established in 1975


1909 - 1972 - Gams Mill

Before the thought of making Carawirry what it is today, it started as a timber mill. The property was originally part of the Gams estate, which established the Gams Sawmill in 1909. Owned and operated by John Samuel Gam, this mill supplied the piles for the construction of the BHP steelworks in Newcastle. John Gam died in a wagon accident in 1922 and his son inherited the mill, which he continued to operate up until 1972, when the mill was purchased by A.S Nicholas & Son (a competing mill) and dismantled not long after.



1975 - 2017 - John & Vicki Lloyd,

Carawirry Cabins & Wildlife Refuge

Carawirry Cabins & Wildlife Refuge was the brain child and lifes work of John & Vicki Lloyd. 

John & Vicki were dedicated to the restoration and improvement of Carawirry's natural habitat, which was in need of care after having been selectively logged for the previous 80 years. While the property retained a general forest structure, it's previous harvest regimes were evident.

The Lloyds initial concept was to develop a nature based approach to land management. This approach was refined with time, and today we are reaping the benefits of decades of John & Vicki's hard work and dedication.

After building a family home, their first major project was to establish a small scale nature based tourism accomodation facility. Then operating as Carawirry Cabins & Wildlife Refuge, the concept was to provide the 'traditional' holiday linking persons, groups and particularly families with the Australian bush.

Over 8km of waliking trails, including an aboretum have been established based mainly on 'snig' trails from the previous logging practices. This together with the log cabins located in individual bush settings gave guests a real sense of connecting with nature.

John & Vicki's Carawirry Cabins was the first development of it's kind to be established in the Dungog Shire. Vicki is recognised as a leader in ecological expertise in this area.


2017 - Present - John & Heather Watkins

Carawirry Forest Escape

In mid 2017 the property was sold to John & Heather Watkins.

John & Heather have re branded the property as Carawirry Forest Escape to meet the changing market. They intend to continue John & Vicki's work in ensuring this spectacular parcel of Australian bush remains cared for and available for the public to experience and enjoy for many years to come.