm

Cost
Gold coin donation for entry to the function centre – funds to Cancer Research
Entry fee to view the Homestead.