Moolooloo and Moorillah Stations: diversification in the Flinders Ranges
Set in the full splendour of the Flinders Ranges is a pair of historic stations offering three enterprises in one: wool, beef and tourism.
Encompassing more than 609 square kilometres of pastoral leases, Moolooloo and Moorillah Stations can stock up to 10,250 dry sheep equivalents.
The vast property takes in ranges whose gorges give rise to creeks that wind across Moolooloo’s flats.
At 220 to 280 millimetres a year, the average annual rainfall is consistent and higher than is typical for the Flinders Ranges.
In any case, the stations are remarkably well watered, with 23 bores and wells as well as five permanent, and many more semi-permanent, springs.
There’s the right mix of country for every season, says owner, Keith Slade, the fourth generation of Slades to call Moorillah home.
“The heart of the hills has a real grass and clover-based pasture,” he said.
“Once you get out on the flats, it’s more salt bush, blue bush and herbage.
“The hill country is extremely high-yielding and the flats produce very clean wool. We are very lucky to have that diversity.”
Three-quarters of the holding is suitable for running beef cattle, and the capture of feral goats, currently low in numbers, has been a lucrative sideline.
The stations’ beauty brings another highly profitable and drought-proof revenue stream.
Within easy striking distance of Port Augusta along the Outback Highway and flanked by national parks on Moolooloo’s north, south and west, the stations’ stone buildings and remote campsites attract hundreds of tourists every year.
But, Mr Slade admits, the potential of the tourism venture is yet to be fully realised.
“We use our shearer’s quarters, Blenin Hut and campgrounds but we’ve never taken full advantage of the demand for a place like this,” he said.
The renovated shearer’s quarters boast nine bedrooms, a kitchen, showers and toilets, while Blinman Hut comfortably accommodates three to four people.
An hour south is the updated Moolooloo homestead – complete with stylish new kitchen and swimming pool – whose three bedrooms are complemented by two more in the adjoining old homestead.
Moorillah Station’s four-bedroom transportable home adjoins the original single-bedroom homestead.
Farm infrastructure includes an eight-stand shearing shed with steel yards and a classing race.
A separate steel crutching shed is matched with excellent panelled sheep yards.
Livestock management is straightforward with a set of steel cattle yards, two sets of steel goat processing yards, nine sets of steel sheep yards, and numerous trap yards around watering points.
Moolooloo and Moorillah Stations comprise a diversified and well set-up property in an iconic landscape and with a history spanning centuries.
View the Moolooloo Station listing below.