Making contact with Outback Stations

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 17:21
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Whenever I am planning a trip I use Memory Map and Google Earth to assist me In making decisions of where I travel and overnight stops. As my wife and I love travelling on the back roads we often come across several nice prospective campsites that we would love to stay for the night. Unfortunately sometimes these nice spots which are in off the roadway therefore on private property. I realise just beside the roadway is also maybe private property but discretion can sometimes be used in that case.
Being of the older generation I would not just camp there uninvited but would like to be able to before hand, get permission of the station owners to do so.
My question is what is the best way of contacting the station owners if you only know the station name? Sometimes the station name is not available either. Is there a government department that has property contact details of freehold and lease holdings?
Just want to do the right thing by all and would appreciate your help
Bill
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Reply By: allein m - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 18:06

Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 18:06
I live in Broken hill and often go to a mate property out of town and i will if he is not at the homestead call him up on channel 40 UHF

no garentee but many have uhf radios
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Reply By: equinox - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 22:07

Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 22:07
Hi Bill,

I've asked myself the same question.
Here are some contacts for WA:



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Alan


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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 22:52

Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 22:52
You wouldn't have any other states would you Alan?

Phil
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Follow Up By: equinox - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:09

Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:09
Not in such a format Phil,

Some of the larger companies who have many properties have good websites with details though, such as http://www.kidman.com.au/properties/

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Alan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:13

Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:13
Hi

Butting in - contact Agricultural Department/Pastoral Land Dept in state of interest for up to date list...or Mines Department. One or the other should be able to supply a list or at least specific contact details. I wouldn't publish all details on net without permission myself...they don't.

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Greg
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Follow Up By: equinox - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:16

Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:16
Hi Greg,
Just to clarify, that Excel file was found on the net (I found 2 sources).

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Alan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:29

Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 23:29
No worries... it must be OK then :)

I have a copy (WA) but cant remember where I sourced it from (10 years ago - most likely mines department). Just not sure all the station owners want their phone numbers (and more importantly email addresses) published here ...as handy as it is. Suppose in reality all the phone numbers are in the phone book so maybe no big deal...and you can get info (at least individually) by ringing the mines department anyway.

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Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 09:01

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 09:01
I also recall seeing something like it when I was planning the Simpson drive. But for the life of me I cannot recall where. We wanted to look at some mountains on a property and needed to make contact with the owners.

The problem with interned data like this is that it isn't dated so you have no idea of it's validity. I made many calls to past and forgotten owners and managers until I found the correct number.

And a good point Greg. I wouldn't want my phone number spread throughout the internet. I don't mind it being in the white pages though.

Anyway! I got some good info from the list. We are taking a mob, only four cars, down the Canning next year and I was after a place to stay instead of Wolfe Creek. I found Sturt Creek on that Excell list. Maybe that will do us. Was going to be solo but the doctor said "no way".

All good.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 20:06

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 20:06
Wasn't that somewhere near Farina, Phil?

Can recall your queries about the area, but not the exact location. Must be a bit of "old-timers", eh.

Bob.



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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 20:53

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 20:53
Right place wrong occasion. You are thinking of Mt Freeling. I was taking about a much much bigger place north west of there. The identity of which shall remain a secret. I kept my word and they are tickled pink. They have had others through and if all goes well and no damages etc then they may open the place up again. But their trust was destroyed.

Good memory Bob. We took one look at the place and did an immediate "U" turn and ended up at the caravan park at Lyndhurst.
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Reply By: Mick O - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 08:45

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 08:45
Bill, now this may sound funny but if you're actually doing some trip planning at home or with web access, I've always found an internet search on a station name handy. Quite often the stations you are looking at have been absorbed by larger pastoral holdings and are now either disused or outstations. You'll generally turn up station info including contact numbers through any number of government, industry and association websites that will link to a google search.

Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:33

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:33
and in the case of WA quite a few are now DEC managed
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 10:20

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 10:20
It can be hard Bill as often you don't know just what is what , and you can't invest to much into finding out if the suns going down and you need to setup camp.

My approach is to first make your camp have as little impact as possible so that if someone comes across you then then have no real axe to grind.

From the other point of view as a property onwer I have found that a simple sign that has nothing but a name and a phone number on it has been really useful to others.
We regularly get calls from people asking us things because we make it so easy and have ended up with both some new friends from this approach and having to rescue the odd car which I find a lot of fun.

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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 13:33

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 13:33
All the stations listed on maps are loaded as Places on ExplorOz. Some may or may not have phone numbers listed - depends what's been added by the users of this site. Some stations deliberately contact us to add their details - those that welcome tourists and wish to promote their camping facilities that is. Maybe someone with a bit of time to spare could grab that list of Equinox's and enter the numbers into Places ? nudge nudge wink wink.... would be very much appreciated by many I'm sure, as any search of a station name on the internet will find the ExplorOz Place listing.

Michelle Martin
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 14:06

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 14:06
If you were using the ExplorOz mobile site (m.exploroz.com) and went to Places. There is a feature on the mobile site that allows you to "use current position", that will use the GPS position in your phone and show you a text list of all places within 100km of your position.
The default order of the list will show you the closest places first. You can also refine the list to only show certain types of places near you, so you could filter certain places out to reduce the list. The list itself gives the Place name and an icon to indicate what type of place it is, plus gives the km distance from your position. Click the Place in the list to open it for GPS position, address, phone number/website/email etc (if available), description, photos, even a current weather report.

