Soren and Sonya first came to Turon Gates in 1972 on a camping trip. They fell in love with its natural beauty and, after 4 days, decided they would love to retire there some day. Their dream was to create a bush retreat close enough to get away for a few days but far enough to leave the hustle and bustle of the city far behind.
Each cottage location was carefully selected to afford complete privacy and stunning outlooks over the rolling countryside or over the tranquil river. Sonya makes a mean cappuccino if you would like to drop in and Soren has many stories about the history of the area, the gold rush era and the historic Chinese walls throughout the property.
But if you just feel like being alone, the nice thing about Turon Gates is that you never need to see anyone. It's totally up to you.
And for the meantime there are not many places where you can get mobile reception at Turon - and that's just the way we like it.
HISTORIC TURON RIVER
The district was occupied by the Wiradjuri people prior to white settlement. The first European in the immediate vicinity was James Blackman who journeyed north from his depot at what is now Wallerawang towards Mudgee in 1821. Blackman's Flats and Blackman's Crown still bear his name.
In 1851, gold was discovered in the Turon River area triggering the western gold rush, and at one stage thousands of miners worked the Turon River.
There were also around 5000 Chinese miners who built the stone wall you see along the mountain side, running parallel to the river – this was used as a water race and maintained an even downhill angle across even the most rugged terrain. The level was obtained using a spoon filled with water!
The Turon River was also the site of clashes between police, tax collectors and miners, mainly due to the injustice of the gold field licensing system and police corruption. The gold rush also accelerated the abolition of convict transportation, sending convicts off to potentially make their fortune did not seem a fitting punishment!
During the Great Depression, refugees escaping high city rents and unemployment built mud huts and camped along the Turon River.
‘Turon Gates’ first took it’s current form in 1973 when Soren & Sonya Lunoe purchased the uncleared land as a personal getaway. At the time the property was completely undeveloped and in some places the best road was the river!
The first cabin built was part of the current ‘Manager’s Cabin’ in 1974, this was followed by the cabins 1 & 2 in 1976 and then 3 & 4 in 1978. Over the years 5, 6 & 7 were added one by one.
In 1986 the ‘great flood’ moved 2 of the cabins of their foundations! In 1999, 3760 acres of land on the northeast side of the Turon was purchased and developed into ‘Turon Retreats’ (where all the mountain cabins are).
In 2018, glamping tents and a party/conference tent were added.
‘Turon Gates’ is still owned and operated by the Lunoe family.
My thanks for a truly delightful weekend. You are blessed, this is a remarkable part of the world. The concept and design of Turon Gates is an absolute credit to you. My wife and I have travelled extensively yet we don't believe we have seen a place where the pleasures of the outdoors are so well complimented by the comforts of home. Congratulations!
A & M B
Thanks for having us, we had a fantastic time, didn't want to leave. This sure is beautiful land you have here, we went on a
4 .5 hour bushwalk up the river and just loved it. We'll be telling all our friends and family what a great spot and we'll definitely be back.
K & P
Thanks for the wonderful stay, the dogs have loved it, we know they are sad to go by the looks on their faces! Its been so beautiful here by the river we can't wait to come back.
L, J & Kelly and Dusty (the dogs!)