Sunday Herald Sun - Escape

Bamurru Plains offers a luxe stay on the coastal floodplain­s of our Top End

- See more standout remote stays at

There comes a time in every Australian’s life when the call of the outback becomes too great to ignore. Maybe you dream of communing with nature and mustering livestock like a Dundee wannabe. Or perhaps you’d prefer to experience station life like a British royal enjoying a gap year. Whichever way you swing, there’s no way of knowing what you’re made of without booking a stay in an outback station. Start at the top with these standouts.

1Kings Creek Station, NT

Only 36km from magnificen­t Kings Canyon, this classic cattle station is the movie star of outback stays, having featured in dozens of documentar­ies and TV shows. It makes sense – each accommodat­ion option (everything from bush tents and a swag camp to “Dreamtime escarpment glamping”) is swoon-worthy, and the station has a swimming pool, plus a wide variety of activities. Book in for the all-new buggy station tour of the property, a scenic helicopter flight or speak to the crew about other great activities in the area. The fabled Kings Canyon Rim Walk is just a short drive away. kingscreek­

2Corynnia Station, NSW

Great things come in small packages and at 6880 hectares (boutique compared with the likes of Anna Creek, which dwarfs Israel), this busy sheep station an hour’s drive west from Hay is more charming than most. Offering an outback homestead oasis (there are no camping or caravan facilities) with pool, tennis court, bicycles and farm and cotton gin tours, guests can stay in a suite, cottage or six-bedroom lodge and pitch in with station life. There’s also the option to help with tending to the orphaned wildlife raised on the property. Pet-friendly by request. corynniast­


There’s no need to travel deep into the outback; this Flinders Ranges sheep station offers a traditiona­l station stay within four hours’ drive of Adelaide. The perfect match for the outback purist, it offers little in the way of organised tours (save for a station history tour) but plenty of scope for old-fashioned fun. Stay in a remote campsite, cottage or shearers quarters and enjoy exploring the landscape on foot, by bike or by 4WD. holowilien­


Not into roughing it? A luxurious bush experience of the coastal floodplain­s of our Top End might be more your speed. Enjoying exclusive access to 300km of savannah woodland right on the edge of Kakadu and, yes, those aforementi­oned plains, this lodge with just 10 safari-style bungalows is a show-stopping allinclusi­ve experience suitable for all members of the family. You can bird watch from the infinity pool, book in for an exclusive food or photograph­y tour, or search for crocs via airboat.

Book a three- or four-night Ultimate Wilderness Experience package and kids stay, eat and play for free. bamurrupla­

Holowilien­a Station, SA Bamurru Plains, NT

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Lock in a quintessen­tial outback experience at this 7th-generation working cattle station and enjoy a stay where you can freely mix business and pleasure. Set in Far North Queensland’s goldfield country, this five-star luxury retreat invites you to spend long days mustering animals, fossicking for gold or just kayaking in the dam before turning in for the night in your luxury retreat. Expect welcome platters and cocktails, fine dining, a kingsized bed and, oh yes, a bathtub with the ultimate panoramic view. Happily, the experience is all-inclusive. gilbertono­utbackretr­


A station stay where you can snorkel with leatherbac­k sea turtles year-round or watch humpback whales from the comfort of your tent? Welcome to

Quobba Station, a family-operated, 75,670-hectare sheep station that borders 80km of Western Australia’s spectacula­r coastline. The accommodat­ion options are basic (no linen is provided) but varied, encompassi­ng chalets atop sand dunes, cottages, shearers quarters and campsites. The perfect place to lay your Akubra if travelling in a large group or planning some local fishing tours.


With thousands of four-legged permanent guests to keep out of mischief, the folks at Trilby Station, a sixth-generation sheep station near the village of Louth, are happy for two-legged visitors to do as much – or as little – as they please. Choose your own adventure and book one of their Darling River campsites or check into a farmstay accommodat­ion options such as the fully renovated stockmen’s cottages. Choose from experience­s such as the station’s Mud Map tours (90km of self-guided tracks), nature pursuits or the Historic Dunlop Station Tour, and enjoy the hand-delivered farmyard meals that perfectly bookend each day. trilbystat­


Returning to the domestic tourism fold after a year-long hiatus, this magnificen­t 283,280-hectare property is set to spellbind once

Gilberton Station, Qld Quobba Station, WA Trilby Station, NSW El Questro, WA

more. Set in the heart of the Kimberley, this is the base from which to explore the region’s deep gorges, thermal springs, rainforest­s and cascading waterfalls.

The accommodat­ion? It’s hardly what you’d call shabby, with options ranging from nights under canvas at El Questro Station, tented cabins nestled in the wilderness or the sheer luxury of El Questro Homestead, which hosts no more than 20 guests at a time in luxurious comfort. A broad range of tours are available, but BYO vehicle for self-guided adventures.

9 Arkaba Conservanc­y, SA

Experienci­ng the Flinders Ranges like a complete rock star is made easy with a stay at Arkaba, a 24,280-hectare private conservanc­y, which is dedicated to the preservati­on of our country’s wildlife. Framed by Wilpena Pound and the Elder Range, the property’s beautifull­y restored 1850s homestead has just five guestrooms and visitors can enjoy the ultimate safari-style experience­s along with dinners on the terrace and drinks in front of the fire or in the library. Take daily tours with the field guides (and an assortment of wildlife) or simply enjoy the scenery from the swimming pool overlookin­g Arkaba Creek. arkabacons­

10 Noonbah Station, Qld

Explore the ancient hills and vast flood plains of Queensland’s spectacula­r Channel Country with a stay at this 52,000-hectare cattle station, worked by the fourth generation of the Emmott family and their home for more than

100 years. You can either camp at one of the secluded waterhole sites or stay in The Old Schoolhous­e, a corrugated-iron cottage that once served as a school for the Emmott kids. Activities include fishing, swimming, canoeing or kayaking (BYO) and hiking, but don’t miss taking a guided history tour with third-generation resident Angus Emmott, who can also tailor other tours to your interests. noonbahsta­

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Opposite: Elder Camp on the Arkaba Walk at Arkaba Station, Flinders Ranges, SA. Clockwise from top left: El Questro Homestead, The Kimberley, WA; a bungalow at Bamurru Plains, NT; toilets at
Trilby Station, Louth, NSW.
Trilby Station Opposite: Elder Camp on the Arkaba Walk at Arkaba Station, Flinders Ranges, SA. Clockwise from top left: El Questro Homestead, The Kimberley, WA; a bungalow at Bamurru Plains, NT; toilets at Trilby Station, Louth, NSW.
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Bamurru Plains
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El Questro

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