1 Weakleys Drive, Thornton
Traditionally, for nearly 60 years, Mortels business was manufacturing and retail. In 2015, from a purpose built facility, Mortels introduced tourism and hospitality to their business model with the introduction of their museum, fully guided tours from a raised viewing platform and a cafe that serves restaurant quality meals by their award winning chef. Nowhere else in the sheepskin or UGG boot industry is a total experience across 4 industries combined under the one roof.
Frank Mortel (master shoe craftsman) and wife Rita emigrated from the Netherlands in 1956 bringing with them the trade of shoe crafting, a trade that was passed down through the Mortel family for over 150 years. Mortels Shoes commenced in Sydney that year and in 1958 they commenced making UGG boots to add to their range of quality footwear.
Since 1958 the Mortel family has established a name and reputation solidly built on expertise and experience. The Mortel family relocated the footwear factory from Sydney to the Hunter Region in 1978. From a shed in Lochinvar, the family continued developing their range of sheepskin products and growing their brand. Today, the same skills and dedication are exercised by the Mortel family in the manufacture of an exciting range of premium quality sheepskin products.
In 2015, Mortels Sheepskin Factory manufacturing and retail base has expanded to offer a unique, interactive and culturally significant visitor experience for the growing number of domestic and international tourists to the beautiful Hunter Region of New South Wales.
From their purpose built Australiana shearing shed style premises, fully guided tours are conducted through the factory on a raised viewing platform where visitors can experience the sights and sounds of a fully operational manufacturing plant. Visitors watch and learn about the making of Mortels UGG boots, from the raw materials used through to the finished product. The tour finishes in store where the very product they have watched being made can be purchased giving visitors greater shopping enjoyment.
In addition to the tour, visitors can enjoy coffee and meals from the Café and Gift Gallery @ Mortels, and visit The Sheep’s Back Museum @ Mortels to enjoy the history of the UGG boot and culturally significant stories through the history of sheepskin manufacturing and raising of wool throughout Australia.
Mortels Sheepskin Factory are proud to be the home of The Big Ugg Boots - the biggest UGG Boots in the world. Australia’s iconic UGGs are now a significant landmark that offers a prime photo opportunity!
Mortels Sheepskin Factory is the oldest continuously operation sheepskin factory in the world.
At Mortels, visitors can take a fully guided tour conducted by a member of the Mortel family for a truly personally and friendly insight into the manufacturing process. Visitors are immersed in the sights, smells and sounds of a fully operational UGG boot factory. The tour is interactive and informative and currently available in English and Mandarin.
Resembling a traditional shearing shed, The Sheep’s Back Museum offers a unique, interactive visitor experience. Visitors get a rich insight into the history of the sheepskin industry and Mortels 60 years of business. Translation of content is at your fingertips; Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese on the many touchscreens throughout the on-site museum.
Customers love that the majority of products sold in the store are made on the premises. Mortels range of sheepskin products is extensive and they also stock Australian country clothing and products.
The perfect place to unwind after tour and shopping is to sit and relax in Mortels comfortable cafe where visitors will not only enjoy a great coffee and lunch but can also browse through their locally selected artwork and beautiful range of giftware.
A visit to Mortels Sheepskin Factory Thornton would not be complete without a selfie with Australia's newest big thing ... The Big UGG Boots.
All in all, a comprehensive visitor experience all under the one roof and conveniently located at the intersection roads of 3 major arterial roads of the Hunter.
OPENING HOURS: Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm, Saturday 9:00am - 2:00pm, Sunday 10:00am - 2:00pm