When the bosses are away we go to Hamilton Downs homestead & attend to the watering of the various plants & gardens. Hamilton Downs was the original place that we were supposed to be based at but plans changed just before we arrived, so we ended up at Amburla Station (which we are very happy about). Our bosses (Tony & Pam Davis) live in a cottage at Hamilton Downs when here, the manager lives in the main house & his worker lives in outside quarters – there are numerous sheds & buildings around with lotz of ‘stuff’. There is an old building which was the original hometead here, it now houses old saddle pads & harness yolks with some odds & ends. There are many old artefacts here at Hamilton which they are starting to try & preserve.
We have had Margaret (Peter’s Mum) & Mary (one of Peter’s sisters) visit for a week, it has been awesome. Everyday we have been going out driving around Hamilton Downs, Amburla & Milton Park & still have NOT managed to see it all, but having a very enjoyable time, its wonderful to have family visit us.
We decided to walk up this hill at Milton Park, it is a Telstra communication tower, it has an elvation 750mts & 1klm from bottom to top – so it gave us a good cardio workout. The track was a bit rough in places & I don’t think any telstra people have driven up there for a while.
The view on the way up was great & improved the higher up we got, we could just see where the Amburla homestead was (approx 16klms).
Once we were at the top – WOW! the views in every direction were amazing, the landscape just keeps going & going & going. Since our 1st walk, we have repeated the experience & have decided to walk up the hill twice a week – good for our heart………..:-)
While driving around the other day we found the new lot of bullocks & steers that arrived from Sandover Highway station, they weren’t the friendliest but seem to be settling in. We saw some camels, about 9 of them, they weren’t real friendly either but you get that.
Since the stations have begun to be restocked with cattle we have been doing some more drives around the Amburla station & the outstation, Milton Park. WOW! the scenery is amazing & its a lotz fun. Its great to see some moo’s grazing while checking fence lines & keeping an eye on the water troughs at the bores (this isn’t really one of our job duties but Peter enjoys it & the manager appreciates Peters input), we really have fun doing it & I also get to play with the camera.
We spend quite a few hours driving around the stations & are continuing to discover new places all the time, the Hays Ranges are the boundaries between Hamilton Downs & Amburla station which does include Milton Park ,the West MacDonald Ranges are the southern boundaries for Hamilton Downs.
WOW! We have been here over 2 months already, time is flying.
We often go for drives around the station, checking fence lines, water troughs etc, you can drive for miles & miles, sometimes coming to a gate, not seeing many cattle, even less kangaroos & so far I have only seen 1 camel – but we have seen heaps of camel tracks.
It is really quite beautiful driving around the station & very interesting, there are more cattle ariving from the Sandover Pastoral Comp (the daughter of our boss, her & her husband are taking over Hamilton Downs & Amburla so they gradually restocking). We have had quite a few chilly starts to the day although no ice on the ground around the house at Amburla, Hamilton Downs has had their share of frosts so far & I heard in Alice Springs town have also had their fair share. The majority of the days have been really lovely, only had a couple of cloudy windy days which are enjoyed more from the inside of the house with the fireplace going.
Irrigation washouts, poly pipe splitting probably from old age & various other leaks happening – repair of these is a common & popular job to be undertaken – Peter loves these jobs…… Watering the grass & gardens is a regular job also but quite enjoyable. Since the cattle have starting to arrive at the station Peter has been busy checking waters & fence lines – he is really enjoying this.
We assisted the manager & his worker with one mob in branding & tagging of any cattle/weiners that required it, it was very dusty but quite enjoyable. Took lotz of pics.
Life at the station is rather nice, we are kept reasonabley busy especially now as the bosses have gone back to Darwin & we have to water & maintain 3 homesteads. The calcium content in the bore water is quite high so we have some interesting moments with the irrigation…..hahaha. We had a few roadtrains arriving with heifers & will be getting some more in the next few weeks, they are coming from a station on the Plenty Highway (NT)& also Barcaldine (QLD). Peter is enjoying driving around the boundaries checking the fences & keeping an eye on the bores.
The new manager of Hamilton Downs has quite a few working dogs, working horses & uses them with the cattle. The birdlife at the bores is plentiful mainly finches & budgies.
It has been getting quite cool but the inside fire in the house is awesome.
