Nardoo Station, Gulf Country, QLD

Nardoo is situated North of Cloncurry, approximately 60 kms from Gregory and 90 kms from the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. In 1892, Al and Edge Webber’s Great Grandfather came from Ravenswood in the Burdekin region of Queensland, to Camooweal.

He and his family settled in the area, owning stores and pubs in Camooweal and Burketown, and property around Lawn Hill. In 1929, he purchased Nardoo, followed by Mellish Park, and these cattle stations have remained with the family. Al and his wife, Bev, and Edge and his wife, Lorelle live at Nardoo, along with some of their families. As was the case with many pioneering families, the Webbers began with Shorthorn cattle, and introduced Droughtmasters and Brahman cross as the years went by. With the regular occurrence of floods (a big one in 2006), seed germination has multiplied the timber growth in the last 50 years, dramatically changing the landscape. The use of licks has increased, and cattle handling methods have changed. Coacher mustering with horses is used in conjunction with their own helicopter, flown by Al and Bev’s son, PJ.

The Webbers love horses, and their Thoroughbreds are involved with racing one day, and working with cattle the next. Al is quick to comment “My Grandad always had good horses”, and their preference for thoroughbreds comes with a strong conviction that race horses are highly intelligent and have good stock sense.

We love our visits to Nardoo. On our first visit, Al and some others were preparing to head out from the homestead. Lyle went inside the house to introduce himself while Helen and Jess waited in the truck with the motor running. PJ came striding out of the house, up to the driver’s side of the truck, reached in, switched off the ignition, and commanded “come and have a cup of tea!”. Lyle showed Al one of the Kent Saddles, and Al’s response was “Come back next year!”. With that comment, he mounted his horse and rode away. Al recalls that the next year we travelled out to No 3 stockcamp. It was dark before the cattle work was finished. Al said to Lyle “I want a saddle for this horse. If you can make a saddle that won’t rub the wither of this horse, I’ll buy it from you.” The horse was a thoroughbred with an extremely high wither, and Lyle was able to make a saddle to fit! That was the beginning of a great business and personal friendship with the Webber clan.

When Nardoo comes to mind, we inevitably think ‘goats’ and these animals are a work of love and dedication for Bev and their daughter Anne. Bred from the original stock brought to Nardoo in 1929, they are cared for like they are family. They all have names and Anne and Bev can remember, mostly at a glance, the parents, grandparents and great grandparents of most members of the herd. Some of their amazing titles include Chopper, Strawberry, Dingo, Sister Patricia and Mrs Snort to name but a few.

From observation, there is a compatible combination of skills at Nardoo; Edge, very apable in the mechanical side of things, and Al accomplished with the stock work. PJ, Anne, and Edge’s sons Billy and Richard and families all contribute with a variety of skills to the smooth running and efficiency of the stations. On our visits, we’re always welcomed by Lorelle and Bev, and like the goats, are cared for like members of the family. We know that the many visitors who ‘drop in’ are treated with similar kindness by the Webber clan of Nardoo.

Al’s Comments:
Kent saddles are excellent for horse and man comfort. The best saddles by far that we have ever used.