Brooksdale Superfine Merino – Since 1872
Ethically & sustainably producing pure, sound superfine wool.
Brooksdale is a family run farming business that started around 1872 and now runs 10,000 Ultra/Superfine Merino sheep on 1100 hectares located in between the picturesque ranges of the Grampian mountains in Victoria Valley, Victoria, Australia. It is 14km from Dunkeld, a small country town, 50km from Hamilton, a regional city and 280km from Melbourne, the capital of Victoria.
This region is renowned for its superfine Merino wool.
For fifty years the sheep were based on ‘Sierra Park’ Saxon blood lines. Since 2000 ‘Rockbank’ Merryville blood has been introduced to the flock through an artificial insemination program using the top sires of ‘Softy,’ ‘Roberto’, ‘Sturgeon 40’, ‘Bruiser’ and ‘Mr Silky’. Autumn shearing occurs during April/May of each year. Fleeces average 16 microns, the finest being 14 microns. The Fry’s sell around 200 bales of wool each year through our wool brokers, Elders in Melbourne.
Since 2007 we have ceased mulesing our sheep and are now actively selecting for plainer breeched animals. Our breeding aim is for a well grown superfine sheep with a plainer body, a long thick staple of soft, well crimped white wool.
Brooksdale is managed and operated by David Fry, a 4th generation Fry to farm in Victoria Valley. Brooksdale won the prestigious Zegna trophy, which is for the best Australian extra-fine wool in 1991.
The current owner and operator of Brooksdale, David Fry is a direct descendent of Daniel and Sarah Fry. Daniel and Sarah arrived in Australia in 1850 when Port Philip District (Victoria) was still part of the Colony of New South Wales. Daniel and his sons initially engaged in bullock driving between Geelong and the gold and farming sites around the Grampians.
When in 1872, land that was part of the Victoria Valley run (operated by the Robertson family) was divided for selection, Peter Fry (Daniel’s son) selected the portion of the land where he noticed his bullocks spent most time grazing.
This land ran through Victoria Valley and Mirranatwa, bounded by the Serra Range to the east, Victoria Range to the west, through to the Murra Murra to the north. After a period of occupancy the applicant could then apply to the Crown to purchase the land. The property was first named ‘Serra Park’ as it faced the Serra Range. Later the spelling was changed to ‘Sierra Park’ when the property changed hands following the death of Peter Fry in 1922. Prior to this, around 1917, Peter’s son Charles had bought the neighbouring property of Brooksdale.
Further information regarding Brooksdale can be found on the Heritage Victoria website.