Goonoo Goonoo – pronounced Gun-ah g-noo means “running water over rocks in times of drought”.
It is an oasis of comfort and calm, located on a working cattle station just outside Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. The Glasshouse Restaurant is the jewel in the crown of Goonoo Goonnoo.
Originally built by the AACo as a merino sheep farm, the heritage-listed and pastoral village has recently been converted to luxurious accomodation by its present owners, the Haggarty family.
I was commissioned to shoot one of the newer self catering accomodation, and also the Glasshouse restaurant – with head chef Phil Piper on the pans.
Phil is an award winning chef and has recently relocated from Tasmania, and has brought a wealth of knowledge to the Glasshouse with focus on the indigenous and locally available ingredients within a small radius of the restaurant. His presentation is spot on, the dishes were beautiful to look and to shoot.
Dishes included lemon myrtle confit salmon with dashi gel, celery ash and cucumber ribbons, to a pan-seared blue-eye trevalla accompanied by squid ink puree, seaweed and lemon caper butter, and foraged sea herbs.
A brief History of Goonoo Goonoo.
The Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) was incorporated in London on 21 June 1824. At this time its primary objective was “the production of Fine Merino Wool, as an article of export to Great Britain.”
In 1840’s the AACo moved their sheep from the less fertile ground at Port Stephens to the greener pastures of Goonoo Goonoo, beside the Peel River.
Once the move had taken place a homestead and various outbuildings were constructed.
The wool-room was described as “a spacious brick building, adjoining the shearing floor, through which the fleeces are conveyed from the shearers’ hands to the sorting tables. Production peaked in 1899 when the property held over 212,000 sheep.
In 1852 gold was discovered in the Peel River district. The AACo responded by establishing the Peel River Land & Mineral Company in February 1853, anticipating profitable returns from mining.
From the mid-1890s the Peel River Company sold off land at West Tamworth, the State Government granted approval for compulsory resumption of the land, resulting in the creation of around 250 farms.
The subdivision met with great success – and by this time Goonoo Goonoo’s fame as a shorthorn (cattle) stud was widely acknowledged.
AACo retained ownership until July 1985, when it sold the remainder of the the property.