"From the helicopter I could see the property's waterholes surrounded by paperbark 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 as these properties are closed to visitors, few of us know what goes on behind the farm gate. So what's life really like when next door is 500 kilometres away, and mustering livestock in their tens of thousands, backbreaking physical labour, and dealing with extreme heat and long hours is all in a day's work? And why would these tough stockmen and women not have it any other way?
Best-selling author Evan McHugh gets behind the wheel of his four-wheel drive to find out. Given special access to these properties, Evan 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 in trapping dingoes at the remote Commonwealth Hill station. Following in the footsteps of the pioneering greats, Evan reveals the fascinating history of these outback stations, and what it takes to work on one today.
"McHugh is a clever mixture of curious outsider and eager participant... Written in a simple but elegant style where honesty and thoughtfulness build an accurate picture of the richness of life in one of Australia's most famous outback towns." (The Age (for Birdsville))
"McHugh tells the stories of these great achievers simply and without romantic or other embellishment, which is how these characters would have wanted it." (Courier Mail)
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