Coming home to Dampier Downs

Host: Dampier Downs Station
Written by Peta Anderson –  Dampier Downs Station.

Hi my name is Peta Anderson and I am here to tell you about my recent adventure in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Filled with fun, animals, and a small amount of sleep.

Last school holidays, for about two weeks, I visited Dampier Downs Station which is the first time I have done so in about two years. As soon as I arrived at Broome, WA I could already feel the difference in the temperature compared to the area I currently live.

Even though I had just spent all day and half the night on a plane I was surprised I was even awake.

A light at the end of a tunnel, oh wait I mean the exit door.

4.1The light at the end of the tunnel.

Since me and my sister Emma had not seen Broome for some time, my mum accidentally took us on a tour of the town, but there was a slight problem with this arrangement. The tour was of the back streets and it was pitch black.

Now I do really like to tour around and look at different things but it’s a bit hard to enjoy the scenery while you’re trying to figure out how to find a way to the place that you totally have no idea about and the person who had any idea about it has forgotten where it was.

After finding the place we wanted, we settled down for the night. The next morning me, my Mum and my sister all piled into the little truck (this vehicle is called this due to fact it is little and it’s a truck) and we headed out to my uncle’s station.

While driving across Roebuck Plains towards Dampier Downs Station, the landscape of the area really brought to my attention one of the few things Dalby (the place I am living in at the moment) has in common with the outer areas of Broome. In Dalby you see the ground is dead flat and used for growing and harvesting crops but on Roebuck the ground is just as flat and used for cattle. The way the ground was never ending though is certainly different from  Dalby because every piece of flat land I have ever see in Queensland ends with a hill or a mountain range while over in the Kimberly the land seems to go on forever.

4.2The Kimberley – where the land goes on forever.

On arrival to the Dampier Downs Station outer-gate I jumped out to get it open. My sister was smart enough to jump in the little truck first and sit in the middle with no possibilities of gates. As my sister made a smile at me I stepped out for the first time onto red soil in two years. This made my boots dirty but also made me realize the fact that I was actually in a place where it’s okay to be dirty and not always follow the rules set by people who have no idea of what they’re talking about. Now I was the one who was smiling while Emma was looking at me strangely thinking there was something wrong with me for smiling about opening a gate.

When we finally arrived at the station’s “headquarters” after driving a long station road me and Emma were introduced to the new additions to the family. There was Tassie, on loan from Anne Marie to get her started on cattle and a little baby calf, (by the time I left the number of calves my mum was looking after grew to about 17, feeding pellets makes this an easier job). Of course I got to see my people family first which was just great and totally worth the trip over.

4.3Another addition to the family.

The next two weeks of my holidays were filled with wonderful adventure, fun times, and lots of open space. While at Dampier Downs for just two weeks I was involved in two helicopter musters, branding, car mustering, drafting, horse mustering, trucking, rescuing of calves, bore runs, grader driving, sleeping in a double decker bus that is in the Guinness Book of World Records and 4WD driving. Now most of you are probably thinking that’s a normal station life for you, day in and day out, but for me who has not done that in two years I think it was a holiday well spent.

4.4Storms over the Kimberley.