HomeTravelTop station stays across Australia

Top station stays across Australia

Ever dreamt of living in the outback? Great idea, but the reality is often a hard slog.

You can, however, enjoy a taste of it by experiencing a ‘station stay’ where you get to live out your leaving-the-rat-race fantasies, only this time in luxury.

Here are a few of our favourites.

Bullo River Station, NT

Does the name ring a bell? Bullo River Station was made famous by Sara Henderson who wrote about her time on the property in the best-selling book From Strength to Strength. Bullo River Station has been transformed from the tin shed Henderson was confronted with on her arrival to a successful working cattle station, now with accommodation.

It won’t be five-star, but that’s not the point.

The good, basic simple-yet-stylish 12 guestrooms come a distant second to the experience.

It’s choose your own adventure at Bullo River. You can take part in station life or enjoy fishing, star gazing, swimming in the local waterholes – although there is a pool at the accommodation – birdwatching and discovering Aboriginal rock art. Or take it all in from above with a helicopter flight over the area’s stunning gorges, remote water holes and waterfalls.  

Book well in advance and consider the options for your arrival. You can drive there, but only at certain times of the year.

El Questro, WA

If you want a Kimberly holiday but don’t want to drive thousands of miles to experience it, El Questro is your next destination.

Staying at El Questro can be a camping holiday or a five-star getaway, but every visitor can enjoy the stunning scenery this unique part of the world has to offer.

At just over 283,200 hectares (or 700,000 acres) El Questro covers a lot a different country.

You can explore waterfall, one of the three rivers on the property, hikes, swimming holes and thermal springs, fishing spots, lookouts and the area’s stunning wildlife and flora.

Accommodation ranges from booking a camping spot to staying at the all-inclusive El Questro Homestead with Station accommodation in between.

And so many tour options, including horse riding, helicopter tours, airplane tours, guided tours and fishing tours.

Only open April to October due to the wet season.

Flinders Bush Retreats, SA 

Want a launching point to explore the Flinders Ranges? You could do a lot worse than Flinders Bush Retreats.

The award-winning accommodation is split between the Mount Scott Homestead, the Quarters and an eco ‘tent’. 

The homestead is a century-old stone building but it’s all modern conveniences inside, and it’s also 5km from the current homestead so offers plenty of privacy.

The Quarters is a standalone, four-bedroom building with accommodation for up to 10 visitors and the eco tent is a self-contained glamping tent with stunning views over the ranges.  

Apart from visiting the ranges, the property is a great destination for camping, picnics, bushwalking and campfires. 

Shandonvale Station, Qld

You could describe the accommodation here as ‘farm fancy’. Lots of corrugated iron and wood with wide-open views.

True paddock-to-plate eating with plenty of scenery to wash it all down.

Relax in the mineral-rich waters of an artesian bath, explore the bush, skeet shoot, fly in a chopper, go fishing or just get up close to a working farm.  

Relax at the end of the day with a few well-earned cold beverages and watch the sun go down at the boatshed on the lake.  

Corynnia Station, NSW

Corynnia only offers three accommodation options, but if you are looking for genuine family farm appeal you have come to the right place.

Well reviewed by fellow travellers, Corynnia has a pool, campfires, bikes, bushwalking, boules, a tennis court and 360-degree views of all the stunning sky you want.

Oh, and if you have a plane lying around you can fly in.

Ideal for family catch-ups.  

Have you ever opted for a station stay? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Australia’s surprising best city and its attractions for the over-50s

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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