The numbers of Newcastle Waters

Host: Newcastle Waters Station
Written by Steph Coombes.

Welcome to our week on Central Station!

For those of you who haven’t read our station profile (go read it now!) Newcastle Waters (NCW) is one of the Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) stations located in the West Barkly region of the Northern Territory. NCW itself is around one million hectares and runs approximately 66,000 head of Brahman cattle, including our own stud. We work very closely with Dungowan and Ucharonidge stations to form the Newcastle Waters Group.

1.1The wine glass is the symbolic NCW brand.

Because we have so many cattle and such a large station this means we have a lot of people working here!

  • The manager and his family
  • The homestead cook, and at times an extra one to two camp cooks
  • A domestic, who helps look after the homestead and feed the poddies etc.,
  • A gardener
  • A mechanic
  • Two bore runners
  • Truck driver & his family
  • The pilot
  • The secretary
  • The grader driver
  • The overseer
  • Head stockman of the stock camp and his family
  • Stud registrar
  • Stud overseer
  • Leading hands/senior station hands
  • First year jackeroos and jillaroos
  • Contractors – contract musters and contract builders
  • Visitors – it’s unlikely that you’ll walk into the kitchen at tea time without seeing a new face, whether it be a new contractor, a truckie staying the night, or a visitor from head office.

During the peak of the mustering season we can have anywhere between 40-50 people on the station! We have people from all walks of life, some who have been with the company for many years and others who are fresh out of school and on a ‘gap year’, some people who were raised on farms and some who were not. Of course like most of regional Australia we also employ the odd backpacker or two as well! This melting pot means that everyone brings a different level of experience and a different perspective to the station, which means things never get boring and there is always someone to talk to!

 Our 2014 Kent Saddlery photo. There’s about 10 people missing from this photo too!

1.3A typical scene outside the kitchen at smoko time.

During our first round of muster this year we had three camps!

1) Stud Camp – they look after the stud cattle, which involves a lot of data recording and processing as well as pregnancy testing and DNA testing etc., on top of regular mustering, drafting, and processing

2) Stock Camp – they muster and process the commercial cattle. This includes drafting off the weaners (which are sent to weaner camp) and drafting the cows as well as giving them their annual vaccinations and any other animal husbandry required.

3) Weaner Camp – they process all of the weaners – branding, castrating, dehorning, vaccinating, implanting, ear marking etc., and they also “tail out” the weaners on horseback. The weaner camp not only processes the weaners bred here on NCW, but weaners trucked over from Dungowan and Humbert River, and sometimes Manbulloo. These stations send their weaners to NCW because we have great fattening country. They breed ‘em, we grow ‘em!

1.4Tailing weaners.

This week we hope to give you an overview of some of what goes on at Newcastle Waters- cattle work, station work, and of course the social aspect of station life.

Happy reading!