Amburla Station, NT. #7

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.

The main homestead
Obedient plane – Physostegia virginiana
a mini windmill, missing a few items but still an interesting figure
a quaint water tap
a cute cow
An old well which was used for many years with camels walking around the outside drawing up the water.
days of yesterday…..
old pack bags there were used quite a few ago
Checking out one the dams while out driving.
Margaret & Mary inside the ingoing trap gates which are part of all the yards .
Mum & son…
Lotz of paddy melons around at the moment, cattle don’t eat them.
Some of the new arrivals at Amburla Station.
Mary was an awesome gate opener & shutter.
Heath-leaved banksia, found lotz of these while out driving.
Coffee & crackers – afternoon relaxation.
Ring necked parrots love the bird bath.
Relaxing after dinner.
The early stages of the sun rising.
Full moon ready to disappear in the morning.
Early morning flight path of a plane behind this palm.

Amburla Station. NT. #6

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.

Up, up we go.
Yep, we are on our way.
Not there yet but the vista is awesome.
Nearly there, just around the corner.
Yea, we made it.
WOW! definately w.orth the walk
Heading back down, thats the Tanami Rd in the background.
Back to the ute.
Came across the new bullocks & steers which arrived 2 days ago.
The scenery is beautiful.
Charlie Creek
Driving through Charlie Ck.
Camels…………..
They weren’t real keen to see us, took a runner then stopped for a quick peak before galloping off again.

Amburla Station, NT. #5

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.

Looking out over Hayes Range.

All the bores have a name.

Majority of the bores are solar powered.
Lotz of these fellows around.
A hawks nest at Milton Park.
Taking a ‘selfie’ at Milton Park while the sun is coming up…………haha
Sunrise at Amburla.
Sunset at Amburla.
We haven’t seen a lot of wedgetails but I managed to get a pic of this fellow before he flew.
These girls did a runner then changed their minds……..
There has definately been moo’s on this track.
This fellow gave me one chance then took flight.
This couple wasn’t too worried about us.
This fellow was okay to have his photo taken but his mate took off.

Amburla Station, NT. #4

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.

There is quite a few ducks at the waterholes that are connected to a bore.
There are the remains of quite a few sets of yards around the station.
One of the many work vehicles.
This dam was being constantly filled with bore water as the council was using the water for road repairs.
What a cutie.
Most of the tracks throughout the station are well maintained.
So many galahs too.
Quite a beautiful country side.
There is quite a few cockateils in the area.
The cattle seem to be settling in okay & there are lotz of babies arriving.
Don’t think this old girl will be doing too much…..
The solar setup, generator in the background.
Workshop & shed.
Having an abundance of water allows us to keep the grass nice & green around the homestead.
The orange trees are still providing great snacks.

Amburla Station NT. #3

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.

One of the many blowouts Peter has repaired.
Checking the water level in the tank.
Starting generator for the bore pump.
So many doves & finches at all of the water bores.
Alan the station manager riding one of his ponies & his dogs working the cattle.
Dinner time.
Lotz of ‘stuff’ around the station.
Dot, she is young pup but showing potential.
Ice, she is mainly used for mustering& herding the bulls.
One of the calves, a real cutie.
Peter & Chris (station hand) holding down a weiner to be branded.
Road train unloading another mob of mixed cattle from Sandover Station (Sandover Hwy, NT)
Working dogs in action.

Amburla Station NT. #2

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.

Some of heifers brought to Amburla Station
Dusty, one of the manager’s (Alan) dogs, he is a growing puppy.
Ant nests – big black ants.
Zebra finches enjoying the water near the cattle water troughs.
They are cute…..
Mickey birds have a bath in the bird bath.
There are so many budgies in the dessert.
Magpies at sunset.
The hills not far from us, these are on the inside of the McDonnel ranges.
We have a lot of Pee wees.
Ring necked parrots are in abundance at the moment.
Great mates – Gary & Rae from Bagara came for a visit- Anzac Hill overlooking the Alice Springs township.
We have had a few of these critters too – hopefully no more…..hahaha
Sun rising at Amburla.

Amburla Station, Northern Territory.

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.

Our driveway.
Back entrance of house.
Front of house.
Lotz of fruit on trees.
hibiscus
1 of the leaks Peter has repaired.
So nice to have a fire inside.
Peter checking out the yards at one of the bores.
Lotz of budgies & doves at the bore dams.
Zebra finches everywhere, the thorny Acacia is a great protective bush(weed).
Ptilotus exaltaus – pussy tail/lamb’s tail
Guernsey fleabane
Silverleaf nightshade (toxic to horses)

Our journey towards the Northern Territory.

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.

The Battle of the Coral Sea marchpast.
This critter was munching on a plant of Mandys, quite a pretty fellow.
Yea – we on our way to the NT.
Going over the range from Innisfail to Milla Milla came across this charming waterfall.
Looking back over the range – the fog was amazing.
Great camp (#22) in the National Park – Porcupine Gorge.
A nice 1.2klm walk down hill then returned uphill to camp.
The morning sun.
Not far out of Mt. Isa
Lemon scented gum, so many along the Stuart Highway – full of flowers
Devils Marbles
Cute little place – was originally known as the Wauchope Hotel
Barrow Creek
Just another windmill opposite Barrow Creek….
We are in the NT – Taylors Creek rest stop – luv the windmillls

Cairns then Brisbane

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.

Golden penda
Surinamese stickpea
Hibiscus
Ombu also known as the Umbra tree
False bird of paradise
Parrots beak also known as Parakeet heliconia
Chinese hibiscus/ Rose mallows
Spider lily
Bush clockvine
Walking along Machans Beach as the sun was rising.
Flying Cairns to Brisbane, the dawn colours & clouds were quite specki.
Peter got to meet Georgia – his new granddaughter – what a bundle of joy.
Sister, Lesley got cuddles also from Georgia.
me too.
O’Reilly’s – tree top walk.
Harry, I got to spend a little time with my grandson too.
Parklands on the broadwater at the Gold Coast.
Harry & dad Mike relaxing.
Mum, Jenna & Harry.
Harry with his new haircut 🙂
Lotz of these critters hanging around.
Sea hibiscus.

Lockhart River #15

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.

Palm Cockatoo’s were frequent visitors for the last few months.
Goodbye Iron Range Research Station, Lockhart River.

The mighty Pascoe River
Lotz of water crossings & washouts.
Highland Tamarind – Acacia/wattle family
The grass trees (black boys) are thriving after being burnt out then the rain.
The mighty Wenlock River
Some good washouts to go through.
We are headed to Cairns via Coen.
The Archer River, it was 200mls over the causeway, anything over 400mls is not advisable.
These 2 fellows weren’t bothered about anything.
This particular washout was a lot worse than it looks in this pic.
These 2 weren’t real friendly but quite pretty.
Trying to keep some coals happening so we can have a cup a coffee with our cake – thats dinner for tonight.
Our bed for the night.
Making some toast – thanks to Neil Weier for making our utensil.
Breakfast – yea. 🙂
Common Camas – wild hyacinth – beautiful.
Packed up & on the road again – the sun is shining tooooooo.
Lotz of these critters but not easy to get a pic.
Grevillia’s just starting to flower.
Kennedy River
Kennedy River flood debris.
Severe bitumen damage between Musgrove Station & Laura.