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July 2011 - Trilby Station

Right then, where were we?

We have survived 6 weeks living in the "outback". I think it was legitimate "outback" as it was actually Back of Bourke.
NSW seems to get a bit confused with its Easts and Wests depending on where you are and where your referring to. "Western NSW" seems to start at about Dubbo which is clearly in the East of the state.

Anyway, a few pictures before you doze off:

Kids doing some earthmoving on the levee bank:

Beths Portrait of mum:

View from our front door, dog, work ute, shearers quarters etc:

Now for a short summary of the station. Skip this paragraph if statistics arent of intrest. The bits I cant remember I will make up:
Trilby Station, on the Darling River, between Wilcannia and Bourke. The property is 130,000 acres which is about 15km wide and runs from the river, North West toward Wanaaring.
Trilby was originally part of Dunlop Station, which was around 860,000 acres and was the first station to have fully mechanised shearing (about 1888). Gary and Liz (owners of Trilby) also own a few ajoining stations for a total around 320,000 acres.
They run about 14,000 sheep and can run up to 22,000. A significant part of the business is mustering wild goats. Plenty of these about and quite a large part of the property is set up specifically to contain them once they get in (electric fences and spear gated yards). Around 10 to 14,000 goats are exported each year.
Flooding of the Darling can make the homestead an island and early this year the house was surrounded by water for 3 months. They get about 4 weeks notice of an impending flood which is enough time to get stock and machinery to higher ground.
Most of the property is watered from rain catchment, and there is also a number of bores. There are wells on the property from the 1800's which were hand dug to 500 feet.

Sheep yards near the homestead

We had the plods turn up checking gun licenses and safes:

One local major event was a clearing sale at the Old Dunlop homestead. The house was about 150 years old so had accumulated a bit of stuff in that time. Th Auction attracted quite a big crowd, A few camped at Trilby who were from Echuca and Bendigo:

Every vehicle used on the property was lined up:

This is a speedboat with a V8 Ford motor strapped in the middle:

Boxes and boxes of books and magazines. Wheels magazines from the mid fifties:

And some other titles from the mid seventies:

This Ford ute apparently has factory 4 wheel drive, and only about 400 were made. It went for TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS:

A lot of the other boat anchors also went for rediculous money. Things like broken old Furphy camp ovens went for hundreds of dollars.

Anyway, back to the station, which is where we spent most of our time. In 6 weeks we had one trip out to Bourke (120km away) and one trip to Cobar (a bit further).

The road past the front gate:

This is the old mailbox at the original front gate. Where the white paint starts on the left hand side is where the 1974 flood came up to:

The river floods into a Lagoon which we did a bit of canoeing on:

Gary took posession of a new dog (a Kelpie called Bessie), so we babysat for a while. Kids had a ball with her, and I think mum got a bit attached too:

The main reason for our stay was this lot. A variety bash from Adelaide footy club came though and stayed the night. We helped feed 100 odd people and then clean up after them:

Bit of machinery from the Old Dunlop Farm down the road. This farm grew crops on the river flats in the late 1800's. Most of it was used for stock feed to run all the horses. This part of the station employed about 100 people:

Looking North across the 10,000 acre paddock. This was all under water in 1974:

Tanks and troughs up on the red country:


About 30km north of Trilby is the old New Chum Station homestead. The residents left here in the 60's to move to a new house and basically left this place as is:

Back to the river. A view of the river flats:

Beth and her new best friend:

Evan helping out:

Our camp:

Kids found a local:

The Louth races was also on while we were there. Attracts about 3000 people I think so a big weekend for the town:

The work ute. Bit of a step up from the Triton I had in Portland. This one had a dog and a chainsaw!

Canoeing on the Lagoon again. Makes it look like we had a lot of spare time, which we did, sort of:

Evan at the gate:

Ella fell in the grey water dam:

Armchair at the end of most days:

Looking at this:

So all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and will be looking for more of this sort of thing down the road.

So we have actually moved a bit lately, from the western NSW border and are getting close to the sea again. After Bourke we went to Lightning Ridge and today we are in Narrabri heading toward Glen Innes. Probably head North from there:

Posted by enookway 02:35

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Chook et al,
Sounds like everything is going well. The photos are great. You seem to be having a great experience and it must be great for the kids too.
I am at the other extreme to you. I am currently in Vermont USA where everything is covered in trees, with streams (which i wwould call rivers except the rivers here are 500-600m wide or more) all over the place, there are hills (not really mountains) and it is full of people. Nice for a visit but I think you are probably in the better place (this place is chock a block with people - can't get away from the bastards and you know how well I mix with others!

by Grant Flynn

Shifty bloke holding a dog otherwise excellent

by Black

shifty looking bloke holding a dog otherwise excellent and your mate Flynn gets around

by Black

Hi Ian, I really enjoy looking at you photos, The pup was a hit with your family and I thought you may have ended up with one, So you’re on the move again after 6 weeks on the station, What a great experience for the whole family, It would be hard to get going again after so long in the one spot, Good timing to be able to attend the races and mix with civilisation again. The xy Ford ute was expensive, A collector must have wanted it. The mill here is now 24 x 7 all areas and milling approx 50,000 ton per month.
Hope all the family is well and enjoying the time of your lives. Safe travels, Greg.

by Greg McBain

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