Host: Kalyeeda Station
Managers/ Owners: Kalyeeda is a family owned and run station headed by Peter and Cheryl Camp who have owned the property for nearly 20 years.
Region: Kalyeeda is found between the Fitzroy River and the Great Sandy Desert in the West Kimberley of WA
Nearest town for shopping, doctors etc: Derby is our closest town – about 250kms away. On a good road in the dry season this will take two hours drive on dirt roads and a further hour on the bitumen. In the wet season when the Fitzroy River is up we have to take a different route to avoid the flooded crossing. It can take more than four hours drive if we can get out at all.
Nearest roadhouse: Willare Bridge roadhouse is 190Km from the homestead.
Number of cattle: We run about 6,500 cattle over all. About 2,500 of these are our ‘breeder’ cows that are mainly the tropically bred Brahman cows. We then cross Droughtmaster bulls over these to produce calves that are more versatile for different markets and have a bit of hybrid vigour.
Number of staff: This varies seasonally. In the wet season there are periods of time where there will only be a couple of people. In the dry, Kalyeeda comes alive with a full crew. There can be up to 8 on the stock crew, plus mechanics, bore runners, cooks and general helpers. It’s not uncommon for the station cook to have to cater for 15-20 people.
Size of station: 122,000 ha (300,000 acres)
How often and how the mail is delivered: We get mail once a week on the mail plane which flies onto our strip about 1km from the homestead
How often and how the stores shopping is done: We usually have someone coming or going from town every two weeks to a month or so.
How far off the bitumen you are: About 150kms
The Camp family bought Kalyeeda in 1996 when there was nothing but bare paddocks. In the first years they owned the soon-to-be station it was ravaged by both flood and fire, firstly burning 80% of the property and then as Peter and Cheryl and their four young children set up their first tentative homestead consisting of a concrete pad and a caravan, the Fitzroy river flooded to engulf the area.
In the years that have since passed Kalyeeda has changed beyond all recognition. The homestead (now situated on top of a sand ridge on the highest point of land around!) has two houses plus donga accommodation for staff and visitors. There is a large communal shed that is home to the kitchen/dining area where everyone shares meals and socialises and the business office. This is also where the bore shed workshop and machinery shed are found.
Peter and Cheryl’s six children have all worked on the station at some time in their lives and are still actively involved in its future. Eldest son Damian is currently head stockmen and works alongside his wife Bronwyn. The other Camp children – Beanie, Hannah, James, Camille and Wave are all currently pursuing other careers, though James and his wife Barb plan to return to Kalyeeda once they’ve achieved qualifications to get ‘real jobs’ – just in case!
We hope you enjoy the blogs about our home out here under the desert stars. The work and social experiences can be both maddening and brilliant and it is certainly never just a job but a way of life. We employ a lot of people from many other countries as well as other areas of Australia and find a new appreciation for what we have every year though their joy in both the country we life on and the work we do. It’s a pleasure to try and share a little of this with you though these stories.
