“For Lease: Boorara Station – 285,000 acres” – the adventure continues…..
Wow, what a place!
There are twelve artesian bores on Boorara. These are flowing bores meaning the steaming hot water comes to the surface without the aid of pumps and until recently the water was left running and transferred across the landscape by man-made drainage channels. With government help all bores are now capped and the flow is controlled by valves and distributed by poly pipe.
It became our mission to locate all 12 bores.
After leaving the homestead the first bore we found had a shower head installed and I was ready to lease Boorara there and then.
All bores and tanks had trap yards built around them to help harvest a healthy population of feral goats, feral cattle and feral horses; the sale of which provides valuable income out here.
We continued north through mulga scrubland until we came to one of the outstations. Complete with a two-bedroom cottage, sheds, windmill, trap yards and shower-rosed bore it formed its own village. We could have moved straight in.
Another bore was located by a small lake.
Another was by a half decent set of cattle yards and another by a desolate but rustic hut.
We found earth-tanks (gigantic dams)
and brumby yards and we even saw an Angus bull. Sure we did. Looking through binoculars at this bull we decided to sneak up on him and see what sort of condition he was in. As we got closer the creature pulled its head out of the grass …… and it was a pig! The biggest, hugest boar pig that I ever want to see.
Although there were plenty of tracks and fresh sign from goat, cattle and horse we had only laid eyes on six goats that first day. Part of the dream of leasing Boorara was to go goat scruffing but at the net price of $10 per head our plan was looking a little thin at this stage.
Turning south we drove through open, lighter country before we crested a sandhill and found the inland sea.
There, just over the boundary fence, was Lake Wyara, a deep-blue expanse of salt water stretching to the horizon. “Oh just give me the lease and let me sign the contract.”
A kilometre to the east was Lake Numalla, this time a body of fresh-water.
That’s right: a fresh water and a salt water lake barely a kilometre apart in the Australian Outback. You don’t believe me do you?
Between the two lakes the variety of birdlife is supposed to be second only to Lake Eyre in all of Australia. “Buggar goat scruffing, just give me a canoe and a swag and call me in six months'” I thought.
With still an hour of daylight in our favour we ended the day at the Boorara Woolshed, a twelve-stand, raised-board beauty.
Here also was another village: 16-room shearer’s quarters, 2-bedroom cookhouse and a modern ablution block. In the background was the old shearer’s quarters and a large wood range and oven, remains of the original cookhouse.
History was alive and well but never more than with the gypsy wagon, a self-contained mobile kitchen complete with wood range and shearer’s bed, which had been left on stumps amongst the mulga.
We spent that first night in our swags on a veranda back at the homestead complex. We had our doubts about the proposed lease (namely the six goats) but with abundant water our imaginations had been fired by the scope and opportunities of the property and we slept content under a full moon.
(to be continued)