The most authentic Australian experience can be found on working cattle farms in the Australian Outback.
In Australia, outback stations the size of small countries are becoming a fascinating alternative for international visitors wanting an Australian experience beyond battling the crowds at Bondi Beach or climbing Uluru.
Families, some who have lived on the station for generations, welcome guests for an authentic Australian outback experience on working cattle and sheep stations. Here’s our pick of the best
Top Picks for You
Bullo River Station
WHERE: East Kimberley, Northern Territory
Bullo River Station is a whopping 500,000 acres (yep, that’s the size of Mauritius) and is located in the Kimberly region of the “Top End,” so often depicted in postcards and books illustrating the Australian outback. At Bullo River, it’s all about adventure. You can explore the property by quad bike or be taken by helicopter to remote waterholes to fish for giant “barra” (that would be a barramundi). You can also get some bush skills under your belt (whip cracking or cattle mustering anyone?) or just relax and read or swim at a secluded billabong.
Rawnsley Park Station
Not all outback stays involve red sand and dust. The Rawnsley Park Station is set at the foothills of the lush Flinders Rangers, just 270 miles (that’s Australian for very close) from South Australia’s capital, Adelaide. While the Flinders Rangers are famous for the dense bush, ancient Aboriginal rock paintings and quaint tiny towns, Rawnsley Park Station is known for its heli-swag experience.
Guests are transported by helicopter over the Rawnsley Bluff and Wilpena Pound, and land at Chase Range where they are treated to a breathtaking sunset, while staff set up camp and prepare a campsite feast. After dinner, the staff leave, only to return the next morning after you’ve enjoyed a breakfast from the provisions left the night before.
Home Valley Station
If you prefer your outback station stay with a touch of Hollywood, check out Home Valley Station, which is featured in the Nicole Kidman film, Australia. Chosen for the rugged and quintessentially Australian landscape, the station is featured as part of the fictional Faraway Downs Station, and in scenes where the heroes track across the cattle drive.