Host: Glenormiston Station
Written by Nicky Gurney – Manager, Glenormiston.
Hello my name is Necleisha Gurney, aka Nicky – my name is a tongue twister for most, and my husband’s name is Ryan. We live here along with our two beautiful daughters Gracie (5) and Emma (3) on Glenormiston Station in Queensland’s North West Channel Country, situated on the Donohue Highway which stretches between Boulia and Alice Springs; we also back onto the Northern Territory border where the Toko Gorge runs through into Tobemorey.
We have been here for going on 17 months now after Ryan was promoted from Overseer of Soudan Station (the Out Station to Alexandria Station another NAP Co place on the Barkly Tablelands of the Northern Territory), to Manager of Glenormiston. We are so excited to be here and have the opportunity to live, work, and bring up our daughters on such a beautiful part of the country.
Glenormiston spreads over a number of different land types, with the Georgina and Mulligan Rivers running through at opposite ends of the property, the red sand hills and spinifex country as we back off the Simpson Dessert, rocky limestone ridges, blue bush flood out country, thick Gidgee scrub, salt pans, and the magnificent Toko Ranges. The Toko Ranges are a pinnacle of their own as the top of the ranges are flat, the reason for this being the top of the ranges was originally the sea bed when Australia was covered by water around 500 million years ago. The soil has since eroded away and what remains today are big red rocky ranges with Trace Fossils of Worm and Arthropod tracks and Snail Shell Fossils dating to 505 million years ago.
Along with its beauty and history Glenormiston also has its challenges, in some soil types along with Gidgee comes Gidgee poisoning, where when the climate changes and heats up and the trees come into flower, these flowers and the seed pods contain a poison similar to 10-80, so once the cattle have eaten it they walk to water and have a big drink and they can die soon after. While Gidgee is not in all of our paddocks it does cover 30-40% of the property and requires constant observation and management to try and limit the number of fatalities within our stock.
Glenormiston was purchased by NAP Co in 1968 and covers an area of around 1.7 million acres. The house which we still live in today was erected in 1898 and was built using Pise and Stone, the walls in the original house are 45cm wide! The verandas have since been sealed in with windows and besser bricks providing more living space and more comfort out of the dust and flies. The homestead is situated on the Lake Idamea and watered by a bore with water so user friendly we drink it as well as water the gardens and stock. The taste is not far off of rain water. The homestead, while built in 1898, has been marked in the same location on the map since 1878, not long after which the first Lease was taken up in 1876 by Colclough Kirwin.
Glenormiston’s carrying capacity is around 12,000 head in a good year, we are currently running a core breeder herd of 5500 NAP Co Composites due to a well below average rainfall over the last wet. After much grovelling to the man upstairs and very hopefully a good upcoming wet, we hope to be growing out our weaners next year – fingers crossed!
A station like this is not a successful enterprise without it’s staff, this year we have welcomed back some staff and taken on some newbies. We welcomed back Jess Coster who has come back for her fourth season on Glenormiston in the stock camp, Mitchell Carter for another round in stock camp, Becki Carr back for another round of Cooking, and Alison McElroy who joined stock camp at the end of last year and who had among other places worked previously on Coolullah, another one of NAP Co’s properties. We welcomed Nigel Binks our Bore runner who had worked for us previously on Soudan and his partner Lyn Templeton who is having a crack at teaching for the first time – and handling it quite well I might say. We also welcome Kaitlyn Powne and Lachlan McPhie to the stock camp and Andrew Harper our Grader Driver, last but not least Gretta Allan our head stockperson.