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Guide to Tocal

Introduction

Tocal is in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales at the junction of the Paterson River and Webber’s Creek.  Tocal was once one of the greatest cattle and horse studs in Australia.

Tocal’s history of human habitation spans thousands of years from when it was home to the Gringai clan of the Wonnarua people.  The name Tocal comes from the Aboriginal word meaning ‘plenty’, reflecting the abundance of food in the wetlands, rainforest and surrounding area.

Tocal has long been a centre for innovation, benefiting greatly from far-sighted farmers.  James Webber first settled the property and tested many crops new to the region; Charles Reynolds became one of the colony’s finest horse and cattle breeders; and Charles Boyd Alexander brought mechanisation and technology to the property.

The establishment of Tocal College in 1965 brought Tocal to the forefront of agricultural education and environmental management.  Today, Tocal College provides practical learning for full-time students, and a wide range of external courses and short courses. Tocal Homestead is now open at weekends from March to November, providing public access to this premium heritage site in the Hunter Valley [details].

map showing Tocal in locality