All we have to do is make sure that someone puts all the phone numbers in for the stations and this is your perfect solution. Not an impossible task at all, in fact quite achievable if we all work together on it.
Michelle Martin
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 20:25

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 20:25
Bill,

The Yellow Pages have listings under "Graziers", that gives all.........well, most of the stations/properties in that phone area. Maybe a visit to a post office would give you a start in some areas.

But when you're travelling, not everything goes to plan, and it doesn't take too many "kodak moments" to make you late, or not arriving where you'd originally planned. Agree with Robin that when the sun's falling out of the sky, at a rapid rate, you'll camp anywhere.

When we lived down the Diamantina, we had about 60kms of public road through the place, and it wasn't unusual to see people camped in off the road(it wasn't fenced), or see the remains of their camps. Didn't worry me(probably envious that they were camping, and not me!) as long as they didn't leave any rubbish, or get up to some mischief. In over 20 years that we were there, would have averaged about 1 call on UHF, or visitor per year, advising of their presence, or asking to camp.

On most bigger places, I doubt if it would worry the managers too much, as long as camp was left clean, and there was no interference with stock, or infrastructure.

I know on the Birdsville Track they promote camping at the designated camps, rather than "anywhere", but we camped one night at Moongarra Channels with no dramas, and left nothing but a few tracks the next morning.

Bob.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 23:00

Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 23:00
Hi Bill

When we are travelling, often there is little indication that we are into a new station other than perhaps a heavier duty fence at the grid. Some show the station name at the boundary, and just a few add their UHF channel. We would be unlikely to get mobile phone reception even if we knew the station and the phone number. Often it is not clear which of many tracks leads to the homestead. While as farmers we would be pleased to meet and talk with station owners, I feel this would be an intrusion on their time.

As aforesaid, several stations are likely to be under the one ownership, with no indication which is the 'master station'.

We have seen one or two with a No Camping sign at the boundary and would respect that. Otherwise, well out of sight and sound of a homestead, we have on a few occasions pulled a little way off the road late in the day, and the only sign of our presence would be the tyre tracks after we have left in the morning. We will not drive after dark in pastoral areas after dark.

Thanks to those station who do not know they have let us sleep on their station.

If wanting to tour on or drive through a station on a private road, finding out how to contact the station and gaining permission (if granted) is part of trip planning. Driving through on public access roads and pulling off a safe distance for the night is something different.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:41

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:41
usually if there active stations at the boundary grid theres the name of the station and a list of no shooting, no dogs, no camping

and at every track off to the sides signs saying no entry.

thankfully in WA there is an increasing amount of stations passed in and the DEC are opening them up

Credo station near Rowles Lagoon is but one of many examples

its not only got a care taker but is now the centre for a large study of eucalypts with clean faciltys and accomadation

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:44

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:44
heres a link with more info

http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/news/media-statements/item/245-research-centre-opens-its-doors-at-credo
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:50

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:50
Hi get outmore; Your experiences will be more extensive and recent than mine, as we have rarely seen no camping on the signs, and I don't recall even seeing station tracks signed no entry, but fair enough if station owners have been caught out with people not doing the right thing.

We once stopped for a morning tea break near a station tank by the road. I was disgusted to see a pile of used 'disposable' nappies and other rubbish including cans in the vicinity of the tank, where it appeared someone had camped.

Usually the country is flat and open so easy to drive a little more than the thirty metre road reserve for privacy without using station tracks.

Mh
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 16:26

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 16:26
Unfortunatly MH these signs are everywhere around large parts of our state


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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 16:28

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 16:28
try again

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 17:10

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 17:10
A sad sign of the times that landholders have to go this far.

Mh
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Reply By: Member - Bill13 - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 07:05

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 07:05
A big thanks to all who took the time to contribute to this Post. Some excellent suggestions have been made and it is good to see that other travellers have the same concerns as to where they are actually camping on a nightly basis. This practice of leaving our camp clean and how we found it can only somehow compensate landowners for the others who don't.
As I am planning my trip from home and trying to make contact with property owners before hand, I do not know if they have the UHF channel posted beside their entrance gate, but have used the UHF in the past when needed.


The Explorer. Greg. I have looked at your suggestion " contact Agricultural Department/Pastoral Land Dept in state of interest for up to date list.." But have found the site difficult to navigate around and finding a specific property details next to impossible. However perhaps I should try that avenue again as I am sure the info is there.


equinox, Alan, thanks for the Excel spreadsheet of WA. Pity you did not have other states but I have put it aside, as I imagine others have also, for when we are over there next.

ExploxOz Team. Michelle, I now have downloaded the mobile app and will go out for a drive in the country and give the app a workout and see what information it gives.
Hopefully it may have the digital information I require.

Bob Y. Yellow Pages, how good is that. Did not give that a thought and it does give a good but not complete information that is required. Another tool to use and it comes in digital format as well.

Hopefully this is not the end of this Post and more good ideas and comments will still be contributed.

Bill
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:53

Saturday, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:53
Bill.
One publication I can highly recommend is the Atlas of Qld. and NT Pastoral Stations.
Compled by: Terrance Alick Mapping Services
PO Box 8
Gracemere
Qld. 4702
Primarily designed for transport services to and from stations it indexes by name all stations with a sheet reference, airfield long/lat., police, dpi phone numbers and other information.

Hope this of some help.
mike
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