Eldee Station – an authentic outback station situated 56km north-west of Broken Hill – is a compulsory break in the journey for any intrepid explorer.
The historic cattle and sheep station, in the heart of the western NSW outback, is a dinky-di Aussie experience.
Set on more than 150 sq km of partly parched and infertile land, Eldee is the quintessential outback escape. It’s a retreat that showcases the serene sunsets and astonishing vistas of the primordial Barrier Ranges and archetypal barren red landscape and vast flat lands of the Mundi Mundi Plains.
Eldee Station boasts rocky hilly ranges, water-filled gorges, slopes and the endless Mundi Mundi Plains dissected by gum tree lined ephemeral sandy creek beds. And within Eldee’s diverse topographies are corrugated iron station buildings and stone ruins.
The Eldee Station leasehold areas were formerly part of the large Mundi Mundi Pastoral Run (which was over 600 square miles and had a carrying capacity of 30,000 sheep) settled by the Whittings family in the late 1850s. They were the first European settlers on the Barrier Ranges, but left circa 1885 due to drought.
Fourth-generation Eldee Station leaseholders Naomi and Stephen Schmidt opened the property to visitors in the late 1990s. But it was Stephen’s great grandfather, William Schmidt, and his wife Polly (Mary Agnes) who gained seven of the leases – one of which covers Eldee Station – resumed by the NSW Government in 1935.
There is no shortage of activities on Eldee Station, and Naomi and Stephen are sticklers for good old-fashioned hospitality plus sumptuous food to delight any connoisseur. Additionally, a myriad of accommodation options are available.
Some of the activities include several guided short walks, mountain biking, stargazing, night tours, shearing displays and scenic flight options for guests.
And Eldee is a 4WD enthusiast’s utopia, with more than 100km of fluctuating terrain to traverse. Offroad driving options for accommodated guests include self-drive 4WD tracks, tag along tours or guided tours.
Meanwhile, the wide variety of accommodation includes refurbished standard rooms, executive rooms and family units, and there are also powered and unpowered caravan and campsites all within close proximity to the camp kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. And swags can be hired by those who simply love sleeping under the stars.
A fully licensed restaurant, formerly a café, features large windows and a wrap-around veranda with amazing views of the changing hues of the Barrier Ranges and Mundi Mundi Plains. It serves hearty country style meals, with breads, pastries, cakes and desserts all made on-site. The restaurant, which has interpretive panels depicting the early pastoralism of the region, also caters for high teas and weddings among a tranquil garden setting.
Nearby, guests can relax in an outdoor heated spa on a timber deck or cool off in a plunge pool.
Eldee not only has cattle and sheep but wild goats, the occasional wild boar and many types of kangaroos, wallabies, lizards and snakes, emus, abundant bird life, frogs and echidnas. It also has three working dogs – black and tan kelpies named Jessica, Bill and Oscar – a pet sheep named Ted, as well as other pets.
And its livestock are resilient Merino sheep, which are raised for their wool and meat values, and Hereford and Murray Grey cattle.
Naomi and Stephen also welcome people on working holidays to Eldee Station, where they can offer free of charge a caravan or tent site if these persons are willing to assist with some of the activities required to maintain smooth tourism operations.
Internationally renowned photographer Michael Ellem, from Offroad Images, also holds courses at Eldee Station several times a year. Packages are all inclusive for accommodation, tutoring and meals.
Eldee Station also has been involved with film activities for more than 30 years. The Schmidts say many film crews are drawn to the area because of the fine weather, the big blue azure skies and the red and purple hues of the Barrier Ranges and the Mundi Mundi Plains. And add that the many built and natural objects in the local environment give great context to the subject matters appearing in movies, mini-series, commercials and stills.
Naomi and Stephen are also justifiably proud of their multi award-winning Eldee Station. They won gold in the 'Hosted Accommodation' category at the NSW Tourism Awards in November 2015, as well as the bronze in the 'Hosted Accommodation' category at the Australia Awards in February 2016.
Eldee Station is located at 2886 Wilangee Rd, Silverton, NSW. Book now to stay at Eldee Station.