2013, People, Stories and Articles

Nappa Merrie, Far South West Queensland. “Out at camp.”

Nappa Merrie stock camp team were keen to come to the Supa-Float shop for some late night shopping; and then just as keen to line up for a photo, armed with some of their purchases… their tools of the trade.

For Lyle and Helen, there is nothing quite like pulling up “out bush”, and we mean really out bush; where the stock camp workers are camped out at a stock camp; sometimes for a week or more, and at a distance of up to a hundred kilometres away from the main station complex. Typically they are there for the purpose of mustering and processing cattle, with a set of cattle yards close by.

When the days’ work is done, camping out means a campfire, rib bones or steak on a BBQ plate (or at Baryulah, yabbies from the waterhole when the timing is right). This is followed by mugs of billy tea, and an opportunity to relax around the campfire, with entertaining, often hilarious conversations ensuing. Early nights are usually the order of the day, except maybe when Kent Saddlery visits; the generator is switched off and the silence and beauty of the night sky brings well earned sleep to weary workers, tucked up in their swags inside dome tents, horse floats or out in the open.

We love it, and from observation we’re convinced that the majority of young ringers do too. (Some “older” workers long for the creature comforts back at the station, and we have our Supa-Float facility which keeps us warm, high and dry!) When we visited the workers at Nappa Merrie’s Baryulah stock camp, all of the above proved true and we appreciated being with this group of young people and their hospitality and acceptance of a couple of “oldies” in the camp.

Image caption:

1) (Left to Right) Candice Mudford, Kate Taylor, Boyd Tope, Kassie Johnson, Sam Bartlett, Will Goetsch