You can also take a virtual farm tour of Kalyeeda at http://virtualfarm.mla.com.au/
Written by Barbara Camp – Kalyeeda Station I am writing this to you from the precipice. The precipice of something big. It’s July of 2020 – the year that wasn’t. I don’t need to tell anyone that surviving unscathed to the mid-point of this year is nothing short of miraculous. COVID has rocked our world […]
Written by Barbara Camp – Kalyeeda Station It occurs to me in the years I’ve been writing for this site, I’ve shared a lot about my weird and wonderful life in the bush – my love for animals and horses, and my experiences living in remote Australia after finding love out bush when I went […]
Central Station [SHORT STORY] episodes bring the stories from our website to life through the authors themselves. Find the story from this episode here: https://www.centralstation.net.au/the-incident/ Narrated by: Hugo Rickard-Bell You can listen to the episode on the Apple Podcast app by clicking here, on the Spotify app by clicking here or through the media player below. […]
Written by Camille Camp – Kalyeeda Station. I recently went on a nine-day voyage on a live export vessel. A cruise you might say, a cattle cruise, however the journey was anything but cruisey! The prospect of working as an onboard stocky has always appealed to me. As pastoralists, we produce cattle that journey to […]
Written by Barbara Camp – Kalyeeda Station. Look at these two photos. They were taken nine months apart from about the same spot. I say ‘about’ because the dry, desiccated mud flat where I took the first shot last year is now under a considerable amount of water and, knowing the size of the salt […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Hannah Camp I was reminiscing with a friend recently and a topic of conversation was raised about childhood pets. When you think about pets most people think about the common types; dogs, cats or birds. Growing up on a cattle station in Northern Australia our childhood pets came in many […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Hugo Rickard-Bell Dear Mum, The following letter details my version of events for an incident that occurred on the 12th of July 2017. It was a moment in time that has changed my life forever. Please destroy all evidence of this document once you have finished reading… The sun had risen […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Barbara Camp We’re drafting at the yards today. Out at Rodney’s bore that 17kms from the homestead. Yesterday we mustered in the breeders from the paddock with horses, bikes and choppers and today we’re ready to start pulling off those big sappy weaners, vaccinate the cows and brand the baby […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Barbara Camp NOTE: For a bit of context this blog is a follow-up to a bit of a funny situation I found myself in after writing what I thought was a joke piece a few years ago about diversifying our station into a dating scheme due to the high number […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Barbara Camp We often describe station work as seasonal. Up here in the Kimberley we only have two – the wet and the dry. Bet you can’t guess the major weather difference between them. When working cattle the majority of the hard yakka is done in the more temperate dry season. […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Barbara Camp “She’s proper rooted this time, Barb. There’s no coming back” “But what do you mean? She’s always rooted! It’s her constant state of running! she’s been rooted for as long as you’ve had her! She’s had more lives than the cat! Surely we can fix her! We can always […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Barbara Camp I’m watching my twelve week old baby trying to lift himself up on his forearms. It’s causing him a lot of effort and hard work. He can manage for a while but then his head gets too heavy and back down it goes to the floor. His little muscles […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Barbara Camp Station work is hard work. But there’s an old saying – if you love what you do you’ll never work another say in your life. This must be true for life out bush. On a station your typical easy day starts with a 5am breakky and ends with a […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Josh Harling – Former Employee, Kalyeeda Station. Josh was a Ringer at Kalyeeda station for three years from 2000. He met his wife Emma here.They now live on a property near Cairns with their three children. He wrote this poem about his time with us. The Land is Vast and […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Casey McRobb – Stock Camp, Kalyeeda Station. I had no idea what to expect when I graduated from uni and accepted a short term contract as an Occupational Therapist in the Derby Allied Health Team. I knew that Derby was in the Kimberley Region, a few hours from Broome, but […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Hannah Camp – Owner, Kalyeeda Station. As you grow older it is inevitable that you forge your own path, this often means leaving home and moving away. You get a job, responsibilities, and limited annual leave. It’s been ten long years since our last Kalyeeda Station family reunion and ten […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Hugo Rikard-Bell – Stock Camp, Kalyeeda Station. Note from Kalyeeda Station’s blog co-ordinator: “One of the most exciting musters in the Kalyeeda calendar is the River Paddock muster. As the name suggests this paddock borders onto the river and consequently after a big wet season (like last year) the fences […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Camille Camp – Owner, Kalyeeda Station. I was diagnosed with Anorexia when I was 15. Having an eating disorder is never an easy experience, but when you live six hours from the nearest GP (general practitioner) and a further three hour flight from the nearest Eating Disorder (ED) clinic, life […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Mariah Maughan – Station Hand, Kalyeeda Station. I can barely feel my hands as I contemplate whether I should choose a convincing C in the multi-choice or go for the trusty E: all the above. It usually turns out that the answer was in fact C, and E: all the […]
Host: Kalyeeda Station Written by Hugo Rikard-Bell – Station Hand, Kalyeeda Station. When Barbara Camp initially aired the idea for the 2016 Kalyeeda Station stock crew to write some entries for the Central Station Blog I put my hand up straight away. What a perfect opportunity to share with the world our experiences working on […]