Wave Hill Station is located approximately 600km south of Darwin in the Victoria River District of the Northern Territory.
Going strong for over 120 years, the station entered the history books in 1966 when Vincent Lingiari led the Gurindji people off the station to protest against the pay and working conditions. It was a strike which is said to have started the Land Rights movement in the Territory.
It’s a very different station today, with brahman cattle, helicopters, and a fraction of the staff, although there are a few Aboriginal workers amongst them.
These days, Wave Hill Station is about 3.2 million acres, or 13,500 square kilometres, with 90 bores.
Mr Hoad says running a property that size has become a lot easier with the introduction of more yards.
“We’re not walking cattle so far. Every paddock joins a yard so the cattle can be mustered into the yard by lunchtime, and they’re back out the next day. It’s let us go from three stock camps back to one.
“Ninety per cent of the cattle goes to live export. They’re mainly brahman, but we’ve just introduced some charolais bulls. I went up to Indonesia earlier in the year and those blokes up there said that they would like to try a splash of something else in the brahmans, because after 90 days they’re starting to get too fat up there, and they thought a bit of charolais would mean they could keep ’em for about 130 days. If you see how they trim the beef they don’t have any fat at all.”
Cattle are also killed locally, at one of the Territory’s last small abattoirs.
At the neighbouring township of Kalkaringi the butcher Jason Scabden collects the beasts in a truck, kills them, cuts them and sells them. Jason has had to do a Level 4 meat inspectors course to keep the abattoir open. To take study further he would have had to go back to school and become a vet.
“We do 250, 300 head of cattle a year. They’re all free range, and when they’re big enough and fat enough we cut them up. There’s no hormones used out here, and no chemicals are sprayed on the ground. Buffel grass gives beef a special flavour, and our cattle are three or four-years-old. It is expensive to process remotely, with the cost of electricity and diesel.
Wave Hill Kalkarindji Weather Station is located near South Point in the the west of of the Northern Territory at an altitude of about 196m above sea level.
The two closest weather stations to Wave Hill Kalkarindji Weather Station are the Victoria River Downs Weather Station 110km away to the west-southwest and the Lajamanu Weather Station 116km away to the west-southwest (show me a map of all three weather stations).
The nearest road to Wave Hill Kalkarindji Weather Station is an unsealed road that is un-named in our database and comes within 358m of Wave Hill Kalkarindji Weather Station.
The nearest sealed road to Wave Hill Kalkarindji Weather Station is the Buntine Highway (9.79km away).