On the trail of Sergeant Major Arek
Another ASOPA credential

The Coodardie commitment

Savannahway Driving the Savannah Way is one of Australia’s least known and most adventurous outback journeys: a 3,500 km trek that starts from Queensland’s Gulf of Savannah, traversing the Northern Territory and winding up at the spectacular Cable Beach outside the legendary town of Broome in Western Australia.

The Savannah Way takes you through great national parks such as Kakadu and exotic bush townships like Borroloola. And it winds by Coodardie Brahman Stud, a couple of stubbies out of Mataranka. As Ben Dorries wrote in a recent article in the Brisbane Courier-Mail [‘Expect the unexpected on the Savannah Way’]: “It is worth stopping into a station stay, such as the Coodardie Brahman Stud near Mataranka, where the hosts will put on a terrific feed and make you feel like old friends rather than guests.”

Well, it just so happens that Coodardie Brahman Stud (motto: ‘living and working in harmony with nature – outback hospitality at its best’) is the literal stamping ground not only of the eponymous Brahman cattle but of hosts Rory, Moira and Clair O'Brien – the former an erstwhile ASOPA identity and, in a brief spectacular period, a chalkie in New Ireland.

There’s a lot of commitment to doing things right at Coodardie. Example, it supplies weaner steers to Taminmin High School near Darwin to encourage students to join the cattle industry. The kids break the bush steers to halter and present them for show and sale. Now could you do that?

Moira, who’s Coodardie stud director, says this helps give students a better understanding of the cattle industry. “We really enjoy helping them out and working in their program,” she says, “and I think it's really important (to) encourage young people and teach city people about agricultural life and cattle station working.”

And the results? “The kids are just so enthusiastic and passionate and really keen to learn about the animals, so it's a real credit to them, they have done well.” Sentiments of which any chalkie, extant or all dusted up, would be proud.

[Photo: Trekking the Savannah Way]

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