Bullo River Station
Bullo River Station is a five-star wilderness experience. Located in the top western corner of the Northern Territory of Australia, it has been in the Henderson family since the late 1950s when Charles Henderson – a pioneering American – purchased the 500,000-acre cattle property.
Today Bullo River Station is operated by Marlee (nee Henderson) and Franz Ranacher as a commercial cattle station running 9,000 head of Brahman-cross cattle for the export cattle trade. Horses and helicopters are used to muster and handle the stock on a seasonal basis. Cattle work is done primarily in the cooler winter months of May to August.
Marlee and Franz welcome discerning travellers to Bullo from March through to November on an all-inclusive basis, offering the opportunity to experience cattle station life in a unique and very remote part of Australia.
Guests can do as much or as little as they wish – but exploring the vast and beautiful landscape is an opportunity that most seize.
The Bullo River meanders for over 80km through a spectacular valley on the property; the river runs from the lush freshwater Bullo Gorge to the mighty saltwater tidal Victoria River, which also forms the eastern boundary of the property.
Guests can enjoy abundant bird life and native fauna because of the natural permanent waters, and some of the best barramundi fishing in the area.
A helicopter is based full time on Bullo River Station and is highly recommended as the best way to take in this huge expanse.
From the air the mid-winter landscape is impossibly beautiful. We cross ochre mountain ranges, enormous meandering rivers like chocolate milkshakes and waterholes clogged with pink and white lilies. The occasional salt water crocodile can be seen lazing in the mud. There are flocks of galahs and solitary sea eagles. A mob of feral pigs runs helter-skelter through the water lilies.
Location: Top End
Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, a part of Australia that retains its sense of frontier.
The city is a tropical enclave both sophisticated and laid-back, prosperous and good-natured. It’s also a hub of great living with its cliffs, beaches and short-sleeve climate; its colourful history has contributed to tremendous cultural diversity, with more than 50 nationalities making up its 100,000 population, including the area’s traditional landowners, the Larrakia Aboriginal people. Its northerly ‘gateway’ location has led to distinct Asian influences and flavours.
Visitors enjoy its beaches (including amazing Mindil Beach markets), waterside dining, historic buildings and lively nightlife. It’s also the perfect base to explore the natural attractions of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, Litchfield and Nitmiluk National Parks, the Tiwi Islands and Arnhem Land.
The Victoria River Region is located some 800km south-west of Darwin. The area’s colourful scenery features grassy plains, boab trees and majestic gorges carved by rivers out of sandstone escarpments. The small township of Timber Creek, 285km west of Katherine, is the region’s main centre and home to about 70 people. Fishing is Timber Creek’s biggest drawcard and the beautiful Victoria River, running through deep valleys and gorges, is one of the Northern Territory’s most scenic places to catch barramundi.
Gregory National Park sits at Timber Creek’s doorstep and covers an area of around 13,000 sq kilometres. The Park features spectacular escarpment landscapes, prolific wildlife, ancient boab trees and significant remnants of Aboriginal and European history.
Activities offered by the property
Let your guide at Bullo River Station bring the wonders of this timeless land to life. Adventurers are invited to go heli-fishing, boat cruising among the myriad rivers or take advantage of the magnificent photographic opportunities in some of the best scenery in the Northern Territory.
Station tours are a great experience – whether by horse, quad bike or 4WD – giving a perspective on the enormity of property and the isolation of the Top End. Wildlife spotting includes the opportunity to go searching for the huge saltwater crocodiles, water buffalo, wallabies, bird life and more.
Cattle mustering is seasonal, between the winter months of May to October and guests are welcome to watch or participate with the handling of stock. Wild Bull catching, with the use of customised Landrovers and helicopters is a sure way to get the adrenalin pumping!
Whether you’re a novice or enthusiast, the chance to try some of the best fishing in North Australia shouldn’t be missed. The Bullo River flows for 80km exclusively on the property providing the opportunity for fresh and tidal salt-water fishing.
A helicopter is based on Bullo River Station for scenic flights, fishing, awesome photographic opportunities and other activities. Helicopter is by far the best way to take in the beauty and scope of this vast country. Local rock art sites offer insights into the significance and complexities of Aboriginal culture, and its significance for generations of people past and present. (Helicopter costs apply.)
The top end of Australia has two distinct seasons: ‘The Wet’, from November to March is when the summer rains prevail and the humidity increases; ‘The Dry’ season, from May to October, has warm sunny days and cool nights and is the peak season for visitors and the period of most cattle related activity.
Bullo River is closed during the wet season between November and end of February.
All meals and beverages are included in the package. Food has always played an important role in station life and Bullo River Station honours the tradition while bringing a modern touch to the table. Breakfasts are usually served outside on the homestead verandah, while lunch is often a picnic, enjoyed beside peaceful billabongs or under the shade of a magnificent boab tree. Dinners are informal and the menu relies heavily on the two exceptional products of the property, namely fresh barramundi (hopefully one you’ve caught yourself) and organic prime beef from the surrounding pastures.
Individual room description
Guest accommodation, located only a few metres from the main homestead is a purpose built area consisting of 12 double/twin rooms off one central corridor, each with air conditioning and ensuite. The decor is simple – cool, tiled floors, indigenous art on the walls and no phones or televisions. All rooms are serviced daily and have sliding doors access to the lawns surrounding the homestead.
Nearest major City/Town
City – Darwin
Town – Kununurra
Light aircraft from Kununurra to Bullo River Station takes 30 minutes.
Light aircraft from Darwin to Bullo River Station takes approximately 1.5 hours.
Bullo River Station is located 220 kilometres from Kununurra (when road open), 130km of which is on seal road, which takes approximately a 3.5 hour drive.
Bullo River Station is situated 850 kilometres from Darwin, approximately a 10 hour drive.
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