Douglas Lake is Canada's biggest working cattle company. It spreads over more than 200,000 hectares (more than half a million acres) and was established in 1884.
The ranch is run with many traditions, but it at the cutting edge of today's procedures for many things. Each morning, 15 cowboys saddle their horses to attend to the 22,250 head of cattle and 300 horses. Some of the cowboys have spent their entire lives at Douglas Lake, and there are generations of them who wouldn't dream of doing anything else.
Thirteen families who work on the range live in a small town in the centre of the property. It has a 1908 general store, a church and two school buildings employing two teachers. It's a 45 minute drive to the next closest store.
Once you leave the highway, you drive through 20km of grassland and rolling hills thinking you are probably lost. Everyone does it! Eventually Stoney Lake Lodge appears and this is a comfortable and cosy place to stay. It is the only accommodation place on the ranch which is just for adults. There are eight double rooms with lake views and the meals are a gourmet's delight. The lounge area is decorated in Canadian western style with big leather lounges and hand-painted cowboy artwork, and of course, it has a huge open fireplace.
At Salmon Lake Resort you can camp or set up your campervan, or book into one of the cottages. It is aimed at families and has a pool.
There are also five yurts scattered around the property. These are adaptations of the Mongolian dwellings, seven-and-a-half metres wide and two-and-a-half metres high, in a circular frame. The steep roof has a sky dome, kitchen, refrigerator, stove, futon and hot and cold running water. Two of the yurts are near Cradle Lake which is not only beautiful, but crammed with the delectable Kamloops rainbow trout.
Apart from fishing, you can horse-ride, mountain bike or just wander around the vast property. The lakes are private, so you can be sure of tranquility, except for maybe when you spot black and grizzly bears, coyotes, cougars, moose or deer, lots of small mammals, toads and snakes and absolutely countless numbers of bird species.
The 2500 hectares of farmland helps them supply just about all of their animal feed. There are crops of alfalfa, oats and barley and rye.
Air Canada flies daily from Sydney to Vancouver (via Honolulu) with connections to all major Canadian cities. Connections are also available from most major Australian domestic cities.
Four hours east of Vancouver in British Columbia.
Stoney Lake Lodge rooms cost around $215 per person, including meals. Private tours cost around $40 per person for up to six people. They run from May to October.
Air Canada is currently having a seat sale ex-Sydney to most major Canadian cities. Fares are effective for sale immediately to October 5, 2002 for travel now until December 5, 2002 or from January 21 to March 31, 2003. Taxes and surcharges are around $200-$280. Conditions apply.
Return economy airfares are $1749 to Vancouver or Calgary and $1909 to Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto.
Call Air Canada or your local IATA or AFTA travel agent.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Douglas Lake Ranch
Douglas Lake BC V0E 1S0
Ph: (0011) 1 250 350 3344
Fax: (0011) 1 250 350 email@example.com
Canada Travel Information
Ph:02 9954 3377
Fax: 02 9929 4543 www.canada.trav.net