Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Big times on the Big Run

From the air the immensity and scope of Victoria River Downs station, the influence of the Victoria and Wickham rivers and the difficulty of achieving clean musters become apparent

Story: Paul Myers
Photographs: Steve Strike

ImageThe Big Run - Victoria River Downs - is an icon and an enigma in the northern cattle industry.
The station has run huge numbers of cattle, made and lost fortunes for its various owners and been courted, unsuccessfully, by Kerry Packer.

In the decade since its purchase became the catalysts for the formation of Robert (and now Janet) Holmes a Court's Heytesbury Pastoral Company, The Big Run has enjoyed the most stable and profitable period in its 120-year history, entrenching its status as the king of cattle stations.

For some past proprietors, VRD was a remote investment, physically or financially.

ImageBut not for Janet Holmes a Court and Heytesbury. The popular owner regularly visits and takes a close personal interest in the station.

She mixes easily with the staff, who admire her enormously, insists they call her Janet and views Heytesbury's pastoral interests as core investments providing an essential ingredient - food - to markets in Asia which she sees as a long term opportunity for her company and Australia. Story end

Full story: Issue 6, August-September 1999

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