The welcome at Bullara was lovely and we selected a camp spot aided by John our camp host. It was a shaded and partly sheltered spot which we booked for 5 nights. We wound up extending to nearly 3 weeks.
This became a ritual as John ( Damper John) cooked damper 6 nights a week.
He has been coming here from Victoria for a number of years and is part of the family.
Bullara is a quarter of a million acres running 3500 Droughtmaster cattle and is a third generation family enterprise.
Dennis and Colleen who recommended the place to us were there. We had met them at Vince Connolly Crossing NT.
While on Bullara we visited both Exmouth and Coral Bay a couple of times.
We snorkelled over Ningaloo Reef and explored the small township of Coral Bay. Swimming with the fish and also a baby dolphin was special. Exmouth was more of a fuel and provision stop, plus haircut marathon. My flat top took over one hour to complete!!!
We fished at Learmonth, opposite the RAAF base, in Exmouth Gulf and drove up onto the Cape Range for views back over the gulf where humpback whales and their calves were seen out to sea.
Coffee and scones jam and cream enticed us to The Homestead on more than one occasion.
Kooda means little mate.
Damper John took me for a drive out onto the station where I saw my first Perente or Bungarra, which is related to the Komodo Dragon.
We put up an emu and saw the wetlands which are dry this year due to low rainfall. They still looked great with all the coolibah trees. The windmills were destroyed last year by cyclone Olwyn and are just a tangled mass of metal. We saw a whistling kite and numerous low flowering bushes amongst the spinifex.
The days were very windy stirring up the red dust.
Our wedding anniversary was celebrated with scones, jam and cream at the homestead and Dawn and Lucy ( middle daughter) cooked Anzac biscuits for the muster team.
Dawn baked a camembert cheese and Damper John cooked a sourdough loaf which we three shared at happy hour one evening.
Our campsite had visits from Brownie the sheep, several horses, a goanna, zebra finches and white plumed honey eaters.
The facilities were very good with 3 of the bathrooms open to the sky.
We really enjoyed our time there thanks to Tim, Edwina, Olivia, Lucy and Mimi and in no small way to Damper John.
To Dennis and Colleen, who had to leave early and return to Busselton, thanks again for your friendship, and we look forward to catching up again down south.
Our time at Bullara inspired a couple of poems which Are written below this post.
It’s five o’clock and happy hour so join us for some damper,
With John around the fire pit they all begin to scamper.
To catch up with friends both old and new, and some a yarn to tell,
A wind blown bunch of nomads sharing travel tales as well.
A trip out on the station some wildlife will reveal,
With emu and a big red roo, the bungarra looks unreal.
The zebra finch are nesting while the bustard struts his stuff,
Corella shriek their warning that to live out here is tough.
A relentless wind still blows and is stirring up the dust,
Everything is covered in a fine red outback crust.
The evening sky is filled with dust midst a sunset oh so red,
And we batten down the hatches for a windy night ahead.
Another day on Bullara has dawned quite bright and sunny,
It clouded over quickly when someone locked me in the dunny.
Life’s cares and woes are gone my friends here on Bullara Station,
Explore, relax and rest a bit in this part of our great nation.
THE MUSTER BEGINS
Daybreak. The roar of utes and bikes shatter the silence as a chopper takes to the air.
A quiet excitement and anticipation stirs the blood of the muster team with prickling of the hair.
After months of preparation the day finally did arrive
For Bullara stock to bunch up in a mob before the drive.
The first mob of the muster is milling behind the rails,
Awaiting drafting, weaning, marking and all that that entails.
Tim’s hands upon the drafting gates are flashing back and forth,
As bellowing stock rush past into the pens he sorts.
A brindle steer with nostrils flared and eyes as big as plates
Twists back and forth and bellows as it refuses at the gates.
There’s one in every mob that tries the patience of the men.
Persistence wins out in the end as it’s drafted to its pen.
There’s not a cattle dog in sight upon Bullara Station,
And the stock are handled firmly with much care and dedication.
The month ahead holds more of the same with sun and dust and flies,
In this special place, Bullara, under western clear blue skies.