What is significant?
The Nigretta Falls Reserve is about 12.5kms north-west of Hamilton at the site of the former Nigretta Homestead overlooking the Wannon river. The total area now reserved is about 8 hectares and comprises some regenerated bushland, exotic trees and recreational facilities. The Nigretta run was typical for its sequence of ownership and the connections of its owners. The cottage, possibly built as early as 1848, was sited picturesquely. It fall into ruin by the 1930s is now gone. The older exotics survive from the original garden. The Wannon and Nigretta (or Upper Wannon) Falls have been the consistent subject of significant art including works by some of Australia's most celebrated colonial artists, such as Nicholas Chevalier, Eugen von Guerard, Louis Buvelot, S. T. Gill and Thomas Clark. From the earliest times, tourists would stay at nearby Redruth and visit both falls. The Nigretta Falls Reserve was gazetted in 1912. It has been managed jointly with the Wannon Falls Reserve under a committee of management. The Reserve has been developed over the years, with changes reflecting different values and fashions. A grove of Golden ash trees continues the Picturesque tradition. In the later twentieth century, there has been an emphasis on native plantings. Most recently, the facilities have been modernised with a contemporary concern for environmental values. The Reserve is substantially intact and in good condition.
How is it significant?
The Nigretta Falls Reserve is of historical, social and aesthetic significance to the Southern Grampians Shire.
Why is it significant?
The Nigretta Falls Reserve is of historical significance as the site of the former Nigretta Homestead and as an early beauty spot and tourist destination established in the Western District. It is of social significance as a recreation reserve. It is of aesthetic significance for its long association with Picturesque sensibility, the dominant aesthetic in colonial Victoria, which continued well into the twentieth century. It is the subject of much significant art. The Nigretta Falls Reserve is of significance as a comparative pair with the nearby Wannon Falls Reserve.