Host: Tess Camm
Location: Central Queensland
In 1926, Jack McArthur drew a 3,420 acre lot from the old Waverley station with the winnings of racehorse named Mystery Lad. Three generations later, Mystery Park is a thriving 12,000 hectare property bearing home to Rob & Ainsley McArthur and their six children, Tess, Andrew, Lachlan, Hamish, Adelaide and Eliza.
Rob & Ainsley McArthur
Andrew, Lachlan, Adelaide, Tess and Hamish McArthur
Due to our rural location, Andrew, Lachlan, Hamish and Adelaide are home schooled through the Capricornia School of Distance Education, and Eliza will join the ranks when her time comes.
The Mystery Park homestead from the air
Located equidistant between Rockhampton and Mackay on the Central Queensland Coast, Mystery Park runs a breeding and trading enterprise. Our cowherd is Brahman based to negate the challenges of the Northern Queensland environment, with a mixture of Angus, Brangus and Belmont x Angus bulls used.
In order to increase our carrying capacity and improve our native environment, we rotationally graze our paddocks. In a nutshell, this means that cattle of similar type, hence requiring similar management are grouped into the same herd, and instead of a portion living in each paddock year-round, the herd spends a small amount of time in each paddock, before being shifted to the next paddock, allowing fresh pasture to always be ahead of our cattle. This is a labour intensive but very rewarding management style. As we kick our goal of improving our pasture for the cattle, along the way we are noticing additional benefits such as an improving water cycle and an increasingly diverse wildlife array.
On the coast we have a summer dominant seasonal rainfall. Hence we are currently in our dry season, which is expected at this time every year, and rain is not expected or budgeted on until the 15th of December. So over the next week you will get a transparent insight into the operations and decisions made during the drier part of the year.
These blogs come from the point of view of Tess, the eldest of the McArthur children who has returned home for her mid-semester holidays from Uni. She is currently studying her Bachlelor of Business Management through the University of Queensland.
You can continue to follow the McArthur’s journey through:
Ainsley’s blog http://mcarthurverandah.blogspot.com.au
Instagram: @mcarthurteam and @tesscamm
Host: Mystery Park Written by Ainsley McArthur – Owner, Mystery Park. The beginning of the school year was a photo worthy occasion as we recorded the beginning of Andrew’s high school years at boarding school. Seems he has found his rhythm in both the boarding house and the day school. Lots of people have asked […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Ainsley McArthur – Owner, Mystery Park. School holidays are winding up and like many families in rural Australia, we are preparing to drop our eleven year old off at boarding school. Andrew is beyond excited, chatting about the changes, gathering his belongings at the door, delegating his chores to his siblings, and […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Ainsley McArthur – Owner, Mystery Park. Sunrise is my favourite time of the day . . . I’m yet to convince Lachlan of the tranquility of sunrise! Although with cattle to yard up and trucks to load, he didn’t groan too much about pulling on his boots and hat to […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Tess Camm – Owner, Mystery Park. I’ve always loved mornings, but 2am is pushing the friendship! The reason for this insanity? A beef production. This week I am processing around 250 head of 110 day grainfed steers. Since hosting Central Station in 2014, I have taken on a role managing […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Tess Camm – General Manager, Signature Beef. I couldn’t imagine growing up anywhere other than on a cattle station. At ‘Mystery Park’, like many family owned and operated cattle stations, kids are an integral to the operation. Rather than juggling parenting, childcare and station duties, we came along for the […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Tess Camm – Owner, Mystery Park. Working on a property, it is so easy to get caught up in the daily activities and not look beyond the boundary fence. Don’t mistake my passion for life in the bush one second, I just believe in taking outside opportunities and gaining as many […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Tess Camm – Owner, Mystery Park. ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ At ‘Mystery Park’, measuring the volume of pasture we have produced during the wet season allows us to evaluate the number of stock we can safely run through until we anticipate the next wet season beginning. […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Tess Camm – Owner, Mystery Park. At ‘Mystery Park’, our weaning date depends on body condition score of the lactating cows, which is affected by the available nutrition and the cost of supplementing. Leave the calves on too long and the cow loses too much condition to re-conceive next year. Wean […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Tess Camm – Owner, Mystery Park. At ‘Mystery Park’, the primary focus of our business is growing grass – producing the best possible pastures we can using the elements of rain, sunshine, and soil. Around ten years ago we began time-controlled rotational grazing, reaping the rewards of increasing our carrying capacity, […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by Tess Camm – Owner, Mystery Park. The ‘Mystery Park’ crew are excited to be hosting Central Station once again. My name is Tess Camm, and I am a fifth generation grazier, uni student, eldest of six children, horse fanatic, and possibly the most passionate person about the future of the beef industry, […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by – Tess Camm, Owner, Mystery Park. With nine different mobs of cattle rotating through our cells (groups of paddocks dedicated to one mob), the grazing plan is always at the forefront of our mind. Nutrition underpins the performance of cattle, and we are paid in cents per kg of beef […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by – Tess Camm, Owner, Mystery Park. While mustering, drafting, weighing, and all hands-on activities are vital operations on a cattle property, this only occupies a portion of a grazier’s to-do list. Livestock waters, supplements, and fences (just to name a few) all require diligent maintenance. As Murphy’s law would have […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by – Tess Camm, Owner, Mystery Park. It’s a steady start getting all the little people’s horses saddled and sorted in the morning, but they more than make up for the effort during the muster! Lending a hand. Today we are mustering a mob of young cows with their first calf […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by – Tess Camm, Owner, Mystery Park. As a grazier, paycheques are few and far between, and most commonly result from the sale of livestock. This time of year is our ‘dry season’, and is often signified by slower sales and less demand for cattle. The market will bounce back as […]
Host: Mystery Park Written by – Tess Camm, Owner, Mystery Park. As we turn off the highway onto the gravel road, the dust flies thick and fast behind us. In my left window I notice a handful of dry cows walking along a cattle pad towards water, dust also settling in their trail. I have […]