Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Sights from the saddle

By Kandy Curran

ImageAgainst a fiery setting sun the majestic Cockburn Range glows red, just like our evening campfire that is sending up a plume of smoke in the distance.

As our horses head down the ridge towards camp, the rich smells of horse sweat and Kimberley grass at dusk briefly dominate the anticipation of tucker ahead.

And Banjo Paterson's classic line, recited earlier in the day by 70 year-old former drover Billy Lewis, returns: For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

We aren't actually droving on this Kimberley Pursuits horse trek, but participants are experiencing a fair dinkum taste of the stockman's way of life: station-cured corned beef with slabs of camp-oven damper washed down by billy tea; relaxed evenings around the campfire as the billy bubbles away; listening to Billy Lewis recite bush poetry; and into swags at an indecently early hour to sleep and dream under a star-filled sky.

Our hosts - experienced Kimberley stockmen Roderick Woodland, Billy Lewis and Hutch - are born and bred horsemen. Likewise, the horses aren't pony clubbers or trail riders, but working stock horses bred and trained for rough conditions on El Questro Station where they are used by Roderick Woodland and his contract mustering team.

He guarantees that experiencing this special part of the East Kimberley on horseback is sure to "put the smile back on your face". Story end

Full story: Issue 17, June/July 2001

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