The Great Wet of 2018

Host: Zoe Hayes
Location: North West Queensland

Well I suppose Mother Nature heard our prayers when we poured our hearts out to her asking to wet the dusty ground AND ease up on the hot grueling days we were working in; she pulled through! As I sit in my room on day ten of the ‘wet season’ for us here at Cotswold Station, home to Gipsy Plains Brahmans in Cloncurry, northwest Queensland, it’s a reflection of how quickly things have turned around.

My days only recently consisted of feeding out cotton seed to cattle suffering from lack of feed due to the drought, while now we’re all captive within the limitations of the house compound walking around barefoot just to not get bogged down in the mud or loose a plugga!

The rain first set in on Thursday evening the 1stMarch and whilst it felt like Christmas, I decided to skip my way down to the front gate and hitch a lift into town to have ‘rain celebratory drinks’, while the rest of the crew were more sensible & stayed home.  The rains came down hard and fast in just the few hours I was out and about, that I now had become stuck on the wrong side of the creeks and river crossings! Whilst no one could do anything at work anyway, I on the other hand was stuck in town with just my phone and one change of clothes. After a weekend of on and off down pours and eagerly trying to get myself back home to the station, I knew drastic times called for drastic measures. Why not make the most of this time to experience my first helicopter ride than to book one to get myself home – the most expensive taxi ride ever! (Well worth every cent!)

Whilst an inconvenience and a frustrating situation, I was able to bring home the essentials of bread, milk, and beer of course!

It was incredible to see the streams, pools, puddles, and full dams of water, since being back north I felt every one of us had a huge sigh of relief.

The ‘drought depression’ may be behind us for now but we face a new basket of issues! Living with a family of five, myself and two other ringers, its safe to say we’re getting cabin fever… well the others more so than me as they’ve been stuck for ten days while I’ve only really been stuck six. I have lost count of the amount of times we’ve had heated competition over Uno, the amount of beer bottles we’ve thrown out and we’re now completely out of all our favorite confectionaries! Claire Lawrence & I stand staring into the pantry hoping a bag of red frogs or fun size Mars bars will jump out at us!

Us rural folk though, we make the most of a bad situation! The rain has now subsided for a couple of days but that creek is still flowing high & with a steady pace so nothing is going out nor coming in any time soon. We’ve found entertainment in floating down stream on rubber tyre tubes before crashing into flood fences & the boys desperate for a 6 pack attempted to swim the bikes across the creek with the intention of getting into town! The pub had our names written on the seats at the bar waiting for us.

For now we sit & wait patiently for the water levels to go down!