The Moranghurk Weekend is an event that is held by ASOG approximately 3 times a year, usually coinciding with a new moon or when the Moon is not going to ruin the view of the night sky. The location is just out of Lethbridge (located between Geelong and Ballarat) well away from light pollution. So you are guaranteed to get a very clear and clean view of the sky (as long as the weather is good to you).
The Moranghurk Weekend comprises of 2-3 days of staying at accommodation in the Shearers cottages located on the property of Moranghurk, please bring your own bedding, food, beverages and your astronomy gear. Cost is around $30 per night per person. A kitchen, lounge with an open fire and amenities are all located within the building and close proximity.
Originally called Morangourke the name is believed to be derived from the Aboriginal word “Murrangurk”, the name of a native that was bestowed on the English convict William Buckley who escaped captivity and lived with the Wathaurong people for many years. Legend has it that Buckley was found by the Wathaurong people carrying a piece of broken spear that had been placed on the grave of Murrangurk. Thus Buckley was identified with Murrangurk and, as “one returned from the grave” received his name. Moranghurk is understood to have several meanings, two of which are ‘stone axe handle’ and ‘reincarnated warrior’.
In the early years.
The property went through a quick succession of owners until it was acquired by John Matheson Snr in 1857. The Matheson family, through John Snr, his son John Jnr, his son John Lee and John Lee’s brother, Norman, retained ownership until 1954.
The present homestead, which dates back to 1845-46, is a rare example of an early Australian Colonial style home. It is built around a central axis with hand-sawn timber slabs fixed vertically over the frame. The original roof was shingles fixed on rough bush pole rafters.
In 1847 Moranghurk comprised more than 18,000 acres (7200 hectares) and in the 1850's 26,000 acres (10,400 hectares).