Rawlinna Station covers 10,000 square kilometres of Western Australia’s Nullarbor Plain and will shear 60,000 sheep this year.

Story By Mark Muller

When John Eyre crossed the Nullarbor in 1841 he described the country as “a blot on the face of nature, the sort of place one gets into in bad dreams”. This was certainly not the view shared by B.H. MacLachlan when he first saw the Nullarbor in the late 1950s while travelling from Adelaide to Perth on the train.
To his experienced eye, it looked like good sheep country – an opinion borne out by his son H.G. MacLachlan when he went to survey the area in 1962. Pastoral leases were duly applied for and thus the 10,000-square-kilometre Rawlinna Station came into being.

Today Rawlinna is the largest sheep station in Australia, and it is still under the careful stewardship of the MacLachlan family’s Jumbuck Pastoral. After four good seasons the country is looking lush and well cared for. Manager Michael Simons is pleased with the way the property looks, and delighted with the way the sheep are responding to the conditions.

“The country’s not as good as I’ve ever seen it but it’s really good right now,” Michael says. “We’ve had three reasonably good rain events in the first month and a half of the year. That’s given us green feed in the holding paddocks as we go into shearing. And it’s given us the confidence to withdraw one mob of breeding ewes from sale because we know we’ve got the feed to carry that line through to having their lambs without compromising the pastoral lease.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #106

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2016