OUTBACK STATIONS

OUTBACK STATIONS

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Down to paperback. 'From the helicopter I could see the property's waterholes surrounded by paperback trees, its red-stone cliffs lit by the rising sun. And grass, endless seas of grass. Here was the vision splendid: Nat Buchanan's grass castle. Gurindji country. And my country, Australia.' This is big country, the outback, home to the largest cattle and sheep stations in the world. Yet few of us know what goes on behind the farm gate. What's life really like when next door is 500 kilometres away, and a day's work involves mustering livestock in their tens of thousands, dealing with extreme heat and backbreaking physical labour? Bestselling author Evan McHugh heads down the road to find out. He goes behind the scenes at Adria Downs in the dead heart of Central Australia, helps drove cattle from the air at Wave Hill and gets a lesson trapping dingoes at the remote Commonwealth Hill. McHugh reveals the fascinating history of these outback stations, and what it takes to work on one today. Evan McHugh is a journalist who has written for newspapers, television and radio. His previous books include the bestsellers The Drovers, Shipwrecks: Australia's Greatest Maritime Disasters, Outback Heroes, Outback Pioneers, Birdsville and Outback Stations. Evan's book about true crime in the outback, Red Centre, Dark Heart, won the Ned Kelly Award for best non-fiction in 2008. He lives with his wife in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.