Bill and Belinda Gordon have breathed new life into Begonia Station, revitalising the property and its on-farm coffee shop and farm stay accommodation.

For the past two years, historic Begonia Station has been home to Bill, Belinda and their children, Abbey (10), William (9) and Charlie (6). Begonia Station is a 14,000 acre fully operational cattle property on the Maranoa River, 75 kilometres north of St George on the St George-Mitchell Road.

Since as early as 1873, the station has provided accommodation for those rolling out a swag on the stock route or, in more recent times, for events, farm stays and cooking schools.

Bill and Belinda have renovated the outbuildings, trying their hand at painting, decorating and everything in between. Modern day Begonia Station now boasts fully restored and renovated farm accommodation, using the outbuildings on the property including maids quarters, shearers quarters and ringers quarters.

More than 20 years ago, previous owners had developed a coffee shop, providing a greatly valued community meeting place and tourist stop. Belinda says when they first moved to the station they had not considered the opportunity of developing the farm-food tourism side of the business. “The buildings were so lovely we decided that we couldn’t let them fall into ruin,” says Belinda.

Bill praises Belinda for the styling and fresh look of the interiors. “I have just picked up a paint brush here and there — it’s really all Belinda’s doing,” he says modestly.Most of his time is spent running the station. Belinda likes a good cup of coffee (converting Bill, who did not drink coffee prior to moving to the station). Her guests at the coffee shop can enjoy beans sourced from Total Coffee in Toowoomba. They have also developed a Wholefood Kitchen offering cooking classes in the coffee shop’s commercial kitchen. Sourdough workshops and French cooking demonstrations have been held in recent months, with more classes planned this year.

Belinda’s passion for whole food and fresh local produce also sets the tone of the menu. “I love to cook too so it has worked out perfectly; it’s nice to cook for other people. We try to offer healthier versions of classic recipes,” says Belinda.

In the past, Begonia Station has hosted weddings in the shearing shed and the Gordons will once again hire out the venue for weddings and events. “The location has great appeal, offering a unique and authentic experience,” she says.

The Gordon family has received a warm welcome from locals and love that their kids can cross the paddock and walk to the nearby school. “We have heard so many stories of how important the coffee shop was to the community; we feel great pride in opening the doors again,” says Belinda.

Begonia Station Wholefood Kitchen is open once a month and by appointment for groups of eight people, private functions and events.

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