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Station Photos
 
Click on the region to the left to view the station photos for that area.

Auvergne Station, NT

At each cattle station stopover one of the first things we do after we’ve opened the display doors of the Supa-Float, is put out the current and previous two years’ station photo albums. Consistently, people gather, like “bees around a honey pot”. We hear giggles, raucous laughter, comments (positive and negative), and lots of animated conversation as visual connections are made from all over the Outback.

In 2001 we began to take photos of groups of people at the cattle stations we visited. It’s been a rewarding and valuable exercise, and with thirteen years’ worth of photos on file, thousands of people, at hundreds of cattle stations, are now part of an historical record.

 
Just one more shot...the last one's always the best!
 
It seemed like a good idea in 2001! We remain convinced it's a good idea - in fact one of our best, in spite of the difficulties and challenges involved.
 
2001 is relatively recent history, but as people look through the earlier folders, the value of those photographic records is evident. At the time of a photo shoot, the moment may seem insignificant and ordinary; the importance of a photo is often not realised until much later.
 
Young fresh faced ringers are now Head Stockmen and Managers, and sweethearts of earlier days are now ‘old married couples', posing proudly with their children; the next generation. As people search through the current photos, and the albums of previous years, there's often teasing and sky larking, and occasional comments we're bound to keep to ourselves! However, there's always keen interest to see “who's where” across the Outback.

Group photo at Soudan Station, Barkly Tableland, NT

In the years since 2001, with rapidly improving technology, the quality of our photos has improved. A printer has enabled us to complete the photos while we're at each station, and it's satisfying to give a copy to everyone involved.
 
Sometimes when its difficult to get people together, or when there are numbers of reluctant participants, and when there are those whose main aim seems to be to make the photo unsuitable for public viewing(!), we seriously wonder what we're doing! However, positives far outweigh negatives, and we're determined to keep it going, in spite of our amateur photographer status. The photos are a great help to us as we arrive at stations, as they're useful reminders of names and faces. Of course, people move from one part of the country to another, and transfer within companies, so we admit to some forgetfulness and  confusion. We've come to regard the photos as a valuable part of our travels, and are assured, from many positive comments over the years, that they are valued and appreciated. All the photos can be viewed and copied from our website for personal use.
 
So, for the foreseeable future, wherever and whenever we meet with a group of 2 or 3, or 53 people, be prepared for our question, “Do you think we can get everyone together for a photo?”
 

A geographical look at Australia's Cattle Stations

Although Australia's cattle stations cover a vast geographical area, the number of people are relatively few.  Station people often know each other, if not personally, by reputation, keeping in contact through rodeos, campdrafts, other social occasions and over the bush telegraph
.  Major pastoral companies own stations all over northern Australia and station staff often transfer between stations.  Consequently there is a sense of community across the regions.  The Outback of Australia is a vast country but a small community of people.
The main geographical areas in which Australia's large cattle stations are located:
  • The Channel Country of south west Queensland
  • North Queensland and the Gulf Country
  • The Northern Territory
  • The Kimberley Region of Western Australia
  • There are also many Travelling Drovers and Contractors.


     

    THE CHANNEL COUNTRY
    OF SOUTH WEST QLD
     
    The Channel Country of south west Queensland is made up of large areas of stony and sandhill country, with channels and lakes in which, when the rivers flow, water spreads out for many kilometres and provides for the lush growth of the Lignum plant and other cattle feed.
     
    The Channel Country is often referred to as sweet country and is referred to as sweet country and is a popular destination for cattle which are brought by drovers and road trains from northern cattle stations. Because of Australia's irregular weather patterns, the rivers may not always flow, and cattle stations may have to be destocked, sometimes for years at a time.
     
     
     
     
     
    Channel Country, SW Qld
     
     

     
    NORTH QUEENSLAND AND THE GULF COUNTRY
     
    This is generally a fairly reliable rainfall area, being more coastal. There is some quite rough terrain, and when rivers are running the cattle stations can be cut off from service facilities for weeks at a time. Goods and services are flown in and provided by plane or helicopter.
     
    Gulf Country, Qld


    THE NORTHERN TERRITORY  
     
    The Northern Territory can be divided into three main cattle breeding areas:
     
     
     
    The Barkly Tableland which consists of vast flat and open grasslands with occasional timbered areas. A female ringer once mentioned to us that if a girl wanted a bit of privacy while out mustering she needed to have trained her horse to lie down.
     

    Barkly Tableland, NT 

     
     
    The Victoria River Area is one of Lyle's favorite places - home of Humbert River Station where he worked in the 1960's. It is beautiful country with rivers, mountain ranges and gorges.


    The Alice Springs Area is associated with the famous Uluru (Ayer's Rock). Cattle stations in this area are mostly family owned and run. 
     

    Victoria River Area, NT

         
     
     
     
     
    THE KIMBERLEY REGION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
     
    This is a unique area in which are found rivers, mountain ranges (home of Purnululu, Bungle Bungle National Park), deep gorges and fascinating rock formations. To the south the ranges give way to desert areas.
     
    Boab Tree, Kimberley Region, WA