Twenty-first century properties in the Corner Country are a far cry from the heady days of early pastoral settlement when a station may have encompassed a million acres and the homestead area was a small village.
Apart from areas within townships land in the Corner Country is effectively “owned” by the Crown and leased to landholders. A landholder purchases and owns the assets of the property and pays an annual rent to the Crown.
Historic changes to leases which saw the size of properties reduced to “homestead” areas have become more relaxed in recent decades and enabled amalgamations of some properties into more commercially sustainable operations.
In addition to annual rents, landholders pay a levy toward the cost of upkeep of the wild dog fence, as well as a land service fee.
The enterprises run on station properties are changing as production costs and work force availability impacts operations. Where land-use was traditionally limited to merino wool production and beef cattle recent trends are seeing a shift to meat sheep, goats and cattle.
Property management is not limited to building infrastructure to manage livestock but also to ensure that the vegetation is protected and where-ever possible efforts are made to rehabilitate historically damaged land.
Invasive plant and animal pests are also expected to be controlled.
In a landscape of relatively low annual rainfall and few natural lakes and water-filled creeks, earth dams have been constructed where practical and bores drilled for extraction of water from the sub or Artesian basin. These are often connected by pipelines to storage tanks and trough. Solar pumps are often used to extract the water from the aquifer.
A number of station properties in the Corner Country have historical connections to Sturt’s Expedition or to mining operations offer accommodation. Plan your trip through the region by using the guide to these and other properties listed here Corner Country Stays.