Our home for the next few months- Amburla is 1 of 2 stations owned by Tony & Pam Davis, Hamilton Downs shares boundries with Amburla, Milton Park is an outstation of Amburla, Hamilton Downs is the only station currently with stock. Due to the lack of rainfall over the last few years there was no grass so no stock. There are 3 homesteads, 1 at Hamilton which now has managers running it & is currently being restocked (also the Davis’s have a cottage there & live there when not in Darwin), 1 at Milton Park which is undergoing renovations in July & Amburla, a 4 bedroom, rather large house that we live in. There is an abundance of bore water available & its very good. Our duties include watering the gardens, grass & trees, also the repair of any leaks in water pipes which there has been a few already, house & yard maintenence here at Amburla & also at the outstation Milton Park.
Peter & I went for a drive & found a few bores, the budgies, doves & zebra finches were in abundance at these waterholes.
Spent a night at Cardwell with great mates Mandy & Raymond, while there, the Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative ceremony took place, every year on the 1st Sunday of May they march down Coral Sea Drive followed by a ceremony at the Memorial Park. It was wonderful to watch, people living along this road hang Australians flags in their front yard & off their balconies.
Camped up at Porcupine Gorge National Park for the night (you have to book online these days to stay the night at NP – but well worth it). We had a great camp, went for a walk down into the gorge & had a quick paddle, once your shoulders were under it was lovely…..
Next day drove through Mt.Isa although we did stop for some supplies, we camped up about 60klms east of Camooweal for the night, crossed the QLD/NT border next morning & called into Avon Downs rest stop & made some breakfast – very yum. The flowering lemon scented gums lined the Barkly & Stuart Highways – they were beautiful, we stayed at the Devils Marbles Hotel with more great mates, Sonja & Barry from Tasmania, we were very luck to catch up with them & enjoyed a lovely dinner & lotx of chatting.
The next day was our last day of travelling for a while, we actually had a few showers of rain which managed to settle the dust, we turned down the Tanami Highway (20klms north of Alice Springs) to Amburla Station – our home for the next……….months.
After arriving in Cairns from Lockhart River (Cape York Peninsula), we stayed at a caravan park for a few days, there was quite a few of these beautiful yellow flowering trees giving a great show throughout the park & the city.
We took our boat down to Peter’s nephews near Mission Beach, he has a beautifil property with lotz of flowering trees & shrubs – thankx Ash & Ben. We also stayed at Mirriwini again with Julie & Danny (cousins) always a fun time playing cards – thankx guys. Back to Cairns to Peter & Paulines at Machans Beach – a beautiful spot with great friends – thankx Peter & Pauline. Pauline & I did an early morning walk along the esplanade – wow! very nice.
Flew to Brisbane, caught up with family & friends briefly & attended my brotherinlaws funeral. The sunrise & cloud formation from the plane was lovely.
Had a wonderful walk & picnic lunch at O’Reillys – Lamington National Park with Amy & family, Catherine & family – thankx guys for a lovely day.
I went down to Parklands on the Gold Coast with Jenna, Mike & Harry for a few hours – a great family outing, so many paths & playgrounds & the Sea hibiscus for blooming everywhere.
The Palm cockies have been hanging around for the last few months, obviously nesting nearby, they are a beautiful bird but a little camera shy……..haha
WOW! We are finally leaving Lockhart River, as long as we get across the Pascoe River, today Saturday 27th March will be our best chance as they are predicting more rain & the river levels will rise again, they have been going up & down but 3 of the locals got through yesterday afternoon & the river did not rise over night.
Yea – we made it, but it was quite hairy, wouldn’t like to have to repeat that experience. There was lotz of water crossings & major washouts in places but we just went along nice & steady. The Wenlock River was running quite fast but not as deep as the Pascoe & not as wide. Once we got to the Peninsula Development Rd (PRD) & crossed over the Archer River, the hardest part was over, but the road was washed out in many places & lotz more water crossings – but we just toddled along. It was quite lovely, gave us lotz of time to smell the roses along the way. We camped overnite ‘somewhere’ between Coen & Musgrove Station – it was a nice spot, 4 small ponds, gravel base & plenty of fire wood – our biggest problem being it started to rain & didn’t stop, hahah. Breakfast was awesome.
We finally got to Cairns, Sunday night in the pouring rain.