Jacaranda Trees line the streets of Grafton, NSW


Saturday, August 18, 2018

EXPLORING LONGREACH

A few weeks ago we went on a tour of Longreach and Winton in the outback of Queensland. After checking out the little township the next day we went by coach to visit  Strathmore Station (ranch) where we had morning tea and then we went to the 'Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame" where we had lunch.
There has been a drought in Western Queensland for seven years. The country is looking bleak. There is no food for the cattle and sheep. Farmers have had to destock and diversify. They are doing it tough, no money coming in but still bills to pay. Farmers are the salt of the earth. They are getting some help from the government, volunteers and donations from city people.

 At Strathmore Station we were given a talk and tour from Maree the owner. She explained how they have had to let all their employees go and she and her husband are doing all the work themselves except in school holidays when their children come home from boarding school and university and help with the big jobs.
 This type of pastureland is called self mulching because when the rain finally comes it washes all the seeds and vegetation into the cracks and then they close up. With the next lot of rain the seeds grow but that is not happening now.

 So some farmers are trying to earn extra by encouraging tourism. After our tour and talk we were given a delicious home cooked morning tea in the beautiful homestead.

 The grain silos could be empty unless they have bought in extra feed for the cattle.

 The cattle yards are empty at the moment. Strathmore is famous for its Santa Gertrudis breed. Some farmers have other stations in southern states where there is more rain and they transport their stock there. 
 After morning tea we were taken to the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame where we took in a show and had lunch. This stockman told us the history of the stockmen and what their jobs entailed. He was a comedian too and did a lot of tricks with his well trained horse.
 He demonstrated how the working dogs rounded up the sheep.

 Then we went into the main museum building.

 It is big and beautiful inside, with loads of interesting out back history to learn about including the stories of famous stockmen and pioneers.

 Inside a pioneer hut.

We stopped in the cafe for coffee where there was this statue of a shearer. Then it was back to the motel for a brief rest before we were taken to another station for wine and nibbles while watching the sunset.

15 comments:

  1. A farmer's life is very hard especially when the weather does not cooperate. I can't imagine two people having to do all the work that they used to have staff help with but they don't have much choice do they. I hope they have the strength and that things will improve for them.

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  2. Oh, Diane, that drought is so heartbreaking, isn't it? My heart aches for those farmers. I'm glad your visitor dollars helped a few of them get by. I so wish all the rain we are having could be more evenly distributed.

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  3. Climate change may bring even longer droughts as it brings tragic floods. I feel so sorry for that hard-working family and wonder at the increased cost of food for all down the road. This is a lovely land even in its harshness.

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  4. The weather right across the world continues to become more extreme and people are suffering. I used to follow a blog from an outback farm and it was eye-opening but then the lady stopped writing it.

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  5. Hello, the drought is awful. We had the opposite here too much rain. I feel sorry for the farmers and the farm animals. The museum looks wonderful.I would enjoy the show the stockman put on. Great post. Have a happy day!

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  6. my back is hurting just looking at that bed in the pioneer hut. owie... I would love the man with the horse doing tricks and the dog and sheep show... the cracked land is heartbreaking. 7 years is really long for drought. so very sad....

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  7. Farmers work so hard anyway but it must be heartbreaking for them at the moment. I really hope the tourist visits take off to help them through these dreadful times. Looks like it was an eye opening visit Diane ✨

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  8. I love working dogs they are just so clever. Interesting outing. The weather is really odd the whole world over. Take care t'other Diane

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  9. This drought is heart breaking for anyone who loves the land.
    Thankfully in my area the Erina Fair huge shopping centre and the various
    shops are having drought relief promotions. A wonderful gesture and so well
    supported.
    Great report Diane
    Colin

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  10. I remember our trip out that way, it was great. It is good the station has been able to attract some tourists, the double advantage of a little bit of income and getting the word out to us city types.

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  11. A very nice modern museum building. Sad to hear about the draught there. It is a real problem in more parts of the world. Frightening prospects...

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  12. The drought is very sad for the farmers and the cattle. In the meantime in Western Australia we've had more rain than usual. It's good some stations are turning to tourism for some extra money, a great idea.
    Love those statues, the one in front of the museum and the shearer.

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  13. There's a lot of Aussie to see and I'm glad you got to see another part of it! Great photos and it sounds like you had a wonderful time!

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  14. Seven years of drought is unimaginable almost. Farmers and farm families have a tough enough job without that. It is interesting to see how ranchers in the Outback are coping with these problems.

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  15. What a fabulous museum. I;ve watched sheep shearing and it is truly an art when it is done by an expert.

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