Did you know you that you can experience the real Australian outback just 1 hour from Sydney? Neither did we!
As we excitingly make our way to Tobruk Sheep Station, on arrival, we immediately notice the breathtaking location as we drive into the station. The expansive 50-acre Tobruk Sheep Station overlooks the beautiful Hawkesbury River Valley below and the breathtaking Blue Mountains beyond.
Australian Outback Experience
Distracted by the view, we are suddenly greeted by a whip cracking stockmen on horseback and cattle dogs happy to see us. Excited we jump out of our car feeling like we’re right in the middle of the Australian outback – what a great start!
The stockmen and their cattle dogs muster us up and take us over to the ‘Drovers Camp’. Sitting around the campfire they explain life on a sheep station which is fascinating and not for the faint hearted. How about sleeping in a swag and having to fend off a snake for a story!
We can smell the delicious billy tea brewing away in billy cans and big cast iron pots in the campfire cooking fresh damper over the open flames – a typical morning tea for working stockmen.
Billy Tea and Damper
Billy tea is made by boiling water in a billy can which is a tin can with a wire handle and tea leaves added. The stockman demonstrate by swinging the billy can over their heads to settle the leaves. Apparently, it’s always accompanied with fresh damper.
Our stomachs rumble as we learn about the making of damper, the smell is making us hungry. Damper is made with flour and water and a good pinch of salt. Then kneaded and shaped into a round ball and baked in the ashes of the campfire. The stockmen usually eat the damper with pieces of dried meat or spread it with golden syrup (an extract from sugar cane that has a slight honey taste), but always with billy tea or maybe a swig of rum.
Freshly cooked we get to finally try the delicious billy tea and warm damper with lashings of golden syrup, very tasty. Feeling satisfied after our hardy morning tea and campfire stories we’re now ready to experience whip cracking and boomerang throwing.
Whip Cracking and Boomerang Throwing
As the stockman cracks the whip a loud cracking sound echoes across the valley. The cracking of the whip is achieved by the ‘cracker’ breaking the sound barrier and it is used by stockmen to assist in the mustering process.
The cracking of a whip is not as easy as it looks, as I soon find out but fun trying!
Next was a demonstration of the Aboriginal technique of boomerang throwing, demonstrating how the boomerang returns. It’s amazing how easily it returns however I suspect not that easy to do.
Hand-crafted boomerangs are available to purchase at Tobruk that’s if you’re interested learning how to throw a returning boomerang.
Aboriginals as Boomerangs as hunting weapons. However, at Tobruk we use the boomerangs as recreational devices only and not as hunting weapons.
Sheep Mustering and Cattle Dogs
We suddenly hear the thundering of hooves behind us. We turn around and look up the hill to see stockmen and cattle dogs mustering the sheep towards the stockyards, in preparation for shearing.
Whip cracking stockmen and working dogs flying over, around and amongst the sheep, moving the sheep to their designated pens. Watching the agility of the working dogs carefully applying their trade as they focus on instructions from skilful stockmen is an amazing sight to see.
The most Australian outback experience of all.
Australian Outback Experience of Sheep Shearing
Next it’s into Australia’s most unique shearing shed to learn about the history of shearing and the life of a shearer. We watch our shearer demonstrate the art of shearing a sheep and, under strict guidance, we try our hand at shearing a sheep.
Soft and oily the wool, back breaking work shearing only one section of the sheep we can only imagine how strong a shearer must be.
Experience the Tobruk Australian Sheep Station
Action packed Tobruk Sydney Sheep Station is an authentic Australian outback experience, you’ll never forget.
- Sheep Shearing
- Sheep Mustering
- Working Australian Cattle Dogs
- Whip Cracking
- Boomerang Throwing
- Stockman on Horseback
- Duck Shows
- Drovers Camp
- Billy Tea and Damper
- Australian BBQ
- Tractor Tours
- Day Trips
- Overnight Stays
Highly recommended, if you’re interesting in experiencing an Australian outback sheep station.
TIP: Great for families if you want a farm stay experience, book the homestead and stay overnight.