David at Mt Isa.
David sets to mustering cattle.
Your well-earned accommodation at Mt Isa.
Escape from the city and take a farm stay for a taste of outback life - your holiday to the bush!
Mt Isa is one of very few places in the world that has silver, lead, copper and zinc in close proximity. The country's largest underground mine has a daily output of around 35,000 tonnes of ore.
The West Leichhardt Cattle Station is 30 minutes north-east of Mt Isa, and this family-owned property runs 5000 head of cattle. They also offer farm stays, giving people from the city a taste of outback life, and people from Mt Isa who look at it as a holiday in the bush. Other farmers visit to see how a large station is run, and backpackers off the beaten track often turn up.
Even by Australian standards, West Leichhardt Station is huge at 125,000 square hectares, it is about half the size of the ACT. There are three generations of the Croft family living on the station Ron and Joan run the farm stay side and their son and his wife operate the station. Another son works on the property, and their granddaughter learns from School of the Air. They also run a quarter horse stud, and during muster, employ extra hands.
Mustering from waterhole to waterhole is done by helicopters and trucks, which are in radio contact with each other. Visitors experienced on horseback join in the muster, and those who just want to observe can do so from one of the vehicles. Cattle are sold domestically in Townsville or for the international live export market out of Darwin.
Accommodation for farm stayers is in a purpose-built house, set in hectares of green lawns and trees. The 10 rooms are air-conditioned, and each accommodates two people. Ablution blocks are separate and guests can eat in the main house with the family, or cook for themselves in a common kitchen or barbecue.
There is a creek for those who want to throw in a line, and bushwalking is very popular. The hill behind the house gives great views of the area. Birdlife is prolific, and there are plenty of wallabies and some feral camels. There is a tennis court and the property has limited camping and caravan sites.