There are clear nights and there are the clear, starry nights at Bullo River Station, a 202,000 hectare working cattle property three hours’ drive from Kununurra. Days here are spent immersed in the rugged beauty of the Northern Territory: take a helicopter for a picnic on a rocky outcrop overlooking the vast outback, appreciate ancient Aboriginal rock art or fish for barra in the Bullo River – keeping an eye out for crocs who are just as keen to snap up the fish.
Where is Bullo River Station
You can reach the property via private plane from Darwin, NT or Kununurra, WA. Driving is also an option: it’s just three hours from Kununurra or a more challenging but infinitely more scenic dry-and-dusty nine hours from Darwin (keep watch for brolgas and wild donkeys by the road).
There are only 12 guestrooms on this luxurious outback station. Each is configured with a king-sized bed or twins, and is filled with high-end country comforts. In the communal areas you’ll find cabinets of curios such as crocodile skulls and boab seeds and a central fridge stocked with drinks and homemade biscuits.
Restaurants and bars
There are no menus but the property operates a private dining set-up, meaning you specify your likes and dislikes before you arrive and the chef creates meals to suit. Breakfast could be a selection of fruits, muesli and eggs Benedict, while lunch might include barbecued prawns and fish when you’re out on a daytime adventure swimming in waterholes and seeing Aboriginal rock art. Dinner is usually served under the stars: it could be beef sourced directly from the station and served with hearty veg, plus a rich chocolate cake for dessert. You can also request almost anything you’d like during the day. Feel like a late afternoon cocktail and canapé plate? It’ll probably magically appear before you even think to ask.
Travel for work
There are no boardrooms or conference centres but there’s wi-fi in the guestrooms if you have to patch into any critical Zoom meetings.
Spa and gym
Don’t expect gyms or massage therapists – the wellness factor here is the connection to the outback and nature. There is, however, a jewel-green pool shaded by palms for swimming but otherwise you’ll easily work up a sweat exploring the rugged surroundings.
Bullo River has a partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, which works to manage feral animals and weeds to preserve the wild, natural beauty of the property. There’s plenty of planet-friendly initiatives at the homestead, including minimal use of plastics and a comprehensive recycling program. Guests can take the “Keeping the Lights On” tour during their stay to learn about the property’s use of solar power and sustainable water storage.
What you need to know
The landscape in this part of the country is unforgettable: from the quiet serenity of a waterlily-filled waterhole to the majesty of the vast, ochre-red ranges. See it all via helicopter: you can be choppered away for a swim beside a remote waterfall or flown to a rocky outcrop for a clifftop picnic.
Best for: Remote red-dirt luxury
Number of rooms: 12
Rates: $1200 per night ($900 for under-16s)
Wi-fi: Free wi-fi in accommodation
Parking: Onsite guest parking
Address: 9870 Victoria Highway, Baines, NT
Telephone: +61 8 9168 7375