Kallara Station

After a long day travelling on the track we were going to pull in at the side of road as we often do but we came across a wooden painted sign that said ‘Kallara Station – Coolibah Lodge exclusive and romantic setting. Lodges and powered camping sites on the Darling River. We had one of those African Queen moments and envisaged sitting on a verandah with a cold beer, camping by the river with spotless facilities. We followed the road for several miles and and as we approached the station we passed scrap cars and rusty tractors from years gone by. Working cattle dogs were chained up and barking. There were huge water towers and communication ariels and portacabins for the station workers. A couple of light aircraft stood idle. We checked in and camped on a patch of bare ground by a very murky river. The camp kitchen and toilets were grim and a station worker came over to tell us about a dangerous brown snake that lived in the bushes by the toilets. He said that if it walked past us towards the river we should just stand still and it wouldn’t take any notice of us. We forgot to ask what to do if it was walking the other way! (For more information google ‘brown snake’).

We’ve been in these situation before and sometimes what you think will be your best night turns out to be your worst and vice versa. A couple of good gin and tonics usually puts things right. It was a lovely evening and we cooked chicken in garlic and tarragon whilst watching an echidna (large hedgehog) walk by. Later over coffee and brandy (you have to keep your standards up even in the outback) we were saying how often we visit places and comment on how we wish we had seen them before they became so ‘touristy’ and we were sure if we came back to Kallara Station in 50 years time it would probably have all the latest amenities i.e piped music in the toilets and would be selling overpriced honey and artworks. We really enjoyed our stay at Kallara Station and we’reso glad we’ve seen it as it is now – a large working station of over 500,000 acres – just don’t book it for your honeymoon at the moment.

In the morning as the station came to life we watched as one of the light aircraft took off and various tractors and trucks sped off to do their days work. We chatted to a couple of the station workers. People who work on these remote stations are certainly a different breed but we envy them them their simple outback lifestyle.

We never did see the brown snake.

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