Photos of Mustering at Mount Mulligan, Australia

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Mustering at Mount Mulligan

On the various cattle stations around Australia, the seasonal muster of stock is an important occurrence. The cattle have been grazing freely all over the property but have to be brought in to be taken to market. Traditionally stockmen ride horses and this is still very much the case, but nowadays four-wheel drive vehicles, “bullcatchers” and a helicopter are also used to drive the cattle towards a chute leading into the stockyard. Stray bulls are rounded up on horseback and with the bullcatchers.

Chopper and bike
Fuel for helicopter
Stockmen and horses
Preparing horses
Saddling a horse
Dog on quad bike
Catching stray bull
Horse and bull catcher
Rounding up cattle
A stockcamp
Catching a bull
Stockworkers on quad bikes
Having breakfast
Horses and chopper
Cattle and dogs
Cattle, Mount Mulligan
Cattle drive
Droving cattle
Stockmen on horseback
Along the dusty road
Trainee stockmen
Ngarrabullgan, Mount Mulligan

Mount Mulligan Station, near the old mining town with the same name, some 50 kilometres north of the settlement of Dimbulah - on the road from Mareeba to Chillagoe - is at the foot of Ngarrabullgan, a very important sacred mountain; the whites named it Mount Mulligan. The area is Aboriginal land, but Mount Mulligan Station operates here and it has a training program for young Aboriginal men who have a natural ability for this kind of work.

On day one the cattle are brought into the yard and the following day they are driven to another stockyard; these scenes have been emblematic for the outback of Australia since colonisation of Aboriginal land began.