Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Quintessential Aussie Experience

The Queensland branch of my family own cattle stations in the western Top End of Far North Queensland, huge land-holdings that require equally huge amounts of work, guts, dedication & sacrifice to work them. My 2 half-brothers Scott & Peter work hours on their properties that would send any other mortal into meltdown - they are absolute stars. Just like the incredible Wrotham Park Lodge.

Part of the very stylish Voyages Resort Group, Wrotham Park is a working station (ranch) running approx. 70,000 mainly Brahman cattle on nearly 600,00 hectares (2.3 million square miles). It's situated 300 km. west inland of Cairns on the Chillagoe Road & the station has three major river systems - the Lynd, Mitchell and Walsh Rivers on Cape York Peninsula - which run through the entire property.

Catering for no more than 20 guests at any one time, there are 10 superbly appointed guest Quarters and an equally stunning communal lounge and dining facility called The Homestead. All are sited along a magnificent high escarpment, overlooking the Mitchell River.

Each of the Guest Quarters has a large deck with shady verandah complete with day bed & large traditional Squatters chairs for relaxing & enjoying the spectacular outback views.

There are heaps of activities but first on my list would be mustering.

This is done mid-year before the onset of the Wet season & guests can join in the experience either on horseback or from the luxury of a helicopter following the mob.

Then a half- day tour of the property which takes in Mouth Organ Cattle Yards to see the inner workings of a cattle property, then up to Whip Handle Ridge for morning tea & onto The Old Telegraph Station, Gamboola Station and The Lagoon before returning to The Homestead for lunch.

A day of heli fishing sounds great.

The Helicopter will fly you & a large picnic hamper out to a special fishing area.

Be surrounded by beautiful waterholes and rock escarpments along the Mitchell and Walsh Rivers where Barramundi, Black Bream, Sleepy Cod, Archer Fish and Cat Fish are plentiful.

At the end of the day, a quick dip in the pool is a must, & then pre-dinner drinks & canapes at sunset in the guest lounge & bar area at The Homestead.

You can either join the other guests at the large dining table for dinner.

Or a private table on the deck can be set up for a more romantic experience with the one you love.

Just pack the Moleskins, a sturdy pair of RM's, sunnies, a broad-brimmed hat, sunscreen, swimwear & something to wear to dinner & head out. While I know that this type of vacation isn't for everyone, for those of you who feel the call, have I tempted you?

Images: Wrotham Park


  1. My idea of an outback experience, I'd love to take my camera on a holiday to one of those beautiful resorts.

  2. Oh, what a beautiful place. I would come and visit in a heartbeat if I coudl afford it! You are very lucky. I will keep this post bookmarked just in case I win a lottery!

  3. Certainly makes me homesick for some of that good old Aussie easy going hospitality. Had my daughter's 8th birthday party today and got nostalgic making mini pavs (no whipped cream, my little french kiddies' friends don't like it). Mind you I watched "Australia" the other night and got teary... Tragic ;-) Is that you on the horse??? Ange

  4. What a wonderful country, with spectacular views and sunsets.
    I would be there in a heartbeat if it wasn't so far away......have still got a lot of Europe that I haven't seen yet, Mills.
    You and your family are such hard workers. I am full of admiration of all of you. XXXX

  5. If you only knew how hard I am working to get there. Up hill battle I'm afraid, everyone thinks I'm crazy. One day they will think I'm brilliant. Thank you.

  6. My Father-in-law grew up on a large property up near Innisfail which is still in the family. My Mother-in-law who is Canadian has only visited it once as she hated the dust, noise, smell etc... I think I need to show her this amazing place which might just convince her that the Aussie bush isn't all that bad! How do you find all these places?
    Clare x

  7. My hubby recently spent a week in an aboriginal community 6 hours inland from Broome, doing education research. I think, had he had the above glorious accomodation, he may have extended his stay!

  8. What a wonderful experience that would be, to go and explore the outback. I visited Cairns and Townsville, and that was amazing.
    Thanks for showing us this lovely part of Oz.


  9. I have heard about this fantastic place. Fabulous photo's, I'm interested ... xxx

    ps hats off to your brothers, I know how hard regular farm work is (grew up on a farm) let alone the type of thing they are involved

  10. My darling niece spent a year in Australia and just adored her time there. This post makes me want to visit-Oh so much. Tell MOTH to get that bath finished... you never know when you may have guests pop in...

  11. The colours of the outback are amazing aren't they? I doubt there is anywhere else on earth quite like it. It all sounds too good to be true. Count me in.

  12. Book me in Millie.....but next July please, xv.

  13. Sounds like a wonderful experience Millie! I can only wish!!!

  14. Hey Millie
    Sorry I'm such a stranger lately... we're almost into implementation of our project at work...

    Although... as tired as I am, I'm sure it's not as hard a slog as your brothers on the farm. I guess the upside is the fresh air and raw beauty of the countryside.

    This resort is absolutely gorgeous! Look at those images!!! The contrast of colours, the deep blue against the ombre earth is just amazing. I think I saw an article on this, or similar in a magazine. The weathered escarpment has a surreal lunar landscape look to it..just beautiful!

    Well take Millie, be back soon xx Julie

  15. This looks amazing Millie. My favourite holidays as a child were ones where we stayed in shearers quarters on large sheep properties. This, however, is much more my style now! One day....Meredy xo.

  16. i think i might enjoy that!

    it almost reminds me of texas.



  17. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

    Send Large Teddies


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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