Host: Yarrie Station
Written by Caroline Tundulin – Caretaker, Yarrie Station.
We first arrived early February 2015 to Marble Bar, the hottest town in Australia. And boy was it hot. To be in middle of summer and living in a caravan, we kept thinking “Have we gone crazy?” Our job was to be caretakers at a closed mine site on a cattle station. We’d never been anywhere so hot, we’d never been on a cattle station, and we’d never been too close to cattle. But – yes, we said – we could do that. We were as green as anything to was what it was. Us, that is, not the grass!
We’re not your typical station hands. Our job is to drive around this lovely countryside making sure the cattle have plenty of clean water. If mills or solar pumps aren’t working, we do our best to get them going. I remember the first time we had to pull up a pump on our own. We were working together to make sure we didn’t kink the hose. Frogs and lizards were holding on for dear life, sometimes dropping on our hats. We’ve become thankful for hats out here, they not only keep the sun off, but stop the little critters from tangling in our hair!
Well, we were very proud of ourselves, with a lot of strenuous pulling there was the prize – the pump! Not long after having a well-earned drink of water, we noticed a snake in the grass. We didn’t know if it also came out of the bore, or was just enjoying the smorgasbord of cuisine we had collected for it as it slithered past. We were just grateful he left us alone. When help arrived in the form of another pump, we were describing the snake to the station hand. Green colour with a brown tail. She said: “Yea that’ll be a copper tail, nasty fella best to leave him alone”. No problems there!
We also help around the homestead with mowing lawns and general cleaning and maintenance. Tim has his truck licence and has even taken his hand to picking up the cattle that have been collected by other stations nearby in their musters – good on you, Tim. We have certainly learnt a plethora of new skills in our adventures here, and who knows what the future holds for us newbies.
Fast forward two and a half years, we are still hot, and still living in our caravan (but now with the help of the air conditioner). We’re pretty spoilt really – we get to see these gorgeous cows every day, we have a kangaroo that hangs around the yard, and we’re the proud owners of a gorgeous, almost one-and-a-half-year-old red dog named Charlie.
Oh, and one of my very important jobs is to open the gates. Ha!
Cheers, Caz and Tim.
Charlie follows us around everywhere on our mill runs. We spend a lot of time driving around Yarrie making sure water tanks are full, and that windmills and solars are working.
We’re both from over east, and didn’t knew much about cattle until coming to Yarrie. Now we’re enjoying driving around checking stock and especially the little calves.