Gilberton Outback Retreat – Station life in the outback

In Review, Travel, Video, Videos by PhilLeave a Comment

Out of the blue I got a call from a lovely lady named Lyn asking about video production for Gilberton Outback Retreat. I hadn’t heard of Gilberton before but that’s what made me all the more curious. It turns out that TTNQ had mentioned to Lyn from Gilberton that we may be available to produce a video for them to promote their new exclusive luxury retreat at Gilberton Station 7 hours west south west of Cairns. Not only was Lyn excited about their new business but she has a great product so we sorted out dates and after a couple of weeks of planning we were prepped and on our way.

We left Cairns early and headed for the Tablelands, it was going to be a big drive but I had also organised a job at the Historic Village Herberton (a whole different blog coming soon) so that was our first stop. After a couple of days filming in Herberton we were on track to Gilberton and the outback. The drive out there from Cairns always amazes me, changing from lush rainforest, to bush land and then outback. So cool to see it all. Termite mounds everywhere! The trip took us through Mt Garnet, Ravenshoe and a fair amount of dirt road. Stunning drive.

When we arrived we were welcomed into their house instantly and met the family, workers, friends and the dogs. We had Gizmo the adventure dog with us too and he made some friends. Everyone was so nice and made us feel at home straight away. They prepared lunch for us and we all ate together and had a chat about life on the station and what was in store for us over the next few days. Lyn showed us to the retreat and it blew us away. The views were amazing and we both saw the bath straight away, it’s on the balcony overlooking the landscape. It had however just started to rain which was perfect because we talked about how we wanted to see an outback storm while we were out here. Little did we know that we would be watching lightning strike over the landscape while we drank wine in the bath!!! Perfect!


We then headed up to the owners house for dinner and again they took great care of us. We ate with the family and heard a lot of the stories from over the years and the inner workings of a station. They have had the property for 7 generations so there were some pretty amazing stories. We discussed the next few days tours and experiences and then head off to bed for some shuteye. The bed was very comfortable and mozzie net kept and bugs at bay. The accommodation itself is quite open plan so there’s no air-conditioning but a lovely breeze flows through, there are fans and it was raining when we went to bed so it was perfect.

We woke up before sunrise to catch a time-lapse and fly the drone for sunrise and it was mind blowing. Sitting on the balcony with our coffees and watching and listing to the birds was great and very relaxing. There was a full breakfast in the fridge and we just had to cook it up, after this we were ready for adventure in Outback Queensland.

The first tour was to the aboriginal art we’d heard so much about. We jumped in their Landcruiser and headed off up a dirt road. On the way we stopped at a lookout and Lyn told us all about the family and gold mining history. She also told us how the kids used to look for gold to buy things they wanted like their motorbikes and cars. I washed dishes and pumped fuel as a kid to get money, very different. We then stopped off at Turtle Rock, definitely looks like a turtle. We had Rob junior with us and he is such a character and young entrepreneur, he sells Fair Dinkum Aussie Bull Shit in a bottle. He is the 7th generation and what a guy!

As we crossed over a small creek bed Lyn got really excited, the rain from the previous night had started flowing down the creek. To people in the outback that’s a huge thing when the water starts running in the creeks and rivers, water is life and running water makes life a lot easier out there. Plus, it is rare to see the moment when a river starts to flow so it was an experience for us.

Lyn took us on a walk up and over ridge to find an aboriginal art site that she had talked a lot about. It was so much more than we expected. My first thought in seeing the area was that it must have been a meeting place for one or more tribes since there was so much artwork. You could see how they used the area and the fact that there was water close by made it an ideal location. There was even what looked like a sacred birthing area. Definitely the best site I have seen. We had tea boiled on the fire, fruit and home cooked treats while we heard the stories and checked out the area.

When we got back we talked to Lyn and Rob about the gold rush days and they proceeded to tell us that there was a lot of gold in the area and even showed us what they had found. They mentioned that when the kids were young if they wanted a new car or motorbike they used to find gold to pay for it. This sparked my interest and before long we were out with the detector looking for gold. People still come and camp on the property fossicking for gold. We were also luck enough to spot wildlife on the way and every day out there for that matter.

We then went back to our stunning accommodation and took advantage of the fact that there was a beautiful sunset. What better place to do it than in their amazing bath. The bath sits on the edge of the cliff and we cracked a bottle of champagne and enjoyed the sunset. It really is something special and we loved it.

Having dinner with the family really puts a personal touch on the trip and we learned so much about station and outback life each night. While we were there they had Cooky looking after the delicious food but he is also an accomplished outback photographer and he had a lot of stories to share as well. He has a published book called Outback Mates and it’s well worth getting if you’re interested in the outback and station life in Australia. Soon after dinner we made our way out to sit around the campfire under the full moon and sing songs and hear more stories. It was a massive day so we made our way back to get some shut eye.

On the final day we decided to leave early and get the drive back to Cairns underway. Before we left they had a nice little surprise for us. They had packed us lunch and treats for the trips. It is the little things that make the difference and they do them very well.

Overall, we loved Gilberton and I’m so glad we got to work with them and experience their life in the outback. Highly recommend it to anyone.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions please feel free to add them in the comments.

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