Shene Estate history

Dear friends,

Anne and David here, welcome to our home. Our family has been conserving Shene Estate for over a decade. Shene Estate is the ostentatious country residence of early colonialist Gamaliel Butler. Shene’s colourful past has direct links with King George III, Governor Lachlan Macquarie and World Heritage Sites.

Today, in addition to being home to our family it is also home to the Shene Estate Distillery . The Kernke family privately conserves this historic site and  we are passionate about sharing the story of Shene Estate.

This iconic property has never before been open to the general public. Its buildings and history has been tightly locked away collecting dust with crumbling foundations and a fading spirit.

Since acquiring the property in 2006 our family have been working around the clock to conserve this historic site.  In short we see ourselves as conservers of this landscape.  The Shene Team comprises of myself Anne, husband David, daughters Myfanwy and Ceridwen and beloved westie Gillie (Scottish for gamekeeper).

We are passionate about sharing the stories of Shene’s rich and colourful past. We are throwing open the doors and breathing life once again into Shene’s stone.

We are inspired by the process of alchemy. The never ceasing quest to create something rare and unique from the most humble of ingredients.

Some may say fragments of old Dutch case gin bottles and patterned dining plates found around the site are worthless. We see a story and a chance to meld these pieces into something more.

It is this fixation with alchemy that has seen the birth of Shene Distillery. Our Poltergeist gin and Mackey Whisky spirits are dedicated to Gamaliel Butler and his vision for the country estate. Join us for a tipple on tour. Share in a handcrafted Australian gin whilst wandering through a living museum.

Your visit to Shene plays a vital role in ensuring that this historic site survives.

In fact, as you are reading this we are off distilling, painting, gardening, baking and dreaming of the day when Shene Estate is completely restored and no longer under the threat of being forgotten.

We believe history must be shared and enjoyed in order to survive.

We pride ourselves on being a historic site with modern ideas. We specialise in behind-the-scenes tours, perfect g&t’s and welcome people to our home.

We encourage you to be inspired by this living museum.

So join us on a private tour, drive down our country road and visit our 'Road Side Stall' and share in Shene Estate’s future.



Anne Kernke and the Shene Team.