In lush country on Tasmania’s South Esk River, historic Mount Ireh station endeavours to find a good balance between cropping and livestock.

Story + Photos Andrew Bain

In the paddocks of Mount Ireh, the sheep are playing hard to get. “C’mon girls, you’re not even meant to be in here,” Piers Dumaresq calls through the window of his ute. It’s the third paddock he’s driven through, mustering a flock of composite sheep that have, as ever, busted through fences and dispersed themselves across the paddocks.

“These composite sheep are so aggressive,” Piers says. “They need much stronger fencing. We could easily spend over a million dollars just replacing fencing and you haven’t really achieved anything apart from keeping them in one paddock.”

Mount Ireh’s cropping manager Ryan Braid rolls his eyes at the mention of the sheep, describing them as “athletes”, forever trying to get into his crops, but this day Piers quickly has the flock into shape and winding its way down tracks to the South Esk River, which meanders through the middle of the property, in Tasmania’s north-east.


This story excerpt is from Issue #155

Outback Magazine: June/July 2024