Host: Katherine Outback Experience, Riverboyne Horsebreaking & Training
Manager/ owner: Tom Curtain
Region: Katherine, Northern Territory
Nearest town for shopping: Katherine – 6km
Nearest roadhouse: Katherine
Number of Cattle: 1 Brahman steer, his name is ‘Tin Shaker’!
Number of Staff: 2
Size of Property: 20 acres
How often and how the mail is delivered: Mail is delivered to the post box in town. It gets picked up as often as we get to town.
How often is the shopping done: When we run out of food. 1-2 times a week
A promotional photo taken by the Outback Magazine on Newcastle Waters Station in the NT.
Just to be clear, we are not a station. We are however involved in the cattle, equine, tourism and music industries in a way that showcases and celebrates life on Australian cattle stations.
From our 20-acre property ‘Riverboyne,’ just 6km east of Katherine, located on the Stuart Highway, we operate two businesses:
- Katherine Outback Experience – A tourism venture; and
- Riverboyne Horsebreaking & Training.
As discussed further in our blogs, I began my professional horse-training career in 2001 at Mount Sanford Station in the NT. Since then I have broken-in thousands of horses across Australia and continue to train over 100 horses a year through ‘Riverboyne Horsebreaking & Training.’
Working a ‘breaker’ at our property in Katherine.
We spend the ‘Dry Season’ (May-Oct) based in Katherine, NT and the ‘Wet Season’ (Nov-Apr) in the southwest of WA breaking and training horses across numerous equine breeds including Australian Stock Horses, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods for various disciplines including campdrafting, cutting, eventing, dressage, showing and racing.
Whilst working at Mount Sanford Station, I discovered a passion for writing songs about day-to-day life in the outback. What started out as a bit of fun singing around the campfire and in the old corrugated tin shower, led to the release of award winning album ‘Smack Bang!’ in which the title track went to Number 1 on the Australian Country Music Charts. In 2007 I released my second album ‘Heatwave.’ I have been fortunate to tour with some of Australia’s biggest country music names including Sara Storer, The Sunny Cowgirls and The Davidson Brothers and write songs with the likes of Beccy Cole, James Blundell and Luke O’Shea.
Our trusty stallion ‘Acres of Ra’ working a steer during a Katherine Outback Experience show.
In July 2013, our tourism venture ‘Katherine Outback Experience’ was officially launched which operates from May to November at our property in Katherine. Katherine Outback Experience is a 90-minute show that provides a unique window into the inner workings of an Australian cattle station. It incorporates authentic horse breaking and working dog demonstrations, country music and humorous bush tales. We involve an array of station animals in the show including horses, cattle, working dogs and goats as well as a buffalo!
We attract tourists and school groups from all over Australia and the world, and have even had some surprise guest appearances from nationally acclaimed music artists. Later in the year we are hoping to take the show to the southwest of WA to operate from November to April.
One of our key aims is to educate people about the significance of the Australian cattle industry, together with the importance of animal welfare.
Students giving ‘Tin Shaker’ (our pet Brahman steer) a pat during a Katherine Outback Experience Show.
After some time out from the music industry, I am currently working on a new album, that I hope to release later in 2016 or early 2017.
Annabel McLarty at a Campdraft.
Recently Annabel McLarty has come on board to help manage the two businesses. By profession, Annabel is an Urban Planner, however has a rich farming background. She was born into a sixth generation Western Australian farming family who were some of the early managers and owners of stations in the Kimberley region. She grew up an hour south of Perth where her family own a large beef cattle enterprise and where WA’s two largest campdrafts, the ‘Boar Swamp Campdraft’ and ‘Wellard Star of the West Campdraft’ are held.
Socially we both thoroughly enjoy the sport of Campdrafting and regularly compete in the Northern Territory and Western Australian circuits when we are not busy running the tourism business.
We hope you enjoy our blogs. Please feel free to drop us a line or follow us at:
Phone: +61 428 264 030
Address: 115 Collins Road, Uralla, Katherine, NT 0850
Host: Katherine Outback Experience Written by Annabel McLarty Just a month into 2017 and we are pretty excited for the year ahead (17 also happens to be my favourite number)! The show is gaining momentum in the south west of WA as word continues to spread. Our last show in Dunsborough was scheduled for 18 […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience Written by Annabel McLarty I am writing this from carriage 9B on The Ghan train, following a few glasses of champagne, somewhere between Port Augusta and Alice Springs. Tom and I are sitting here looking out the window, watching the stunning central Australian colours flash past, and the odd Hereford, reflecting […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience Written by Annabel McLarty In March 2017 we received the exciting news from Great Southern Rail that they were impressed with our product and from early May would be offering passengers travelling on The Ghan train the option to visit Katherine Outback Experience shows during their four hour stopover in Katherine. […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience Written by Annabel McLarty How Tom and I met is something we regularly laugh about with friends. It is a story that has probably been told a few times on Central Station now – girl meets boy, falls in love, throws in her successful career and city life to move to […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience Written by Annabel McLarty A lot has happened in the past 12 months at Katherine Outback Experience that I’m looking forward to sharing with you however before we get ahead of ourselves, I had better introduce myself. Tom and I during a Katherine Outback Experience Show My name is Annabel McLarty […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience Katherine Outback Experience was officially launched in July 2013. The 90 minute show comprises authentic horse-breaking and working dog demonstrations, animal tricks, country music, and bush tales. I don’t want the show to be about me, I want it to celebrate and showcase the Territory, provide a snapshot of station life […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience For the next few years I continued travelling around the country promoting the two albums, ‘Smack Bang’ and ‘Heatwave’ whilst breaking and training horses between gigs. It was a great experience, however the extensive travel was taking its toll. Playing a few tunes in the bar after a day of contracting […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience Looking back on things, it’s crazy how one step in a different direction, away from our comfort zones can open up a whole new world of opportunity. It seems this has occurred more than once for me and has completely realigned my path. In 2002, fresh out of the stock camp, […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience In 2000, after three eventful years at the University of Queensland Gatton Campus where I had a hell of a time playing rugby and socialising, I finished my Bachelor of Applied Science in Animal Studies where I specialised in Beef Cattle, Genetics and Nutrition, handed Mum that flash piece of paper […]
Host: Katherine Outback Experience I’m not going to lie, when Central Station first approached me to be a host, I was a bit hesitant about accepting the invitation as you could hardly call my 20 acre property on the outskirts of Katherine a farm, let alone a station, not to mention I’m not a fan […]