Client: Seven Emu Station

Seven Emu Station

Hello, I’m Frank Shadforth. Welcome to Seven Emu Station, located on the Savannah Way in the Northern Territory’s Gulf of Carpentaria. Seven Emu Station welcomes tourists, campers, birdwatchers, fishermen and four wheel drive explorers.

The station contains large reaches of both the Robinson and Calvert Rivers as well as 60km of exclusive coastline on the Gulf of Carpentaria, and includes an Australian Wilderness Conservancy zone.

Your self drive adventure can now include fishing, camping, nature, heritage and culture as the guest of the Shadforth family on this real deal cattle station in the outback of Australia. Join me on a tour of the Wildlife Sanctuary or the “beach with no name”, or If you want to get dirty you are welcome to involve yourself in the day to day activities of the family and their crew. But be warned, bull catching, mustering and fencing aren’t for everyone

Volunteers are also welcome through Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF). Access is seasonal so please plan your visit to avoid disappointment.

Our Place

The Shadforth family descended from the Gulf countries Garawa people long before Ludwig Leichhardt passed through on his epic 3000 mile expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington in 1844; naming Seven Emu River after a successful hunt of emu. As pastoralists moved in following the “Leichhart Track” many of the family worked the cattle and horse industries. Willie Shadforth started young and after being sacked from Wollogorang Station at age 15 he swore that he would work for himself before too long.

Willie worked hard droving cattle and trading horses, droving cattle from the Territory to Queensland before taking a mob of horses from Elsie Station to Mount Dare in 1953. With his hard earned money he put a wager on the Caufield Cup whilst in Alice Springs. His horse came in and so he tried again weeks later on the Melbourne Cup, again he won and with his savings headed straight for his home country.

His purchase of Seven Emu Station was an historic day for indigenous Australia, as the first known Australian Aboriginal to purchase a pastoral lease. Sixty years on his son Frank and grandson Clarry have built a herd of Brahman cattle that would make any stockman proud. They also muster wild “scrubbers” throughout the dry season.

The family have shown great care to balance agriculture and conservation by leasing a large slice of their land to the Australian Wilderness Conservancy with the landmark Seven Emu Partnership , the Wildlife Sanctuary assuring the protection of the many rare species of flora and fauna that are endemic to the Gulf coastal environments.

The families holistic management approach to the property has led them to open their doors to tourism. This was foreseen by Willie many years before. Willie allways said that tourists would come here one day to see the real Australian outback. With so much to offer adventure travellers, the property and the Shadforth family’s heritage are what is missing in today’s sterile tourism environment. A touch of reality and raw Australian frontier lifestyle and adventure.