An Outsider’s Perspective

Host: Country Downs Station
Written by Brandon – Backpacker, Country Downs Station.

Today I would like to introduce you to one of the many overseas travellers that we have had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with. I would have loved for all of them to write an account on what they thought, learnt, or even disliked about their time on Country Downs Station as everyone has a completely different perspective. In addition, everyone also has a different expectation of what it is all about and also a different interpretation of the events and activities that we undertake. However, I asked Brandon to write about his time with us as he loves to write and he also spent an entire three months with us, so really did immerse himself into our lifestyle and our outback culture, raking and all! Take it away Brandon . . .

– Nikki


Brandon: Nikki knows that I enjoy writing and that I keep my own travel blog, so when she asked me to write a post for her annual, week-long update on Central Station, I of course, obliged. To start with, I wasn’t sure how best to approach this. In Nikki’s words “A day in the life” or a kind of single diary entry would suffice. But I just felt like it simply wouldn’t do my experience justice. Instead, I have decided that a general overview of my whole three month stay would go further in telling my story.

I will start by coming right out and saying that life on the station was hard, sometimes very hard and other times a lot of fun. I am a city boy you see, back home I lived within an hour’s drive of central London, so you could imagine my shock on arriving at the station and finding out that I was an hour’s drive away from the neighbour! After getting over my initial shock I was then introduced to my home for the next three months and well, let’s just say that I realised how much I had been taking for granted my whole life, namely hot water, central heating, and even phone reception!

There was of course, lots of positives to my experience too. For starters, the food is phenomenal. It’s highly unlikely that I will ever eat beef as good as the beef I ate at the station for a very long time. Both Kurt and Nikki are better cooks than they give themselves credit for and I can safely say that I didn’t have a bad meal the entire time I was there. Both of the boys are a lot of fun, even if they did get carried away occasionally, but what young boys don’t? Lastly would be the skills I have learnt and the knowledge I have gained from having Kurt as a mentor. I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to spend three months at Country Downs and will certainly carry the memories for the rest of my life.

Anyway . . .

Allow me to move onto what you’re actually here for, some stories of my time at the station. My duties would vary daily and could include anything from raking leaves (I absolutely despised doing this) to driving trucks full of cattle. That’s part of what made my stay enjoyable in that I could be doing something different every single day and it certainly helped to keep things interesting.

One of the highlights of my stay would certainly be the two occasions that we spit roasted a whole pig! If you couldn’t tell from the earlier paragraphs, I love food, so of course the highlight of my trip would have to involve food too. It wasn’t just the eating of the pig that I enjoyed though. I enjoyed everything from the catching and the slaughter of the animal, right through to all the prep and then just enjoying beer while watching it spin around the flames!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay with Kurt and Nikki at Country Downs and would recommend anybody reading this who may have the opportunity to do something like this to go ahead and try it, I promise, you will be thankful you did.

Thanks for reading and here are a few pictures that I took during my stay.

5.1Whole pig on the spit . . . “This little piggy stayed home”. 

5.2Sunset from my ‘accommodation’.

5.3Another sunset from the homestead area.

5.4Native flowers (Turkey Bush) in bloom.