Banka Banka Cattle Station
Banka Banka Station is a location in the Northern Territory of Australia, 100km north of Tennant Creek along the Stuart Highway. The historic cattle station was the first operational pastoral lease in this region, and a supply camp during World War II, providing meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables. It was occupied and run by the Ward family and is still the site of a mudbrick homestead.
Philip and Mary Alice Ward bought Banka Banka Station in 1941. Mary supervised the development of an extensive garden at the station. The homestead was a regular stopping place for travellers and Mrs. Ward's hospitality became legendary. In 1945, Philip Ward was among the first to truck cattle by road. After her husband's death in 1959, Mary ran the station. Due to her efforts, a government school for Aborigines openened at Banka Banka in 1961. She was known as "The Missus of Banka Banka."
The Banka Banka mudbrick homestead is a single story, rectangular building with a pitched roof consisting of a timber roof frame and corrugated metal roof sheeting, mudbrick walls, concrete floors, surrounded by a veranda supported by concrete posts. The building consists of three rooms. The homestead, which was partly reconstructed in 2001, is of architectural interest for its extensive use of mudbrick. It represents an unusual construction material and technique for pastoral homesteads of this era.