About 70kms south of Port Hedland, WA and a mere 9kms off the Great Northern Highway is Indee cattle Station. Alison greets us in the cool of the sprawling homestead. It turns out that she’s from Melbourne too and ‘does the season’ up here. We park out back behind the machinery sheds where there are spotlessly clean portable bathrooms. In fact everything seems portable. Dongas for accommodation cabins and a large shipping container makes for a pretty good camp kitchen. Everything is chained or bolted down and the buildings that have conventional roofs have them strapped down and the wire straps are affixed to concrete filled 44 gallon drums. This is cyclone country. The machinery shed is a beauty, it smells of sump oil and dirt and is surrounded by cut down vehicles. They look like old paddock bombs but I’m sure all would run well if needed.
I climb to the top of the only hill, Red Rock. Some kindly soul has left a plastic chair up there for the weary folks to catch their breath and take in the view, so I did.
While we prepare our dinner the mustering chopper arrives so we wander over and meet the young lady pilot who’ll be staying for the night. There’s a very friendly hand reared young bull called ‘Little Guy’ wandering about who is cared for by an Irish girl who is just about to head for home. I think they’ll both miss each other very much.
Every night at 5:00pm Indee Station owners Colin and Betty put on happy hour in the homestead for the campers and staff and they are quite a pair. Betty tells me that they have over 400,000 acres, eleven staff and their business is cattle, tourists and railway lines. Gina (Reinhardt, everyone in the Pilbara refers to the Hancock Mining mogul as Gina) and Fortescue Mining pay rent on the land that their railways cross. We later learn that Rio Tinto pay station owners $600 for every bull that is hit by a train, a little less for cows. Not surprisingly only bulls seem to wander onto the tracks in these parts.