Host: Myroodah Station
While many northern cattle properties around the Top End have missed out on their average rainfall this wet season, we have been very fortunate to have been under the right weather systems bringing some beautiful rain to Myroodah Station during the 2014/15 Wet.
We had record rainfall to start the year off with over 16 ½ inches falling in January alone. This amount in January has not been recorded on Myroodah for over 20 years. During this beautiful month of rain, it was mostly just our own family here with all other staff away on their annual break.
Fitzroy River and channels in flood – January 2015
The rain brings new life everywhere you look. You can find a bird nest with eggs or chicks in nearly every tree around the station complex area and our kids love to monitor the progress of eggs turning to chicks turning to young birds learning to fly. The grass grows, the plants flower, the insects are in their thousands and the birds enjoy feasting on them. It is an amazing time of year to see nature at its best.
Our son Will checking the progress of some chicks in their nest
It is also the time of year property managers hope to breathe a sigh of relief as keeping water up to livestock and ensuring they have plenty of grass to eat is not such an issue. We get to see some spectacular sky-scapes as storms roll in over the station and there are many nights we sit outside with eyes skywards watching the lightning flash across the sky in awe of nature’s wonders.
Storm approaching the Myroodah Station airstrip
Of course all the rain does make access in and out of the property a bit of an issue, so we always make sure we have enough food and other essentials to last at least a month at a time. You never know when you’ll next make it to town or when stores can be flown in. During the dry months we have a pretty short run to town. To travel to Broome where we get the majority of our supplies takes only around 2 ½ hours to drive. In the wet however, we cannot cross the Fitzroy River which is our main access in and out, as it is a low-level causeway and generally too high to cross from about Christmas through to Easter. Fortunately however we have another way out, but this can take up to 6 hours when the roads are really wet, or 4 hours on a good day. The long way round also has another wide creek (called the Geegully) to cross which can often be too high when you arrive after travelling two hours just to reach it.
Geegully Creek in flood – our road clearly under water. January 2015
Although some of the challenges and inconveniences of the annual wet season may sound daunting to some, I am certain most station families would tell you it is their favourite time of year. For the managers, it is their time to relax; for the managers wives, it is time to see their husbands who have been too busy to enjoy their family throughout the year; and for the kids….. well, it is a water playground for them and there’s nothing better when you don’t see much moisture coming from the sky for the remainder of the year!
Our kids enjoying their very own waterpark!