Stratford Country

Stratford is in the elevated Desert Uplands Bioregion. These naturally open desert woodlands with native grasses and ancient red sandy soils are rich in biodiversity and intact ecosystems.

Entering through well-graded dirt roads off the sealed Jericho Road, the true nature of the Desert Uplands landscape greets you. A vast array of flora and birdlife is on display during the wet seasons and the spectacular colours of the dry outback are welcoming in the winter season. Designated camping by the ephemeral White Lake ensures you have ample safe space and to appreciate our vastness and terrain. Onsite facilities include a dumpezy, potable water to top up your supplies and refuse/recycle bins.

Picnic tables and established walking tracks around the lake enable you to wander and enjoy. A communal fire pit is designated safely aware from dry desert grasses, with complimentary firewood are available, for congenial evenings, star gazing and night song. Birdlife is abundant, and a complete bird list and site-specific ecological information are available on request. 

Stratford Station is 13,000 hectares of active cattle breeding and beef production, situated between Jericho and Blackall in central western Queensland. This unique property has internally-draining ephemeral lakes, of which White Lake is the most prominent. Being mildly saline, when the water drains away and evaporates, the salt often settles on the mud, creating a shimmer that makes you believe it is a lake filled with water. Extreme climate variability means you could experience lush green surroundings or the truly spectacular dry dusty outback colours of reds, terracotta, pinks and straw.

The property boasts diverse landscapes and environs of natural, intact biodiversity and ecologies, rich in birdlife and native fauna and flora. Considered and strategic management of cattle grazing ensures it continues to regenerate through the seasons. Highly variable and extreme weather patterns (wild fires, storms, heat, dust and wind, all in severity at times) can be challenging for all.

Tenacity demonstrated by the desert ecologies is also reflected in the myriad of cultural assets, artefacts and landscape evidence of Aboriginal Australia, here being the Wadjabangayi. Also, you can see where the early settler came and went, focussing on bringing up and holding water. This makes Stratford Country such an ideal place to truly feel and appreciate the ancient, the past and a calm and strong present/presence.

Robyn, your co-host for the Weekend enables a refreshing, contemporary interpretation of the above composite, revealing details of how she now manages and cares for her cattle and country. The Stratford herd is a self-replacing breeder enterprise, the female offspring produced are used to replace the cast-for-age females or those that fail to raise a calf. With only select purchases of stud stock for genetic gains, it is considered a closed herd. This preserves biosecurity levels, which those visiting are guided through to maintain.  

This self-replacing breeder enterprise is a sustainable and efficient way to manage cattle in such native desert grasslands, producing high-quality grazen beef and prizewinning steers. During your visit, you’ll experience first-hand the complexities and joys of rangeland cattle production and be introduced to some of the near 800 cattle on the property.

Please note:

  • Because this is the outback, the Australian critters are all around, so please make sure you have sturdy, suitable, closed-in footwear and long pants. Hats and a handy water bottle are advisable too.
  • Generators are allowed. We ask that they only be operated between 9am and 6pm.
  • Being remote, you may experience ‘digital detox’ time as there is very limited telephone reception.

Legally owning grazing country is humbled by the acknowledgment that Aboriginal Australians are culturally owned by the land. We are but temporal on Traditional Wadjabangayi Lands; and much there is to learn and share.

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