North of Broken Hill, Mount Gipps Station is an awesome outback retreat for adventurous caravanners.
Even as outback stations go, the property at Mount Gipps is big.
Seeing all 85,000 acres of the station’s terrain might seem like a daunting task, but it’s easier than you might think. During your stay, owners John and Kym will take you up to the top of Sunset Hill, the highest point on the property. From there, the view stretches beyond the boundaries of Mount Gipps Station to the lights of Broken Hill. Kym will break out champagne, cheese and bickies for the magnificent sunset, followed by a sky blanketed with stars.
Mount Gipps is a working sheep station about 40km north of Broken Hill. Sprawled across rugged plains and rock formations are the remnants of mines and villages from as early as the 1880s, when it was discovered as a hotspot for silver, lead and zinc.
The property is popular with geologists for its rare sedimentary displays. Some of the rock formations date as far back as 1.7 billion years, created by layers of sediment and drop stones from ancient glaciers back when the area was a seabed.
Nowadays, it’s pretty dry. Rain is sparse but when it hits, it hits fast and you can’t get in or out. The property is accessed via Corona Road – you can check the RTA for any info, and road closures are signposted from Broken Hill. The best idea is to call ahead and speak to John and Kym, who always have an eye on the weather. The roads take a few days to dry out, so be prepared to extend your stay if bad weather hits.
Take our word for it, though: there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Nostalgic mining paraphernalia is littered across the property. You can explore the historic huts miners built out of tin, rocks and canvas more than 100 years ago. Next to the mines are the remnants of a wagon track, and a dam built painstakingly from hundreds of rocks to provide water to the little community.
The station has some prime bushwalks, particularly around Baboon Gorge, which looks its finest after a bit of rain as rock pools form along the chasm. Kids can fossick for rocks with lumps of quartz or streaks of shiny mica.
The entire property is a 4WD playground, and John and Kym offer guided tours. Keep your eyes on the skies, too: wedge-tailed eagles, galahs and wrens are rife, while roos, emus and the coveted Sturt desert pea inhabit the ground level. Oh, and you might also spot Kym touring the property on a quad bike, with Bundy the blue heeler on the back.
Mount Gipps Station is set up with powered and bush sites, an ablution block and barbecue area, as well as cottages and shearers’ quarters for hire. Prices start from $20 for a bush site.
*Originally published in Caravan World magazine.