a "jewel of Georgian design"
The History of Terragong
Terragong is rich with history. A local landmark and a wonderful example of Colonial Georgian architecture, the house is rather unusual for Jamberoo, where traditional Federation-style homesteads are more common. The home is surrounded by emerald green pastures and set against a background of forested cliffs of the Illawarra Escarpment.
Terragong House is included on the Register of National Estate with the Australian Heritage Commission, as well as on the Register of the National Trust of Australia. The mature trees, including Magnolia Grandiflora, Morton Bay Figs and Norfolk and Bunya Pines, are also of heritage interest (most estimated to be over 150 years of age) and provide an idyllic setting for the home.
Less than a two hour drive south of Sydney, Jamberoo is a place of outstanding beauty. The valley of rich pastureland is located a ten minute drive from a selection of beautiful beaches in one direction, a ten minute drive in the other to native rain forests. Established in 1820 to harvest the rich cedar forests that built much of colonial Sydney, Jamberoo is renowned for being some of Australia’s best dairy farming country and is also the home of Australia’s first cooperative dairy.
The original Aboriginal people of this area are known to be of the Wadi Wadi and Yuiu tribes. Traditional stories say the Dharawal people brought the Dharawal (cabbage tree palm) with them on arrival at Lake Illawarra, back when their ancestors were animals. This link to the Kiama Library website contains more information on the original inhabitants of the Illawarra (Illawarra is the Aboriginal word for “high place by the sea”), as well as a list of possible meanings in the local Aboriginal language for local placenames, including "Jamberoo - track or meeting place".
Built in 1858 by the Hon. John Marks, MLA, MLC, as a "gentleman's residence", the home remained in the Marks family for seven generations prior to our purchase in 2014. The original land grant of 500 acres was made in 1830 and a typical settlers’ bush cabin was built on the site where Terragong now stands.
Terragong is renowned for being among the first properties in Australia to run Ayrshire cattle imported from the United Kingdom; from this original stock of cattle, the now famous Illawarra Shorthorn was bred.
Upon our purchase of Terragong in late 2014 from the Marks family, we undertook 18 months of sympathetic renovations, including demolition of the 1940s kitchen lean-to, construction of a new kitchen and family room annex as well as the addition of five (indoor!) toilets and en suite facilities for our three guest rooms, which are located in the single-storey weatherboard wing (dating from the late 1800s, this part of the house was rebuilt following a fire which destroyed the original kitchen and single-storey structure).
With completion of the house renovations, we have turned our attention to numerous and extensive landscaping projects, working to a master plan devised by renowned landscape architect Myles Baldwin. In 2021 we're focusing our efforts on establishing the traditional enclosed kitchen garden, complete with raised vegetable and flower beds, citrus trees and new chicken coop.
Click here to learn about the steps we have taken to minimise our day-to-day impact on the environment.
As an award-winning interior designer, Darryl has brought an eye for exquisite detail to the refurbishment and decoration of Terragong. For more information regarding Darryl's design consultancy and portfolio of work, visit Darryl Gordon Design.
Simon has extensive experience in and a passion for hospitality and tourism, having worked for much of his career as public relations manager for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and marketing communications manager for Qantas/Sabre. As principal cook and bottle washer at Terragong, Simon holds current Food Safety Supervisor accreditation recognised by the NSW Food Authority.
We believe (and our guests repeatedly confirm!) that Terragong offers a bed and breakfast experience unsurpassed in the region for luxury, exclusivity and a genuinely warm welcome.
Need advice on how best to spend your time visiting this beautiful part of the world? Then please feel free to ask us for any information you need!
We look forward to sharing our beautiful Terragong with you.