Tuesday May 20, 2014
For anyone who has visited an American dude ranch, the experience offered by Kroombit Cattle Station a family run enterprise 35 kilometers from Biloela in Central Queensland in Australia would seem to be very familiar, and yet, because it is half a world away, very different. Activities offered by the Kroombit Cattle Station include hiking, horseback riding, camping, an authentic outback dining experience over an open fire pit, clay shooting, participation in stockman (read “cowboy” for Americans) activities, and various competitions, some of them geared for school groups. According to a number of reviews on Tripadvisor, the vast majority enthusiastic, there is even a mechanical bull.
Australian cattle stations are somewhat different than ranches in North America, some of them are the largest of their type in the world, the size of small European countries. Like Kroombit they tend to be remote and isolated, some having an air strip where the mail plane lands periodically. Children at such stations have traditionally learned via the “school of the air” with teachers in touch via radio, though in more modern times some have switched over to Internet school.
It is that isolation, set in an environment that is unique on the planet, that makes a visit to Kroombit a unique experience, especially for a visitor from outside of Australia. A “farmstay” as it is called is a great alternative to the usual beaches and tourist traps that can be found along Australia’s coasts. It is something that a traveler will remember and recount on for the rest of his or her life.
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