Kirrikee is a 44 hectare property located in the town of Penrose in the beautiful Southern Highlands, NSW. The property is owned and run by St Andrew’s Cathedral School, Sydney as a fully functioning, purpose-built outdoor education centre. The property also operates as a farm, with cattle grazing occasionally in the top paddocks.The property is a combination of rolling, cleared grazing country, bushland and wetlands and is bordered to the north by Paddy’s River. The property offers a bush style retreat away from the chaos of city living. Specific attention has been paid to ensure that the property maintains it’s rural, bush feel while still offering comfortable accommodation, perfect for a retreat away from the city.
Kirrikee was purchased by St Andrew’s Cathedral School, Sydney in 1984 with the intention of creating an outdoor education centre for the students of the school. The site was named Kirrikee – meaning ‘Whistling Kite’ in the local Aboriginal language – after Australia’s second largest bird of prey, found in the Southern Highlands. In 1987, the first buildings were established on the site, starting with the original kitchen and toilet block. Students and visitors would sleep in tents which they would pitch themselves.
In 1991 the staff accommodation block was built along with a common area and an updated toilet block. Later, the kitchen was rebuilt to an industrial standard and became the heart of the buildings at the bottom of the site. Over the years other buildings and dwellings were built on the site, and now a full-time caretaker and his family have their residence at the top of the site, and take care of the management of the property.
From the late 1980s the site has been open to outside groups and bookings, with programs still largely being run by St Andrew’s staff. In the late 2000s the property got its most recent face lift with the completion of several building projects including a beautiful outdoor chapel and permanent tent villages. It has since that time been offered as a rental centre for groups, families, churches and organisations to hire, as well as continuing to be used as an outdoor education centre for both the school and outside schools.
Need instructions on getting here? See our Location & Directions page for maps and driving directions.