Host: Lochon Contracting
Written by Tini – Owner, Lochon Contracting.
There is something about this place that makes people want to come back. The Kimberley is undoubtedly a very popular destination for tourists, due to it’s vastness, the unique boab trees, magnificent gorges, and simply stunning landscape.
But what makes someone want to come back for work? The heat, sweat, flies, dust storms, and long, hard days in the cattle yard cannot be attractive enough to make you daydream about the Kimberley. Especially not if you have your own beautiful farm on New Zealand’s stunning south island where you are working sheep, cattle, and deer on rolling green hills.
Well, ask James, our very good friend, and he will tell you that it is not. But add the red dirt to it, road train trucks leaving a dusty trail, the billy tea, and the camp oven damper cooked on the coals in the bush camp, and you have got your winning daydream-worthy combination.
Despite owning his own big farm in New Zealand, he had always been wanting to come and work on a Kimberley cattle station. So, a few years back he hopped on a plane and made his way to GoGo Station, where he spend the season as a station hand. He loved it so much, that he convinced his wonderful wife Lesley-Ann to come and join him for the following season. They brought their three kids with them, who worked alongside dad on the station, or alongside mom in the kitchen, or went to the local school.
In their second year, Locky and I were contract fencing on GoGo and very quickly made friends with the whole family. Ever since then, we have been staying in touch. In fact, we have made our way over to their place a few times since then. Escaping the wet season in Western Australia’s north, we take great pleasure in spending weeks working and holidaying on their ‘prison farm’ (. . . as James likes to call it jokingly). He feels bad about us working there all day with him instead of going off to explore the rest of NZ. Don’t be fooled. We go on big trips around the country every time we visit, and during the NZ rodeo season we follow the circuit a fair bit, with James being the South Island stock contractor for the bucking bulls and with Locky competing in the rodeos. However, we do spend a great part of our holiday with this very welcoming family! When all you see is RED all year (red dirt, that is), then the color GREEN is a most revitalising drug. Stepping away from the beauty you are surrounded by all year, makes you see the greater picture and appreciate the uniqueness of our beloved Kimberley.
Hearing James talk about this place with such passion and admiration for just about every aspect of it, is a real eye opener.
But, there can only be so much talk. Just three days ago, he put his words into action and arrived at Broome airport, ready to go out bush and join the Lochon crew for three weeks. Welcome to OUR ‘prison camp’!
So, James, jam your Akubra on, grease your boots and pull your Wranglers up. Today you will be heading out to the desert, where you will get your long awaited fix of red dirt, dust, and wild cattle. And if you work hard enough, you will be rewarded with billy tea and fresh camp oven bread.
Welcome back to the Kimberley, mate!