In the United States, what the Australians call a cattle station would be called a ranch. They typically encompass thousands of square miles of land often in the Outback. The cattle tend to be heat-tolerant breeds like Brahman or Santa Gertrudis that can survive on the arid land that will support only a few cattle per acre. When a member of Laetitia’s group asked one of the station staff how they rounded up the cattle from such a vast expanse of land, he told her that cattle survival is dependent upon water tanks, strategically placed throughout the station. Fences surround the tanks with one-way gates in and out. When the station personnel want to round up the cattle, they simply lock the out gate and load the assembled cattle from the pen into trucks.
Because of the remoteness of most of the stations, primary-school-age children are educated through the School of the Air that offers correspondence classes. Teacher contact was originally by short wave radio but now is mostly by Internet. Students often go to boarding school for secondary education. Like the dude ranch vacations offered in the United States you can book an extended stay at a cattle station for a taste of its remote lifestyle.
Laetitia and her group had a buffet lunch before heading off toward a motel near Uluru (Ayers Rock), their next day’s destination. Laetitia wrote the limerick of the day about the cattle station.
If you choose for your Aussie vacation
An Outback remote cattle station
The time will fly by
But the air will be dry
And you’ll frequently want a libation.