Preserving Lara's heritage - Pirra Homestead

Published: 30/05/2018

Bisinella Developments’ iconic Pirra Homestead has proudly been restored and preserved by the family-run company – for the local community.

Built between 1880 and 1882, the homestead, which is near Serendip Sanctuary, has played a significant role in the history of the Geelong community for more than 150 years.

The home of popular annual community events Lara Food & Wine Festival, Lara Fun Run/Walk and the Lara Carols, Pirra Homestead has a rich and colourful past. 

At the turn of the century it was the place to be with regular parties held on the grounds where rich pastoralists rubbed shoulders with Lara locals.

Over the years it was transformed a number of times including being used as a shirt factory, a girls’ home and later a rehab centre for alcoholics.

Pirra’s most famous resident in this period was John Curtin, who would recover to go on to be Prime Minister of Australia and lead the country through the dark years of World War II.

In 2006 Pirra Homestead was bought by Bisinella’s Managing Director Lino Bisinella who planned to restore the mansion back to its original glory so it could be enjoyed once again by the community.

After more than six years of painstaking restoration and renovation, at a cost to Lino of more than $2 million, the property was meticulously restored back to its former elegance.

These days the “old lady” has once again regained her place as Lara’s elegant hostess.  This picturesque property with its spectacular views across the western plains to the You Yangs mountain range, has again made a name for itself as a popular hospitality venue, with Bisinella donating use of the extensive grounds and facilities each year so thousands of people can enjoy community events including the popular Lara Food & Wine Festival.

Bisinella’s Pirra Homestead – home of Lara’s top community events

Lara Food & Wine Festival
The annual festival attracts thousands of food and wine enthusiasts to Pirra Homestead each March, to sample some of the region’s finest food and wine. Pirra Homestead has played host each year to the Lara Food and Wine Festival since its inception in 2009. The event attracts more than 10,000 each year to the idyllic property.
Details: www.larafoodandwinefestival.com.au

Lara Fun Run/Walk
The Lara Fun Run / Walk is a family focused event held each year which starts and finishes at the beautifully renovated Pirra Mansion. The course takes participants through Serendip Sanctuary amongst a spectacular bush setting and plenty of wildlife. The community event raises funds for local not-for-profit organisations. This year’s Lara Fun Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, October 28, 2018.
Details: www.pbevents.com.au/event-calendar/lara-fun-run-walk/

Lara Carols
Since 2013, the Lara Carols have been held on the grounds of Bisinella’s iconic Pirra Homestead. The free event has been running for more than 10 years and is a popular event on the community calendar each Christmas.