Bangor is a 6200 hectare property on the Forestier Peninsula in Tasmania's south east. Bangor has a spectacular environment with 5100 hectares of native forests, grasslands and wetlands, and 35 kilometers of coastline. Bangor is also home to a number of important historic sites, including: Tasman Bay where Abel Tasman planted the Dutch flag in 1642; Two Mile Beach, where the first interaction occurred between Europeans (du Fresne's exploration party) and Aboriginal people in 1772; whaling stations at Lagoon Bay; and Jimmy's Hill semaphore station.
We manage Bangor for its natural and cultural heritage. As part of this, we have formally protected over 2100 hectares of forest in perpetual conservation reserves, making Bangor one of the largest privately owned conservation reserves in Tasmania. These areas include some of the most valuable vegetation types such as grassy blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and black gum (E. ovata) forests, the spring and summer home of the swift parrot. These reserves ensure that some of Bangor’s most precious environments continue to be protected and managed for conservation forever.
The property is home to a large number of animals and birds, including some of Tasmania’s most precious and iconic species. Marsupial residents include wallabies, bettongs, wombats and quolls. There are over 120 bird species including wedge-tailed eagles, sea eagles and swift parrots. The protection and sustainability of this special environment forms the core of the management philosophy and practice here at Bangor.
The benefits of our careful land management practices extend beyond the property’s boundaries. Bangor supports healthy populations of plants and animals which are endangered across Tasmania, including bandicoots and swift parrots, and we are working with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program to become a sanctuary for a disease-free population of Tasmanian Devils. Blackman Bay, 50 percent of which is surrounded by Bangor, supports a significant oyster industry, as well as a 260 hectare marine park, which rely on clean water flowing from Bangor to remain in good condition.
Bangor is a working farm, and we have a long history of combining agricultural production with careful environmental management. Bangor is an extensive grazing property, running merino sheep for superfine wool production, along with cattle and prime lambs for meat. Bangor's 5000 superfine merino sheep produce some of the world's finest, softest and brightest wool. This fibre eventually ends up in high quality fabric used for premium suiting, next to skin wear and outdoor wear.
Bangor is also home to a 4 hectare vineyard. At a latitude of 42o53' south, Bangor's vineyard is one of the most southerly in Tasmania, and the world. This makes it a true cool climate site, and we manage our vineyard to produce premium quality, cool climate wine. First planted in 2010, we are very much a small family vineyard, with our vines hand tended by us, and all our grapes handpicked.
Sadly over 2000 hectares of Bangor was burnt in the 2013 bushfires that devastated our local town of Dunalley and surrounding areas. Bangor lost fences, stock, feed, buildings, and equipment, and we nearly lost our vineyard! Miraculously the vineyard survived, although plants were damaged along with our irrigation infrastructure and all our vineyard equipment. We also lost our historic shearing shed which was to be the cellar door for our wines.This provided us with an opportunity to rethink our cellar door and to partner with Tom and Alice Gray from Fulham Aquaculture (Fulham was also badly affected by the fires). Around the farmhouse table we all agreed that wine and oysters were a natural mix, so the Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed was born.
Bangor has been managed by the Dunbabin family since the 1890's. Matt and Vanessa Dunbabin manage and live at Bangor today along with their three children Henry, William and Amy who form the 7th generation of the Dunbabin family in Tasmania, and the 4th generation of Dunbabins to be raised at Bangor.
To learn more about this amazing property please visit the Bangor website.