The Old Eucalyptus Distillery
The Eucalyptus Distillery is a new addition to Cooinda Reserve, donated by GR Davis PTY LTD in 2021. The Davis family has farmed and cultivated Blue Mallee Eucalyptus Oil in West Wyalong since 1964.
Eucalyptus Polybractea or Blue Mallee grows in 2 distinct areas. One is near Bendigo in Victoria. The other consists of extensive stands around the West Wyalong region. Oil from the Blue Mallee has been produced in the West Wyalong district since the early 1900’s. The First botanical specimen of Blue Mallee from West Wyalong was received and distilled in the Museum of Applied Arts in 1900. Commercial production in West Wyalong began in 1907 by the firm Gillard Gordon.
Eucalyptus oil can be produced from many eucalypts, however oil from the Blue Mallee has the richest commercial source of cineol in the world, with very high levels of up to 91%. This eucalypt is the most commonly planted tree in Australia as part of carbon offset programs. Primarily, because it is native to Australia, it can grow effectively in drought conditions and can store a great deal of carbon quickly.
Sadly, a lot of Mallee woodland countryside was cleared to make way for wheat, barley and sheep. Initially done with bullock teams, tractors were later used to tow large chains (tractor ripping) which rapidly cleared the land. As a result of this clearing process, soil erosion became an issue.
Learn more about the Blue Mallee of West Wyalong here(PDF, 2MB)