The Witham family has taken the picturesque Mount Bundy station back to its roots by developing a successful northern cattle operation.
Story By Kerry Sharp
When the Withams finally found and bought Mount Bundy, there’d been no cattle on the place for 21 years. The 101-year-old station, strewn with World War II relics and the birthplace of much of australia’s buffalo-hunting folklore, had thrived for decades as a popular bush bed-and-breakfast and camping destination, but the cattle side of things had fallen by the wayside. Undeterred, Scott and Sue looked beyond the flood-ravaged 1950s fences and yards and snapped up the small station as their ‘foot in the door’ to realising a long-held passion to own and operate a northern cattle enterprise.
After taking over the station’s 102-hectare tourism venture from local identity Fran briggs, they discovered they could access 8000ha of adjacent freehold land for cattle production. In their first dry season, they bought a start-up red Brahman stud of 20 cows and a bull from Roma, Qld, to breed bulls for their own use.
They also purchased weaners from other stations. “That’s been our mainstay until now – buying and selling mainly pure Brahman weaners and turning them over for overseas live export through the Port of Darwin,” says Scott, whose constant companion, former sheep dog ‘Rosie’, is now a handy cattle worker. “Alongside this, we’ve built up our stud and bred a lot of good quality heifers from the stock we’ve been buying.” The station herd now ranges between 500 and 1000 head, depending on the season.
Mount Bundy Station lies on savannah woodlands country 110km south of Darwin. it has 11km of Stuart Highway frontage and one of the Territory’s biggest rivers, the Adelaide, as its northern boundary.
This story excerpt is from Issue #89
Outback Magazine: June/July 2013